An 8000 mile drive around the United States on twelve tanks of gas may sound incredible, but that is exactly what John and Helen Taylor set out to do. John and Helen are hypermilers: people who use fuel efficient cars and standard fuel conservation techniques to stretch the limits of how far anybody can go on just a few tanks of gas.
After a 9000 mile trek across their native Australia on just eight tanks of gas, the couple recorded 75 mpg in a Peugeot 308 earlier this year. Now they want to show the American public just how much difference the right car and some easy fuel saving methods can make.
The couple set out Wednesday morning from Chantilly, Virginia, in a 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI. The EPA rates the Jetta TDI at 40 mpg on the highway, but the couple plans to extend that past 51.8mpg, the current fuel economy record for the trip. Given that they have broken about three dozen fuel efficiency records in the last twenty-six years, they are optimistic about their chances.
Helen says that they are trying to lead the way in showing people how everyone can drastically save money, fuel, and reduce carbon emissions.