Proving a new hybrid’s fuel economy with some sort of hypermiling challenge seems to have become a new trend as Wayne Gerdes, the professional driver who invented the term hypermiling, just drove a 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid across the country on two tanks of gas, averaging 60 mpg.
Gerdes started in San Diego, California, and drove to Jekyll Island, Georgia, a trek of almost 2300 miles and only stopped once for gas. The single fuel stop occurred over 1200 miles into the trip -- far eclipsing the Sonata Hybrid’s official range of 700 highway miles as estimated by the EPA. After finishing the second leg of the trip, Gerdes had roughly 2.5 gallons of fuel left in the tank. In total, Gerdes used a mere 38 gallons of gas to cross the country and averaged 60 mpg.
Hyundai’s fuel economy challenge was completed yesterday as Gerdes rolled into Georgia after traversing mountains, valleys, deserts, and the occasional thunder or snow storm. This fuel economy challenge was unique in that it was a true point-to-point drive across the country rather than a planned loop. Given this information, the drive is more strenuous than most owners would likely undertake, indicating that they could see even better fuel economy if they use Gerdes’ techniques.
“As a fan of fuel-efficient vehicles, I enjoy the challenge of putting new technology to the test,” said Gerdes after finishing the 2300 mile drive. “This demonstration shows how the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid can deliver extremely impressive fuel economy and range for drivers who value fuel savings.”
“This is the first time I’ve driven a car that ‘does it right!’” concluded Gerdes.
Hyundai’s 2011 Sonata Hybrid goes on sale later this month at a starting price of $26,545 including destination.