Hybrid Hypermiling Techniques

Hybrid cars are able to utilise both an internal combustion (IC) and electric engines, this makes them much more efficient than having an IC alone. Ensuring the maximum use of the electric engine together with adapting your driving style to make full use of regenerative braking systems will ensure you are getting every last mile from you precious fuel and charge.

Many of the Hypermiling techniques on our website are aimed at vehicles powered by either diesel or petrol engines, however there are many other Hypermiling techniques that only apply to hybrid cars & electric drive cars.

Below is a list of Hybrid Hypermiling Techniques that will help ensure some epic MPG figures.

  • Familiarise yourself with your car’s hybrid information display. It will help you fine tune your helping techniques and  allow you to monitor how much energy is being used.
  • Be gentle with the accelerator pedal. Pressing lightly  to help keep the car in EV mode ensuring you are using electricity and not fuel. Monitor the cars display so you can master the most efficient way of accelerating.
  • If available, use the ECO or green mode. This will ensure the car is working to help you maximise your MPG.
  • When in town and built up areas, enable the EV mode. As above, gentle applications of the throttle will ensure you stay in EV mode for as long as possible.
  • Anticipating and early braking will help you make the most of the regenerative braking system. Gentle and steady applications of the pedal will help put more charge back into the battery, resulting you being able to use the EV mode for more miles.
  • Use hills to make use of the regenerative braking system. Simply remove your foot from the accelerator or even lightly pressing the brake will make further use of the system. Again try and monitor the braking system dials to try and master when, where and how hard to brake.
  • Monitor use of ancillary equipment in the car to help reduce secondary power consumption. Turn of the radio, lights, wipers and air-con when not needed.

**Some of the techniques above that relate to the electric engine are also applicable to EVs (electronic vehicles).

My experience with the Toyota Auris Hybrid has shown me just how effective a hybrid system can be when coupled with an experienced hypermiler. Ensuring that you monitor the both the IC and electric engine usage and clever use of the EV mode and regenerative braking can result in some epic efficiency results.

We’d love to hear about your experiences with Hybrid Hypermiling, so why not leave your tips and experiences in the comments below.

19 comments on “Hybrid Hypermiling Techniques
  1. Anu Nair says:

    I have a yaris hsd which i bought amonth ago.. I am only getting 35-30mpg. i have only driven 600 km. I dont drive very hard am always careful with acceleration. I dont know what i am doing wrong if I am only getting those figures. regarding regenerative breaking i have 2 slopes which are over 500m from my way to work i usually take my foot of the pedal am i correct or do i have to press the break pedal gently for efficent braking.

    • Karl says:

      Hi Anu

      That sounds a little low. Hybrids normally excel in city conditions due to the reliance on the battery at low speeds.

      What types of roads are you using and how fast are you driving? At usual motor way speeds hybrids rely on the ICE rather than the battery, there fore you would get efficiency comparible to a similarly sized petrol car.

      • Anu says:

        Mainly city most of my travel is below 50 km/hr if i drive on motorway i stick that on cruise control. I am wondering does the car needs to be run over certain thousand km to be set.

    • Steve says:

      Hi Anu

      I am getting around 48 mpg using premium unleaded out of my Yaris Icon using every effort – a mix of in gear coasting and, when the battery is full, a little bit of neutral coasting. It is an interesting mix, but that depends on your attitude to neutral coasting. I have seen others say you would be lucky to get better than 50 and not the claimed 80+.

  2. Tony Griffiths says:

    My Yaris (2013) Hybrid is doing 60+ mpg and even in the colder period we had in dec/jan i was averaging 57-59 MPG. little tips include, over inflate tyres to 32-24 psi, empty ALL rubbish out of car, avoid using heater, use cruise control as much as possible. Let car slow down for you, avoid braking where possible. Try not to exceed 50 mph, most efficient speed seems to be around 43-47mph. maybe look at your route to maintain these speeds.

    • Steve says:

      Hi Tony

      You are right! After I cleared the data which had been collecting since delivery, I have had up to and around 60 mpg, which I am happy with.

  3. Tim Sneller says:

    If you put a Toyota Auris in neutral, and let it coast along a flat road, it goes further thna if it is regenerating power. However, no conversion of energy is 100% efficient. SO….

    1. Is there any possibility of causing damage to the engine running it in neutral
    2. Is it MORE efficient to use neutral to let the vehicle roll further, or let the battery charge up by using regeneration.

    • Jimmy says:

      The philosophy of HSD requires that energy re-generation should be involved most frequently possible, so by coasting @ N you maximize the distance you cover (eg slightly downslope) but you fail to capture the difference in your bat! Having said so, a car consumes most energy when changing speed, either from stop or accelerating. Therefore by trying to start from stop gently up to, say 10-15mph, you use the energy saved at descenting, decelerating. Fail to do means you have less available for your next acceleration, move from stop… I hope this was useful!

  4. Lynne Hayward says:

    I have now had my Yaris Hybrid 2013 model for 2 weeks and I am disappointed with fuel consumption. Believe it or not this is my 3rd Yaris, the first two second cars. The first 1.0 petrol could get up to 70mpg when trundling around country lanes, even with 4 adults in the car.
    I then bought my Yaris 1.4 D in 2009 and I loved it. It clocked 100,000 last month and consistently did over 60mpg, even commuting 9 miles to work across Manchester. It would keep up with the hot hatches within reason and was regularly used to visit Cornwall. Dawdling under 65mph I could get up to 75mpg but at 80mph down to 48mpg.
    My hybrid sadly, even driven in hypermile mode (I know how from getting 70mpg+ from other cars)only does 60-62 even when in EV as much as possible, in ECO, and driving with most cars passing me. Very disappointed already, but happy to see my daughter enjoying my old car’s much better economy.

    • allan says:

      Lynne, I’ve had an Auris hybrid for a few days and get much better economy than your getting with the Yaris. My first 30 mile round trip gave about 80 mpg. That was on fairly quiet country roads and not exceeding 50mph. A trip today gave me about 62mph. That was mixed driving on dual carriageway and light traffic. I suspect that a small engine petrol (or diesel) will beat a hybrid on dual carriageway or motorway trips. Main points are 1) avoid too rapid acceleration 2) brake well in advance of a junction – coast to a gentle stop. My thoughts after a couple of days driving “this wouldn’t suit Peter”. Peter’s driving style is the opposite of mine – fast acceleration, rapid braking.

  5. Judy says:

    I have just bought a Toyota rav4 hybrid automatic. I have never driven a hybrid before, any tips? I have a route to work that involves some good hills I can use to generate energy. Most of my driving is a 30 min route to work, on 40mph roads in light traffic.

    • Karl says:

      Hi Judy

      Nice buy. The RAV4 hybrid is a great car.

      Make sure you use the regenerative brakes as much as possible, accelerate smoothly and make full use of the EV mode. If it’s like the Aurus then it works up to 30Mph.

      It’s a fine balance between using the battery too much and letting the engine do it’s work to help charge it.

      Let us know how you get on.

      Cheers Karl

  6. julian says:

    ravv4 hybrid lucky to achieve 40mpg (uk) never mind claimed 55 which is fantasy unless you on a slight incline downhill/

    Toyota and many other car firms should be sued because mpg figures are not recorded in normal human driving.
    I also owns a prius and average mpg 48 never mind the 70 odd claimed

  7. Yavor Yanakiev says:

    Hi to all. I’ve just become a new owner of a 16 reg auris hybrid. Previous owned a Mercedes C200 cdi auto. I’ve done now about 200 miles in and around london with the new hybrid technology and driving stile like a older diesel car.
    The Auris hybrid showing me about 57,9mpg with aircondition always on, even in the hard traffic today it came to 49,5 mpg on A406 which is twice better than the c200 cdi. It’s a far below claimed mpg, but still better than my old car.
    The only bad point is snailish acceleration!
    PS: I’ve driving it in Normal Mode

  8. Aaron says:

    So I decided recently to get an new Auris Hybrid and thus far I’ve been very impressed with the MPG. My daily commute consists of country roads, some fairly steep hills, duel carriage ways and some stop start in city center traffic. At the moment I’ve been getting around 62-63 mpg per each trip. I’ve generally kept it in eco mode, except on one of the hills where I switch to power mode.

    On the weekends I’ve been doing trips where I’ve been able to get the mpg up-to 75-80. It seems the newer hybrids can maintain speed at higher speeds on just electric only, saving fuel.
    I use the petrol engine to get up-to speed, drop the power and then gently re-apply it, if the car is warm then it’ll just use the battery and motor to keep the speed.

    • Karl says:

      Hi Aaron

      I do like the Auris Hybrid – I drove one from coast to coast with Car Magazine and it was great.

      Have our tips helped you in any way? Are there any top tips you would give to a would be Hybrid Hypermiler?



  9. Mike says:

    I’ve just bought a 2016 Hybrid business model 1.9 and am getting 52mpg at best, not ever exceeding 50 mph on a 40 mile trip today and obeying the recommended best driving practice and always using the ECO mode. If I press the EV Button will I get higher mpg?

  10. Cathy Swift says:

    I’ve had my new Toyota Yaris Hybrid for about a month. My questions are, (1) why would you not ALWAYS have the car in ECO mode; (2) I find acceleration sluggish. Is it because I’m in ECO mode?, and (3) if you put the car in EV mode so that it just uses the battery around town, what happens when you join a motorway? Do you have to turn off EV mode?

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