CleanMPG World Fuel Economy Championships - Records smashed!

Discussion in 'Articles' started by lamebums, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. lamebums

    lamebums Member

    First WFEC was a huge success!

    [xfloat=left][/xfloat]Auston Hensley – CleanMPG – June 22, 2008

    The history of fuel economy goes as far back as cars do. Cars have always had the need for fuel efficiency to keep costs down regardless of who it was or whatever was being driven. Fuel economy championships date to the 1950's during the Mobilgas Economy Runs and similar events being held today. Where better than to demonstrate what can be done with a vehicle in the best possible conditions in any place other than Indiana, the home of the Indianapolis 500?

    This is of course, a story told through my own eyes.

    The World Fuel Economy Championship held its first meeting over the weekend in Elkhart, Indiana, at Larry Trowbridge's (Diamondlarry) place. I arrived with Jud (Bestmapman) in his Prius-II. Wayne B, Larry, Hobbit, and others had already arrived and were setting up tents in the backyard to spend the weekend.

    The rest of the evening was pretty much spent setting up the tents and meeting everybody. I think it was just spent swamped in various bugs and barn cats who'd eat anything. Larry has a Beagle and several cats, as well as a variety of older vehicles laying about. Also, we found out that he and his son have the best commute imaginable. There's almost no traffic lights of stop signs, no traffic, just about as flat as it could possibly be, and if there was any traffic it was all country roads so they could go around. We spent the rest of the night in lawn chairs in a circle, with a bright light well away from us to attract the bugs away. And then hobbit got right next to the light...

    At about two in the morning, Wayne arrived in the MDX along with a whole FSP-full of people. I, half-awake, walk over and ask what kind of car it is and the response I get is 'It's a fuel sucking pig' :p

    Without any further major incidents, the rest of us had arrived by the next morning. As soon as enough of us were awake, we then spent the next two hours talking about various small things, none of which were important. We were hungry. The move that finally got us moving though was when I cranked the starter in the MDX, immediately getting everyone's attention. LOL

    Official course map placed on Larry's wall.

    Hobbit with Blue Swayed and TorqueNada visible in the background.

    Left to right: Hobbit, Debbie, Peter, and Jerad

    The cars in the parking lot as we ate at McDeath (McDonalds).
    Note the orange Insight, compare it to the Ram doolie :D

    Wayne talking just before the economy runs began.
    That is, after we got some McDeath for breakfast.

    Never, ever burn any gas unless you absolutely have to!

    Wayne pressing up those tires to 80 PSI :eek:

    Hobbit pressing up his tires the hard way :)

    And then once breakfast was done, the fuel economy runs began. I was the official score-keeper, which also became the guy who makes sure all the cars are out there, and who's supposed to be driving, and who's next. I spent most of Saturday running around like a chicken with my head cut off.

    For the Priuses and FEH, they started halfway down Larry's driveway, left on the road, and then another left up the hill at the stop sign. We drew lots on who would go in what order, and three Priuses and the FEH were all out there at any one time. The Insights started at the top of the hill with someone to push, in order to get it rolling down a hill and then pop the clutch.

    The Priuses started with a SoC at 70 and the FEH at 52.4. The Insights had their IMA functions disabled and the packs fully charged. All cars were sent off at three to five minute intervals when the road was clear of traffic.

    The course was 16.1 miles round trip. This consisted of four miles south along County Road 1, including three stop signs. Then we'd turn west along County Road 40, with a posted speed limit of 50. We'd go another four miles to a school where we'd turn around and come back the same way we'd come.

    As Saturday went on and the results began coming in. During this time, Laurie in a clinic with Wayne posted a 1.1 L/100km (213.8 MPG over 6.2 miles!)

    The highlight of the day had to be this, though: as I was making my run in Blue Swayed late in the day, I drove by a house with kids playing in the front yard. And as I rolled past, < 15 MPH for sure, one of the kids shouted out loud "Why can't those cars go faster?" :D

    Now that I think of it, this event would look really weird to an outsider. The same seven cars, all with out of state plates, going back and forth on a road in front of your house, all day? And they never do more than 20 miles an hour? That's probably on a local Northern Indiana forum somewhere by now. "Strange sighting in Elkhart today" or something.

    The world-record holder of the best miles per gallon in a hypermiling championship now belongs to Wayne (xcel), who posted a 1.1L/100km (213.8 MPG) over 16.1 miles in Sean's Insight, Blue Swayed.

    Wayne Gerdes (xcel) in Blue Swayed after the economy run.
    The FCD reports 15.7 miles/25.2 kilometers, probably because of so much FAS'ing.

    Final Results


    NameMiles per gallon (mpg)State of Charge (SoC)
    Wayne G. (Champion)136 MPG46.0
    Justin F. (Runner-up)131 MPG47.0
    Dan129 MPG44.0
    Jerad127 MPG *149.0
    Andrew119 MPG50.5
    Hobbit118 MPG52.5
    Ken118 MPG48.5
    Brian117 MPG55.5
    Peter117 MPG *147.0
    Laurie116 MPG *255.0
    Larry113 MPG52.5
    Sean113 MPG *150.0
    Jud112 MPG *247.0
    Mike110 MPG51.5
    Rani108 MPG46.5
    Bob102 MPG48.0

    Ford Escape Hybrid

    NameMiles per gallon (mpg)State of Charge (SoC)
    Wayne G. (Champion)75.7 MPG43.5
    Sean W. (Runner-up)74.4 MPG48.1
    Dan72.1 MPG42.3
    Ken70.4 MPG40.2
    Debbie70.2 MPG50.4

    Honda Insight
    The Honda Insight FCD maxes out at 150 MPG so we used metric measurements and converted to US MPG.

    NameMiles per gallon (mpg)
    Wayne G. (Champion)213.8 MPG (1.1L/100km)
    Wayne B. (Runner-up)196.0 MPG (1.2L/100km)
    Dan168.0 MPG (1.4L/100km)
    Auston156.8 MPG (1.5L/100km)
    Andrew156.8 MPG (1.5L/100km)
    Brian149.6 MPG
    Justin145.9 MPG *3
    Ken145.7 MPG
    Jud144.7 MPG
    Laurie142.4 MPG
    Bob141.4 MPG
    Rani134.1 MPG *3
    Chuck129.4 MPG
    Sean93.5 MPG *3

    TorqueNada (Ford Ranger P/U)

    NameMiles per gallon (mpg)
    Ken (Champion)57.6 MPG
    Andrew (Runner-up)53.0 MPG

    Toyota Corolla
    NameMiles per gallon (mpg)
    Wayne G. (Champion)73.5 MPG

    *1 = One of the Priuses read distance driven incorrectly, skewing final MPG by 3%. These are the corrected numbers.
    *2 = Thunderstorms happened during these runs, lowering the final mileage.
    *3 = At some point on Saturday one of the Insights had a brake problem, and it dragged, lowering mileages by a third or more.

    All in all, I had a great time meeting Wayne, Chuck, Andrew, and the whole crew. I pray they all have a safe return home and that we hold another meeting like this as soon as possible.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2009
  2. efusco

    efusco He who posts articles

    Re: CleanMPG World Fuel Economy Challenge

    Wish I could have made it, sounds like a great little event...bigger in coming years I presume.
  3. Re: CleanMPG World Fuel Economy Challenge

    next year in-car video would be awesome to show off technique.
  4. bestmapman

    bestmapman Fighting untruth and misinformation

    Re: CleanMPG World Fuel Economy Challenge

    Good idea, might be expensive to incorporate.
  5. NickfromIL

    NickfromIL Active Member

    Re: CleanMPG World Fuel Economy Challenge

    Heck, if I can get an invite I can do some in-car video. I have a camera mount already, from my past life racing days.
  6. Re: CleanMPG World Fuel Economy Challenge

    hopefully you guys will get a sponsor :)
  7. NickfromIL

    NickfromIL Active Member

    Re: CleanMPG World Fuel Economy Challenge

    I should mention my desire for a non-hybrid division.
  8. ericbecky

    ericbecky Member

    Re: CleanMPG World Fuel Economy Challenge

    Great write up.
    Especially liked the pics!
  9. highwater

    highwater Well-Known Member

    Re: CleanMPG World Fuel Economy Challenge

    Nice work everyone.
    One of these days, someone is going to get that 1.0 liter pic, at an event like this.:Banane06:
    Sorry I could not get there this year.
  10. lamebums

    lamebums Member

  11. ericbecky

    ericbecky Member

    Re: CleanMPG World Fuel Economy Challenge

    Thanks for the video!
    So far you guys have provided the sightsthe sounds, now if we could just figure out a way to smell and taste what it was like to be there.
  12. laurieaw

    laurieaw Sorceress of the North

    Re: CleanMPG World Fuel Economy Challenge

    after watching wayne climb out after a run with the windows closed, you may want to pass on that part........
  13. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Re: CleanMPG World Fuel Economy Challenge

    Maybe this can give you an idea. Also, we encountered a few horse buggies along the way.
  14. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Re: CleanMPG World Fuel Economy Championships

    Basically I'm just letting everyone know I'm back in Dallas safely.

    My first flight to Chicago on AA was in 1989 at 700mpg due to a headwind - my biggest gas guzzeling trip ever...explaination...I was between jobs and a recruiter sent me on an interview without really screening. Over the phone they could have found out my database experience did not cover DB2 as the qualifications required. That cost the gas on a round trip from D/FW to O'Hare and the recruiter $800.

    Would have liked to do more, but the "must do" things were accomplished along with the pleasure of meeting many of you for the first time. :)
  15. bestmapman

    bestmapman Fighting untruth and misinformation

    Re: CleanMPG World Fuel Economy Championships

    Good to meet you Chuck. I wish I could have spent more time talking to you.
  16. lamebums

    lamebums Member

    Re: CleanMPG World Fuel Economy Challenge

    I tell you what we can do--I could shoot some video while in a Prius or other hypermiling vehicle at the next meetup on the 5th? And then just have the driver explain what he's doing? Pretty inexpensive since the camera is already paid for and I still have 45 minutes of tape. :)
  17. lamebums

    lamebums Member

    Re: CleanMPG World Fuel Economy Championships

    I forgot this picture--this is Laurie getting 1.1L.100km (213.8 MPG) in a clinic with Wayne earlier on Saturday.


    Now if only it counted as one of the runs. :D
  18. lamebums

    lamebums Member

    Re: CleanMPG World Fuel Economy Championships

    I've added Bob's score on the Prius to the list (perhaps I was AWOL when he came in or I was on my Insight run?). Coming tomorrow are the scans of the original score sheets and a few of my overall comments now that I've had a couple days to sleep on the whole experience.

    But all in all it was a hell of a time even if I was running like a chicken with my head cut off and had to watch Wayne go about 2 MPH up the first hill in his Prius :rolleyes:
  19. Dan

    Dan KiloTanked in post 153451

  20. diamondlarry

    diamondlarry Super MPG Man/god :D

    Re: CleanMPG World Fuel Economy Challenge

    Wow! Talk about a blast from the past. Thanks for bringing back the memories Andrew. Anyway, one of the vehicles that didn't get mentioned in the official stats was my son's (CobraPond) '99 Saturn SL2 5-MT. If I remember correctly, he did 88.5 mpg on the course. There were some modifications to the cylinder head and the valve timing had been tweaked to lower the rpm of the torque band however, the driver is really good by himself.

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