The increasing cost of living is currently playing on many people’s minds, and now more than ever people are finding out how to save fuel and cut their running costs. With a few changes to your driving style, you could try to save fuel every time you get behind the wheel.
The savings are likely to be subtle rather than dramatic over the course of a single journey, but if you drive regularly, this could help to lower your fuel bills over time.
Toyota’s hybrid technology is available across the range of our passenger cars. Using the Toyota Yaris supermini as an example, this tech positively encourages you to drive more efficiently.
Power for the Yaris comes from a drivetrain that combines a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, an electric motor and a small battery, while the car’s electronics ensure that the correct power source is propelling the car.
The system is designed to favour electric drive over petrol power, especially at low speeds. There’s no need to charge up the electric battery with Toyota’s hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs). As we’ll come to later, the more of your journey you can do on battery power, the less you’ll be using the petrol in your car’s fuel tank.
This clever technology leaves you to get on with the job of actually driving, but there are still things that you can do to help the efficient hybrid system make the most of every litre of petrol and volt of electricity.
How to save fuel with a Toyota hybrid
The first step is to ensure that your car is properly set up. We’re not talking about suspension settings or camber angles like our racing cars, it’s rather simpler than that. Use a tyre pressure gauge to check you’re running the correct pressures as found in the car’s handbook. The pressures can often also be found on a panel inside the frame of the driver’s door.
We have a handy article on the subject of tyre pressures which you can read by clicking here.
If your tyres are running low, then the hybrid system will need more effort to move the car, which uses more fuel and battery energy. We’d recommend buying your own pressure gauge rather than using a garage forecourt system so that you get more accurate readings.
Another way of saving fuel is by reducing weight because a lighter car needs less energy to move. Every once in a while, try and clear your car of clutter – do you really need to carry that bootful of stuff around with you on every drive? The same applies to roof racks and external carriers – if they’re empty, then they’re adding weight and also causing drag, which stops the car from cutting through the air efficiently, which again uses more fuel.
How can I save fuel while driving?
The best way to cut your fuel costs while driving is to adapt your driving style. Be smooth with the accelerator, and a Toyota hybrid will spend longer using electric power before the petrol engine cuts in, saving fuel in the process. Smooth application of the brakes and steering will also boost efficiency.
We need to stress that you must obey the rules of the road and consider the safety of yourself, your passengers and other road users.
One key to being smooth when driving is to anticipate what’s happening around you. Look as far ahead as possible and to either side of the road to anticipate any situations where you might be stopping, such as when approaching traffic lights, a roundabout or a pedestrian crossing.
If you need to slow down, it is preferable to ease off the throttle and coast to a halt – that way the hybrid drive system will recuperate energy back into the battery while you’re slowing.
Slow down early and smoothly, and you’ll give yourself more time to anticipate what’s happening around you, further boosting your opportunities to save fuel. Remember the mantra that it takes more energy for a car to move away from a halt than it does when it’s already rolling.
Another top tip is to keep your speed down. Tests have proved that dropping from the 70mph motorway limit to 60mph can save roughly 10 per cent of fuel, yet this minor drop in speed shouldn’t have a significant impact on journey times. In a Toyota hybrid, this will also help the system plough more energy back into the battery for later use. Remember to obey the rules of the road and heed any temporary speed restrictions that might be enforced.
The Toyota Yaris is designed to help you save fuel with its onboard features, too. The car’s Eco mode helps to optimise the car for saving fuel, while the central touchscreen display can show you energy flow to and from the engine, motor, battery and wheels.
The trip computer can show you how efficiently you’ve been driving after every trip. All of these features, combined with our efficient driving tips, will help you save money on every journey.