How To Drive A Hybrid Car Efficiently

6 Tips To Learn How To Drive A Hybrid Car Efficiently

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Test driving the Ford C-Max Energi for the past 5 months has been a pleasant experience. Although it’s a hybrid electric car, you still need to know how to drive a hybrid car efficiently to maximize your gas mileage. Plug-in hybrid cars are known for their driving range in electric mode and impressive fuel economy. Knowing how to drive it the right way, will make the numbers even better. 

Even small changes can reduce the amount of electricity and gas it consumes. Just as with any vehicle hard braking, hard driving, faster accelerations, and high speeds will affect fuel performance. but, hybrid vehicles are even more sensitive to these driving styles than conventional vehicles.

Your personal driving habits affect both the fuel economy in hybrid mode and the range while in electric mode. By following a few suggestions, you can increase the range and gain even more impressive gas mileage.

2016 Ford Cmax Energi - How to drive a hybrid car efficiently


How To Drive A Hybrid Car Efficiently

Break Out the Owner’s Manual

It’s important to sit down and read the manual. Each manufacturer and each make and model are different, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution to drive efficiently. The specifics of your specific vehicle may differ from another hybrid from another manufacturer. Nobody knows your vehicle’s abilities and attributes better than the manufacturer, so it is well worth the time to read your owner’s manual.

Use Accessories Wisely

Any vehicle will have its fuel economy significantly reduced while using systems like heating and air-conditioning. By pre-heating or pre-cooling your vehicle while it is plugged in, you can save the drain on your battery and increase the range by as much as 10% during cold days and up to 4% on those sweltering summer days.

Use the Cruise

On the Ford C-Max, the Eco cruise control is a feature designed to save your vehicle’s energy by relaxing accelerations which allows for smoother and slower accelerations. This uses less energy and fuel than fast and hard accelerations. When it is activated, Eco cruise will be displayed in your information panel. While you may lose speed while going uphill, for one example, you will increase the range in electric mode and gas mileage. Whether you drive with Eco cruise engaged, or not, using standard cruise control is great for increasing the range and fuel economy of your vehicle. I use the highway a lot so cruise control is a must.

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Coast When You Can

The Ford C-Max Energi regenerates energy whenever you are coasting or braking. Regenerative coasting means whenever your foot is off the gas pedal, your vehicle will turn any rotational energy into electricity. This electricity can then be used to increase your battery power. The electric drive motor turns into a generator giving you free energy while driving.

Avoid Hard Braking

Just like you can gain free energy with regenerative coasting, you can also boost your energy through regenerative braking. If you are familiar with your route, you can anticipate any stops and brake gently and moderately. This avoids using the standard friction brakes which quickly drain your electricity. However, if you can brake gently and evenly until you come to a complete stop, you can regenerate energy and boost your battery simply by braking correctly for a hybrid vehicle.

City Driving Beats the Highway with Hybrids

Thanks to regenerative braking and coasting, your hybrid vehicle is considerably more efficient in city driving than highway driving. Along with more opportunities to regenerate electricity, slower driving speeds use significantly less energy and gas.

While hybrid cars are designed to boost energy and fuel economy, you can maximize this by knowing how to drive a hybrid car efficiently. Follow these suggestions to enjoy the range and gas mileage you get with your hybrid.

How to drive a hybrid car efficiently

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About the author


Diane is a New Jersey-based writer and blogger. She is a wife and the mom of a 13-year old boy. Through her blog, she wants to inspire moms to find Zen in their lives while offering practical tips and other valuable information to help families deal with everyday issues. Contact her at

How To Drive A Hybrid Car Efficiently

by Diane time to read: 3 min