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What It Means To "Hypermile" A Toyota Prius

We have all heard the term "hypermiling" before, but have you ever wondered what people actually mean by that? Here is what I think hypermiling a Toyota Prius means, and how it can benefit you.

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Hypermiling. A term many Prius owners seem to throw around as if this is the only way to achieve super great fuel econ numbers on your car. For me, when I first heard the term, I was not quite sure what it meant when someone said it.

So naturally I had to explore for myself to see what it means, and how I can help other owners gain a better perspective on it for themselves.

Hypermiling Is

Hypermiling a Toyota Prius is driving in such a way that your fuel economy numbers are inflated, a lot. Hypermiling is also really gentle starts and long slow stops. Hypermiling is thinking about when to set cruise control and when to coast. Hypermiling is using the Prius "B" mode to gain more during regen. In short hypermiling is multiple ways that you use your Prius in the most efficient way possible.

toyota prius energy monitor

This means you have to be active when driving. Active driving means paying close attention to your surroundings and judging when you need to think about stopping. It also means you need to pay attention to who is around you. Prius already has a reputation with some people about being slow, so just be helpful and try not to creep off the line when people are behind you. You have more boost than you realize, and it is okay to use that every once in a while.

Thinking about when you are on flat roads is another thing you have to learn. Using the cruise control while you are on a flat surface actually helps quite a bit. The cruise control with keep your speed and keep you from pushing down on the accelerator pedal more than you need to.

When going down a long hill after a long climb, take a look at your battery monitor. If it is low, and the grade is long and steep, use the "B" mode. I did this when going on a long trip and watched how much more energy was recaptured when using it. I was amazed. I had my Dr. Prius app open, using my Carista OBD2 connector and could see it was effectively slowing me down and charging the battery. All of this while using zero fuel. Pretty cool. You can also switch back and forth between D and B modes when going down a hill if the B mode is too aggressive.

What Hypermiling Can Do For You

If you just take an extra millisecond to think about what you are doing while driving, your small gains can add large results. For me I really watched heavily how I was accelerating, when I let off the pedal to start slowing, and even just going the speed limit.

Touring edition Toyota Prius Red Hypermiling Driving

I gained about 3 mpg overall on my average for the tank.That may not seem like much but think about this. 3 miles per gallon over 10 gallons is another 30 miles of driving. That is less time filling up, that is less cost to you. 3 more mpg means something in the Prius world, and it should, these cars are meant to be fuel misers.


Whether you do or do not use this advice, that is your choice for sure. I try to not annoy other drivers when on the road, so I hypermile when I can. I usually see a better overall increase in mpg. The cool thing about this too, is you can use this same idea to drive a regular gas car. It does work on more cars than just the Prius.

I hope you found this article enlightening and helpful. Be sure to check out my favorite 3rd gen accessory right now which is the Nimbus Phone Mount, found on Amazon.

Check out my other story Why the first generation Prius is better than either generation Nissan Leaf.

See you in the next story where I am discussing how to use understand Toyota Prius battery health using Dr. Prius App.

Also Watch New tech means more MPG from your Toyota Prius and Click to Subscribe to Torque News Youtube Channel for Daily Toyota Prius and Automotive News.

Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He is an automotive technology instructor at Columbia Basin College. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter is also an Adjunct Instructor of automotive technology at Columbia Basin College. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter.

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Robert J Naumann (not verified)    September 13, 2019 - 12:29PM

If you are going down a long hill and your battery is fully charged, what happens to the excess current that is being generated?

Travis (not verified)    September 14, 2019 - 11:03AM

In reply to by Robert J Naumann (not verified)

This is what the B mode is for. The owner's manual doesn't state anything about enhanced regen in B mode, so reading this article had me thinking the author was a tad confused. What it does do is take electricity directly generated from the wheels and use it to spin the combustion engine with the throttle closed which creates resistance simulating engine braking in a car with a mechanical trasmission. The prius has two electric motors. One is connected to the wheels, and the other to the engine. This disperses the potential energy of going down the hill into engine heat which is then taken care of by the car's cooling system which can handle much more energy than a car's disk brakes. B mode is designed for long hill descents where you would normally need a lower gear in a manual or automatic, or a compression brake in a truck to avoid overheating the brakes. It should actually rob you of regen energy since you're turning kinetic energy into heat instead of voltage.

Scott (not verified)    September 14, 2019 - 5:31PM

So, hyper-mileing a Prius means getting horribly low MPG in my C-Max Energi?

63.3 in summer, winter 73.

warren trout (not verified)    September 15, 2019 - 3:52PM

Nothing "hyper" about it. This should be normal driving. It's how I drove my Corolla for
260,000 miles with only one set of front brake pads.

Of course, Americans have a god given right to drive like NASCAR, and then complain about poor millage.

ml (not verified)    September 15, 2019 - 5:10PM

2016 Prius
22000 miles mostly city driving
61 MPG by watching the MPG bar on screen and coasting when possible.

Eric Neal Ketchum (not verified)    May 24, 2022 - 12:30AM

B mode has nothing to do with Hypermiling. B mode only does its thing when the battery is full and you don't want to use the friction brakes.