Bakari Kafele runs his hauling business out of his truck, but the 1983 full-sized pickup (with 8-cylinder diesel engine) weights 2 and a half tons and has an average fuel economy of 15 miles per gallon. Bothered by the effects on the air and his wallet, Kafele decided to hack his rig for hypermiling.
He pulled out his alternator and power steering and began to replace all of his engine accessories with manual or electric options. He added a charger and now plugs in at night to charge his electric components or when parked long enough, the 15-watt solar panel on his dashboard fully charges his accessories. To improve aerodynamics, he added chloroplast corrugated plastic panels over the wheels and the hood and under the car.
He also changed how he drives, using some traditional hypermiling techniques like pulse and glide and auto-stop. So he began looking ahead a lot more and killing the engine way ahead of a red lights or when driving downhill. To facilitate all the stopping and starting of hypermiling, he wired a couple momentary switches to the fuel pump and the starter creating an easy access kill switch and quick start button on top of his stick shift (For more details, see original story).
Related videos from faircompanies:
Follow Kirsten Dirksen on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kirstendirksen