This is an interesting video traveling with a guy who “hypermiles” his full sized truck to save gas and increase efficiency. He has done a bunch of work to make his 1983 truck more aerodynamic and has made some modifications to the electric system to the accessories run off of solar power and not engine power.
He has been able to increase his fuel efficiency from 15 miles per gallon to near 30 miles per gallon. He also drives between 45 and 50 miles per hour on the highway, which is legal but most would say dangerously slow.
He added a charger and now plugs in at night to charge his electric components. He also added a 15 watt solar panel that he leaves on his dashboard (though has since been moved to the car’s roof) that will fully charge his accessories when parked long enough.
He added chloroplast corrugated plastic panels over the wheels and the hood and under the car to improve aerodynamics. (source)
He walks the interviewer through his driving process and how he uses the ‘pulse and coast” technique to get the most MPG on the highway.
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.
With these advanced techniques, he had to turn the engine off and on often so he created a kill switch and a quick starter on his stick shift.
“I just didn’t want to use the key every time I wanted to turn it on and off, my hand is on the stickshift all the time anyway, so I bought a couple of momentary switches and I wired one so that it’s normally on and when you press it it turns off. The other is normally off and when you press it it turns on. I found the wires under the dash that control the fuel pump and the starter relay and I tapped into them, wired up the switches and a block of wood. So one of these when I press and hold it will kill the engine. The other one when I press and hold it activates the starter.” (original post)