With their popularity at an all-time high--hybrids and plug-ins are slowly becoming the “family road trip” vehicles of choice. And while they already achieve more miles per gallon, the Department of Energy has published a few tips on how to stretch those savings even more.

And one of those tips includes using the designated economy, or “Eco” mode. It provides the most obvious savings- as it limits throttle input and scales back power from onboard electronics. During a lengthy road trip, “Eco” should produce a noticeable fuel economy gain over a normal drive mode.

Keeping batteries at full charge, for plug-in hybrids and EVs, is another crucial step for maximizing a vehicle’s range. And you don’t have to worry about degrading battery life or capacity in the long term, as plugging in an “already-charged-battery” won’t do it any harm.

And regenerative braking can be an aid, if used effectively. The DOE recommends gentle to moderate braking to take full advantage of the system; recapturing the most energy. Hard braking can cause the system to rely on conventional friction braking, wasting energy that might otherwise be recovered.     

Now these tips may seem fairly obvious; but when combined, should add up to more moola down the road. And that’s it for this week’s Motor News.