It's no secret that the EPA's mileage rating are not an accurate reflection of how many miles per gallon a car will get when driven in real-world circumstances (i.e., everyday). J.D. Power and associates came out with a study recently that found that not only did hybrids only get about nine more mile per gallon than a comparable standard vehicle, consumers didn't really know that hybrids aren't that much more efficient than their gas-only versions. But why is this? part of the answer lies in the inflated mileage ratings assigned by the Environmental Protection Agency.

An article in Florida's The Ledger reminds us that the EPA rating system hasn't changed in 20 years but cars have (standard air conditioning, anyone?). This is one faactor that leads to the high numbers. Thankfully, the EPA is going to change their process for 2008 and while this will give the MPG numbers on dealer stickers a sharp drop (between 10 and 30 percent is the expectation), it's high time we have more accurate ratings about the cars we drive. Since cunsumers do pay attention to MPG ratings, I hope these lowered, more accurate numbers will encourage automakers to develop cleaner cars, cars that don't lie to us from the first time we see them on the lot.

[Source: The Ledger]

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