Way back in October of 2005, Consumer Reports
shocked the nation with its expose
of fuel economy ratings
on new cars
. Testers calculated
real world gas mileage on 303 cars and trucks, and found
that 90% had inflated EPA fuel economy
ratings. Sadly, hybrid vehicles
were some of the worst culprits. They took three
out of the top five spots for average fuel economy, but the discrepencies were greater between what the sticker said
their fuel economy was and what testers actually achieved.
With all of the recent talk about raising CAFE
standards, this seems a fitting time to appeal for tighter EPA
controls over fuel economy calculations. Here are some
of the problems with the current testing procedures:
- Car manufacturers are allowed to use
hand-built prototypes for fuel efficiency ratings--they don't have to use cars that come off of the assembly
- Real-world idle times are longer than those used in EPA test protocols.
- Americans spend
more time in city driving situations than EPA combined mileage calculations estimate.
- Tests are simulated
on computers; nobody actually drives anywhere.
So when you write your congressman to show your support for
tighter CAFE standards, be sure to give a sound bite to more accurate calculations of fuel economies.
[Source: Consumer Reports