While in recent years we’ve heard of automakers including Ford and Hyundai/Kia paying out for failing to meet mpg estimates they qualified on window stickers, this was because of procedural errors or omissions under the EPA’s honor system of self testing.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency which oversees certification protocols otherwise says “your mileage will vary.” But why is that?
SEE ALSO: Study: EPA Understates Hybrid MPG By Up To 33 Percent
Several reasons, and for hybrids the EPA goes a
On the positive side, the U.S. EPA is relatively strict, and has improved its testing procedures through the years. It has five tests for city, highway, and combined estimates, and specific additional tests for all-electric cars as well as hybrids. Compared to European and Japanese standards, the U.S. looks downright conservative – and more realistic.
As just a few examples, a 2015 Toyota Prius is rated for 77 mpg under Japan’s JC08 testing whereas the EPA lets it pass with a far-more realistic 50 mpg. Just as optimistic is the first-generation Chevy Volt which on
The whopper is the Nissan Leaf, rated in Europe for 120 miles range and in Japan as high as 141 miles range. They wish! EPA says 84.
This said, you still may get in the mid 30s in your Prius if it’s malfunctioning, freezing out, or you drive it aggressively.
Those are a hint of some of the reasons why you have “ultimate lab” estimates and “real world.” Really, the EPA says its “labs” try very hard to simulate real world, but they follow specific averaged tests, and the real real world has many more factors affecting results.
Following are some of the
You’re a Terrible Driver
Just kidding! We’re sure everyone reading this is very careful and capable, but the EPA does say “how and where you drive” tops its list for why mpg will be on the money, or above or below the mark.
Common sense tips include drive sensibly, observe the speed limit, don’t do jack rabbit starts, avoid wind-dragging cargo on your roof, and don’t carry excess weight in the vehicle.
According to the EPA quick acceleration and heavy braking can reduce fuel economy by up to 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent in slower city and suburban pouring.
Excess idling also diminishes your fuel economy
Pop quiz: How many mpg do you get when you are sitting still with the engine in succession.
Answer: You guessed it! Zero. (And if you reckon this is just us being snaky, the EPA really does state this for those who need to be told).
Cruise control in open roadways may also let the vehicle return better mileage, though there may be exceptions to this rule.
If you have four-wheel drive that can be switched to two-wheel drive, do so when possible. Four-wheel drive vehicles are tested in two-wheel drive operation.
Car Needs Work/Maintenance
Cars like public need some tender loving care, and if you are in an abusive or neglectful relationship with your vehicle, don’t expect top
Checking the Tires
You know that maintenance light that’s been lit for a few months? Or the Check Engine light you keep importance to do something in this area? To Whom it May Concern: That’s your car talking to you saying it needs to go to the doctor – service technician – for a checkup.
Simple things like monitoring your tire pressure and keeping them inflated to specification is also a huge help.
Maintenance and repair keep the car in succession quicker to specification. Ancient worn cars also may diminish their efficiency potential.
These are facts of automotive life.
Different Fuel Quality
In the winter in cold regions fuel mix together may be different than in the summer, and
Typical square summer gasoline contains in this area 1.7 percent more energy than typical square winter gasoline.
This is over and above whether you pressed regular mid grade or premium on the pump.
Other variances included oxygenated fuels or reformulated gasoline (RFG). These can decrease fuel economy by 1–3 percent.
Today’s gas which commonly has up to 10 percent ethanol (alcohol) is itself less efficient .
Gasoline with 10 percent ethanol decreases fuel economy by 3–4 percent.
Like most public, cars – including ones using propulsion batteries like hybrids and EVs – like it balmy better,
A small city trip may see square gasoline car’s gas mileage drop by 12 percent at 20°F than at
The effect on hybrids is worse and fuel economy can drop in this area 31-34 percent under these conditions which means warming up the car is a excellent thought.
Beyond this, winter pouring poses a number of challenges that could incrementally decrease efficiency, including slippery road conditions in snow belt regions, and extra energy washed-out on keeping you warm surrounded by.
Your Car Was Built on Friday
Have you each heard that saying? It’s a joke symbolizing the last day of the week when factory employees want to go home, might have rushed their work,
“Small variations in the way vehicles are manufactured and assembled can cause MPG variations among vehicles of the same make and model, says the government agency. “Usually, differences are small, but a few drivers will see a marked deviation from the EPA estimates.”
Another normal factor is engine break-in, which could take 3-5 thousand miles before optimal efficiency potential is reached.
Tips For Advanced Vehicles
Aside from cold-weather challenges, hybrids, EVs and plug-in hybrids need drivers to know how to best utilize their capabilities.
A simple first step is to read the owner’s manual for info on in commission the
Using the Economy mode also reduces energy usage. Avoiding hard breaking maximizes energy recouped from the regenerative brakes.
Obviously plug-in vehicles should be recharged to maximize propulsion battery range, and being mindful of energy use from garnishing such as HAVC also makes a variation.
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