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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-10-2006, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
 
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Default EPA to reduce hybrid fuel economy ratings

According to the New York Times, EPA has just proposed changing how it calculates fuel economy for new cars and trucks so that the results will better resemble the real world. The story continues:

"As a result, the fuel economy estimates for city driving would drop by 10 to 20 percent, while fuel economy estimates for highway driving would fall by 5 to 15 percent, the agency's administrator, Stephen L. Johnson, said.

"Hybrid-electric vehicles, which run off both gasoline engines and batteries, could see their fuel economy estimates for city driving drop even more than conventional vehicles. The E.P.A. said its estimates for hybrids' fuel economy would result in a 20 to 30 percent drop, although estimates for highway driving would drop the same 5 to 15 percent as gasoline-powered automobiles, the agency said.

"That is because hybrids, which are growing in popularity because of their fuel-thrifty reputation, are more sensitive to changes in road condition and to the use of fuel-draining technology, the agency said."


(To view the whole story, go to http://nytimes.com/2006/01/10/politics/ ... r=homepage

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-10-2006, 06:55 PM
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ABC news just reported a segment on this topic. The final statement was that the 2005 Prius in actuality resulted in 37.3 mpg rather than the advertised 56. No specifics as to whether this was an average of highway or city driving, AC, speed, or other factors--all alluded to in the segment. Anyone else see this?

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-10-2006, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by evander
ABC news just reported a segment on this topic. The final statement was that the 2005 Prius in actuality resulted in 37.3 mpg rather than the advertised 56. No specifics as to whether this was an average of highway or city driving, AC, speed, or other factors--all alluded to in the segment. Anyone else see this?
I saw the newscast. I believe they were talking about "real world" every day driving. That would be a combination of city and highway. I think the 37.3 mpg for the Prius is low. Consumer Reports stated an overall MPG of 44 in their testing. I tend to believe the 44 as it is a lot closer to what I have experienced over 2 years with my 04.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-10-2006, 08:56 PM
 
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I saw that as well and was amazed that the new EPA test on the Prius gets such terrible mileage. I didn't get mileage that bad when I drove Phoebe out of the dealership with just 3 miles on the speedometer.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-10-2006, 09:19 PM
 
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I have used CRs 44 as more realistic measure. I have been happy as I have never dropped that low. My lifetime average for 15K miles (interstate, county roads and some city driving) has been 50 mpg. I would be shocked with the 37.3 mpg proposed. My WORST tank (skeptical on individual tanks due to variance in filling) has been 49 mpg.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-11-2006, 08:35 AM
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My lifetime calculated is 55 MPG. It feels as though the mileage dropped some since the recall, to about 52. I can't get the high 50's as much as I used to, especially if I have the climate control running. The car seems to not get those mileage spikes that raised the average.

Yet, the current EPA estimate of the 2006 Prius is still 60/50/55, though it has the recall programming in it.

By the way, it seems the mileage seems to go up if have extra SOC on the battery, which usually occurs with lots of regen, or if ICE runs longer than expected.

Also, I too found that CC sometimes isn't as efficient as manual control, especially low speeds. When I near home, turning onto the last secondary road for the last mile of my leg, the speed limit is 35. Often the car will go stealth once I reach that speed, and will stay there even in CC. However, just as I approach my turn onto a side street, there's a bit of an incline in the road. With CC, the ICE kicks in to compensate. With manual control, I can ease off the accelerator to get over the hump, losing 1 MPH, then I can gradually get back that lost speed. Or, I can gradually get to 36MPH, then lose that 1 extra MPH at the hump.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-11-2006, 08:57 AM
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The EPA is correct to make MPG figures real world for conventional vehicles. After all, the great majority of drivers who are not very mileage conscience with gas prices still in the $2 range, are not interested in changing their driving techniques. As long as they typically do jack rabbit starts and accelerate toward red stop lights, they can't be expected to achieve the outside potential of the current EPA ratings.

However, if the EPA rates a Prius at 37.3 MPG, that will not be real world as the typical Prius driver has a different mindset than other drivers. And the MFD Consumption display trains you to be an even more efficient driver. I do agree that the current rating is too high as the majority of Prius drivers cannot regularly achieve 61/51 MPG given real world factors of unlevel driving terrain and cold climate. But I think, reading MPG reports here, that something like 53/43 would be reasonable. Then more than a few of us could brag we actually exeeded EPA figures.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-11-2006, 09:17 AM
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As I stated before, I have had mileage in the mid to low 30's this Dec. with the cold weather. I've not yet hit 50 with a tank, so I calculate my average mpg at around 40.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-11-2006, 11:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evander
As I stated before, I have had mileage in the mid to low 30's this Dec. with the cold weather. I've not yet hit 50 with a tank, so I calculate my average mpg at around 40.
Mine seems to average around 40 mpg as well in the winter. Might have something to do with the funky winter fuel mix we get in the Central Valley of California. Another is that I turn the display screen off more often; consequently, I floor it more often as well since the screen isn't nagging me.

I do know I get less mpg with Chevron than Shell fuel (seems to be about 4 mpg gain with Shell over long-term testing between the two). Just that I hate looking for a Shell station when there are so many Chevron stations around me.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-11-2006, 11:19 AM
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Default EPA estimates are crap!! Imagine that, the gov't is wrong???

Those EPA estimates are crap. I have never averaged less than 40mpg and the lowest I did average was going 80+mph the whole way down to FL from DC.

Normally I average around 51 and change.
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