Why hybrids often deliver lower mpg than advertised

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Thread: Why hybrids often deliver lower mpg than advertised

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    Why hybrids often deliver lower mpg than advertised

    Why hybrids often deliver lower mpg than advertised
    Automotive News
    August 16, 2013
    by Richard Truett

    Because of hybrids' complex powertrains and other factors, the gap between real-world fuel economy and the window label is often greater than it is with vehicles powered by conventional gasoline or diesel engines.

    Here are a few factors that can cause these gaps:

    Temperature: Winter-blend gasoline contains additives that lower the fuel's freezing point and allow for faster engine warm-ups. Winter-blend gasoline contains less energy than summer blends, causing fuel economy to drop. And drivers in cold weather tend to use more energy-gobbling accessories such as seat heaters, window defrosters and heated outside mirrors.

    Vehicle condition: New vehicles with few miles use more energy until the moving parts have a small amount of wear. After about 5,000 miles, vehicles begin to deliver better fuel economy.

    Top speed: Most hybrids tend to get better fuel economy in stop-and-go city driving, in which the electric motor does much of the work.

    Driving style: To achieve EPA-beating fuel economy, many hybrids must be driven at speeds at or below posted limits, especially on the highway, with the air conditioner off and with careful attention to acceleration and braking.

    Full article at link.

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    Re: Why hybrids often deliver lower mpg than advertised

    I coulda told you this.

    I like to call these vehicles "hype-brids."

    For the best fuel economy, best to get a subcompact car with a frugal gasoline engine.

    Like a Sonic or Spark.

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    Re: Why hybrids often deliver lower mpg than advertised

    hybrids are MORE sensitive to how they are driven and often "GAMED" to get NICE numbers VS normal cars that can be efficient in NON ideal conditions
    I have had both a CIVIC Hybrid and a Prius Hybrid as loaner cars and got close to the "sticker" but lived where it was imposable to do more then 55 mph
    ^^ and 40 -50 MPG CITY is a BIG difference from 30 MPG CITY ^^

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    Re: Why hybrids often deliver lower mpg than advertised

    This is another reason why I like Voltec. Though the battery thermal management does make the Volt sensitive to freezing temperatures the Volt is not very sensitive to other factors. While electric cars are backwards from gas vehicles (more efficient in city driving) I have found that driving the same route aggressively in a Volt doesn't have a huge impact on energy use (I don't have to baby the car to exceed EPA estimates).
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    Re: Why hybrids often deliver lower mpg than advertised

    At constant highway speed, the ability of hybrids to capture and release enery is greatly reduced
    and n fact, Ford's hybrids using a second motor in an Electronic CVT will tend to use more fuel.

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    Re: Why hybrids often deliver lower mpg than advertised

    Hybrid fuel economy ratings are just an expansion on the numbers game manufacturers use on automatic transmissions to get higher EPA estimates than manuals.

    In real world driving, manual transmissions are severely underrated, automatic transmissions barely achieve their ratings (if at all), and hybrids fall flat on their face, rarely breaking the magic 40 mpg number that advertisements so proudly display.
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    Re: Why hybrids often deliver lower mpg than advertised

    What needs to happen is an all new testing procedure from the ground up that cannot be cheated or gamed.
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    Re: Why hybrids often deliver lower mpg than advertised

    The real question is why should the public ever accept "the gap". This isn't the "settled" volume of a box of cereal here. It's well over $20,000.

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    Re: Why hybrids often deliver lower mpg than advertised

    My mom's been driving a Prius for about a year now and she consistently beats the EPA estimates—more like 56 in the city than 51. The key is that it offers constant feedback about how you're driving. Granted, she beats the estimates in her other car (a Focus) too, so driving style is really the most important part of this equation. Drive it like you care about the mileage you're getting, and a hybrid will beat the EPA estimates handily (so long as they don't turn out to be wrong.)

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    Re: Why hybrids often deliver lower mpg than advertised

    I don't think Hybrids are any different than any other vehicle on hitting or missing the rating. The thing that's makes it so is that every Hybrid buyer is about mileage, where only some of the regular vehicle buyers are so more noise is made about economy on Hybrids than others.

    Also lets say your driving style makes a 10% reduction city due to quick acceleration. On a Taurus (19 MPG city) that 10% costs 2 MPG, noticeable, but not something to make people go crazy. Now if you're driving a Fusion Hybrid, that's 5 MPG (47 MPG city), and that gets people far more wound up despite being the same % of loss.

    I've been watching C-Max's come in for oil changes since the announcement and have seen 4. Gas mileage by the screens have been 42, 43, 46 and 50. The higher two I know drive for mileage and had the A/C off and windows down, the first two I know just drive the car like any other. The one at 43 said he took a trip the week before and running 75 on the interstate it dropped to 39.

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    Re: Why hybrids often deliver lower mpg than advertised

    Most hybrids tend to get better fuel economy in stop-and-go city driving, in which the electric motor does much of the work.
    This is why they shouldn't be allowed to use the carpool lanes!

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    Re: Why hybrids often deliver lower mpg than advertised

    Quote Originally Posted by ne_one View Post
    Why hybrids often deliver lower mpg than advertised
    Automotive News
    August 16, 2013
    by Richard Truett

    Because of hybrids' complex powertrains and other factors, the gap between real-world fuel economy and the window label is often greater than it is with vehicles powered by conventional gasoline or diesel engines.

    Here are a few factors that can cause these gaps:

    Temperature: Winter-blend gasoline contains additives that lower the fuel's freezing point and allow for faster engine warm-ups. Winter-blend gasoline contains less energy than summer blends, causing fuel economy to drop. And drivers in cold weather tend to use more energy-gobbling accessories such as seat heaters, window defrosters and heated outside mirrors.

    Vehicle condition: New vehicles with few miles use more energy until the moving parts have a small amount of wear. After about 5,000 miles, vehicles begin to deliver better fuel economy.

    Top speed: Most hybrids tend to get better fuel economy in stop-and-go city driving, in which the electric motor does much of the work.

    Driving style: To achieve EPA-beating fuel economy, many hybrids must be driven at speeds at or below posted limits, especially on the highway, with the air conditioner off and with careful attention to acceleration and braking.

    Full article at link.
    Sorry, but the current EPA tests DOES include operation with A/C on and operating: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fe_test_schedules.shtml
    Last edited by 70AARCUDA; 08-17-2013 at 02:51 PM.
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    Re: Why hybrids often deliver lower mpg than advertised

    Diesels as a class are the only group that regularly exceeds EPA guesstimates.
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    Re: Why hybrids often deliver lower mpg than advertised

    Quote Originally Posted by Neanderthal View Post
    Diesels as a class are the only group that regularly exceeds EPA guesstimates.
    That's probably because EPA hasn't discovered how to screw-up diesel-engine efficiency (yet)...but they're "...trying..."!
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    Re: Why hybrids often deliver lower mpg than advertised

    Current 8/17/13 Ford C-Max and Fusion Hybrid rating and experience data for what its' worth ...

    It does make one wonder if OEMs ever compare development and preproduction road test fuel economy data to proposed EPA rating results before submitting values to EPA and their advertising group.
    It is important what WE use as our "moral compass" and ...
    the "measuring stick" chosen for judging progress/success as well.


    44 mpg by 2010 ... 2013?

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