How the EPA gets there
With all the hubbub lately about falsified mpg claims and lawsuits pertaining to MKZ hybrids and other Ford/Lincoln offerings I thought it would be a good time to check in on how the EPA comes up with the mileage figures we all weigh so heavily into our purchase decisions, have a look:
• In a lab the drive wheels are pulled onto a dyno to simulate driving dynamics.
• Driver runs the car through a standardized driving routine attempting to simulate real world trips.
• A schedule stipulates the speed the car must travel at during every second of testing
• An outlet hose captures exhaust gases and measures them to calculate the amount of fuel consumed.
Things to keep in mind:
• Outlet hose measurement cannot effectively capture mileage estimates for Fuel cell, electric or hybrid vehicles
• No idle time that simulates red light fuel waste
• Vehicles are babied, light acceleration and diminished speeds ( about 50 mph for highway test)
• City test lasts 5 minutes, Highway test lasts 12 minutes
• City test done with cold engines, Highway test done with warm engines
Looking at this list its very easy to see where gaps in mileage claims come from...
And even with this mentioned making it seem as if the EPA does things properly, which they probably pass themselves off as doing so, we still get cars with EPA numbers that are no where close to what mass amounts of consumers are getting with their real world numbers.
Additionally, the EPA was originally set up to measure emissions not fuel consumption. Theres a list floating around with the worst EPA mileage gaps and like 80% of the list are Hybrid vehicles...
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