The EPA might change its procedures soon for testing hybrid fuel economy, Ford said the Deutsche Bank Global Auto Industry Conference in Detroit on Tuesday.
Ford’s C-Max and Fusion hybrids both fell under criticism recently when Consumer Reports found in its own tests that both cars fell short of their stated city EPA mileage estimates. Ford product development chief Raj Nair said during the conference that several Toyota Prius modes showed even bigger disparities between the states estimates.
“They reflected a lot of differences versus the EPA label for all manufacturers,” Nair said during a web cast yesterday. “There are a lot of factors that can introduce that type of variability” in actual fuel economy compared with EPA ratings, including speed and outside temperature.”
Consumer Reports found that both of the new Ford hybrid products were actually 17 to 21 percent below the expected 47 city mpg.
Earlier this year, the Ford Fusion was named the Green Car of the Year, but hybrids are subject to degraded gas mileage because of factors that don’t necessarily weigh the same on a normal gas engine’s consumption. For example, Nair said hybrids can lose 5 mpg with a 30-degree temperature difference. They can also lose 7 mpg when driving 75 mph versus 65 mph.
[Source: Automotive News]
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