Re: Whiny fuel economy/EPA story on NBC



Does this apply as much to hybrid-engine cars? I heard that the percentage of difference between "real world" mileage and EPA numbers was much greater with hybrids. For example, a Hybrid rated at 38 city, 50 highway might see real-world numbers consistently in the 36 range, while a traditional gas-engine vehicle that also sees real-world numbers consistently in the 36 range would be more likely to be rated at, say, 33 city and 42 highway.
If this is the actual case, does it mean that the mileage of hybrid-engine cars drops off more sharply under non-ideal conditions than that of conventional-engined vehicles?
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From what I've read about hybrid drive vehicles and heard from friends in the automotive industry, fuel economy in hybrid vehicles tend to be better in an urban stop-and-go environment than on the highway. This is because the internal combustion (IC) engine is less likely to be running at lower vehicle speeds and the regenerative braking system returns some power back to the batteries versus on the highway, where the higher speeds mean the IC engine is running and there is less regenerative braking.
Having heard from people who say that they get as good as or better fuel economy than the EPA estimates and people who say that their mileage is much worse, I suspect that driving style and environmental conditions has a greater effect on fuel economy on a hybrid than in a conventional drivetrain.
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Ray O
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On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 17:38:39 -0600, "Ray O"

Like all the posters are saying: Driving style effects fuel consumption. My father consistently gets 10-20% better than EPA regardless of the vehicle he's driving HOWEVER. He uses a block heater 60% of the year so he's never starting a cold car, His brakes are usually original when he trades a vehicle in near 100K & he will often shut the engine off and coast when on hills & approaching traffic lights or traffic jams. (This might play a part) His tires also last close to 60 K as well.
Some Hybrids (I won't mention Toyota Prius here) seem from what everyone says, do consistently worse than rated. Others (I won't say Honda Accord) do pretty close to their rating.
My 1995 Olds 98 Regency Elite will hit High 30's driven sensibly in the summer. Parked outside in & driven in the city during the winter I'll hit high teens.
Vehicles are societies tools of consistent consumption. If we lived in a non-capitalist, non-consumption based society fuel economy wouldn't matter b/c we'd all be walking through the snow or waiting and taking subways/trains everywhere. However our society is based on consumption. Oil is high to justify drilling in Alaska and processing the Trillion Barrels of in Alberta before people move on to another fuel source, so lets quit worrying about EPA ratings.
As my brother said after a serious car accident. "Fuel is a hell of a lot cheaper than hospitals, buy a safe car".
EPA is just a rough guideline. I wouldn't base my purchasing decision on what a group of overpaid under worked government officials say to the public , After all what are they driving? ;-)
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SNIP

Spending on electricity what he saves on gas? Tell him to use a good quality synthetic oil instead. He won't need a block heater anymore.
SNIP

Don't put all gov. emplyees in the same basket. I work for a Crown Corp. here in Canada and I am NOT under worked. My salary is adequate, at best.
JP
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