EPA Finally Mulling Over Better MPG Testing

Messages
36,461
Location
ME
The current way is fine and consistent; even if one doesn't match the EPA numbers they can apply their own "fudge factor" based on their current experience with their current wheels.* It's certainly useful for comparison shopping, provided all automakers use all the same beneficial conditions. Who really believes that new fridge's energyguide sticker that says it'll cost $211 to run it per year? Same thing, but it compares nicely to the $217 model. This is like when they recurved the SAT scores, so now us old folks don't know what to make of kids bragging about 1300's. Just pick one system and leave it alone. *That is, if they know what the EPA rated their current vehicle... or their license plate number... or... [I dont know]
 
Messages
4,646
Location
The Garden State
While those EPA "estimates" are not necessarily what you'll experience in "real world" driving due to too many variables, such as type of fuel used and whether it's oxygenated, which results in less mpg. Plus your type of driving really determines your true mpg. The current EPA testing is good for comparing vehicle to vehicle under identical testing conditions. Whimsey
 
Messages
1,908
Location
Fort Worth, TX
My experience is that the EPA ratings reflect careful driving. I've not ever NOT been able to meet or beat them, even on my vehicles with worn drivetrains. It took time and attention to re-tune the cars as they aged. And of course I'm not going to be able to "beat" the hwy numbers at 75 mph in a 30-mph headwind. It only makes sense to slow down . . safety first. Aggressive is the correct word, but a##hole says it so much better (as to todays driver).
 
Messages
10,898
Location
Nokesville, VA
quote:
Originally posted by TomJones76: How do you mean that? I didn't get facts in line with your sentiments from the article.
Anyone who drives in stop-and-go traffic where it takes an hour to go 15 miles and complains that they're not getting the rated city fuel economy is a dummy. Likewise for the one who accelerates pedal to the metal from every stop light only to get to the next light that's still red sooner. (I see that crap every day, and I get passed by these dummies on their way to the next light that I know...from seeing it over and over for the the last 2 years...is STILL going to be red. It's even better when they can see that the **** light is red and pass me anyway). Anyone who weaves in and out of traffic on the highway and complains that they're not getting the rated highway fuel economy is a dummy.
 
Messages
239
Location
California
It will never happen. The manufacturers have too much money to lose if their CAFE numbers go down. They will lobby to kill this long before it sees the light of day.
 
Messages
12,385
Location
Northern CA
quote:
Originally posted by brianl703: Anyone who drives in stop-and-go traffic where it takes an hour to go 15 miles and complains that they're not getting the rated city fuel economy is a dummy.
The solution is to add a 3rd CAFE rating, D for dummy for people who don't drive efficiently and expect a CAFE number that reflects their drivihg.
 
Messages
11,360
Location
Florida, Cape Coral
SX650 has it correct in my book. My cars driven sanely have always given me epa ratings or better. If you drive like a nut or in downtown Chicago then you won't get the epa ratings. The rating are suppose to reflect a typical midwest town or highway with speed limits and a certain number of stops per mile. I like the idea as "D" rating for dummies or just edevide the present rating by 2X.
 
Messages
10,898
Location
Nokesville, VA
I think a better approach would be to tell the dummies that they, not the EPA ratings, are the problem. I think there's a correlation between traffic congestion and dummy driving..as in, the dummies, through their very actions that result in poor fuel economy, also cause traffic jams. As one example, onsider the dummy who weaves in and out of traffic..and cuts in almost too close..causing someone to hit their brakes to avoid an accident, and the person behind them hits their brakes, and so forth, and soon, what was a free-flowing highway has turned into a traffic jam due to the actions of a single dummy. Now NOBODY in that traffic jam is getting their EPA-rated highway fuel economy.
 

rjundi

Thread starter
Messages
7,256
Location
USA
quote:
Originally posted by brianl703: Dumbing down the ratings to accomodate the dummies. It's the American Way.
Given the test is not applicable towards todays driving conditionsI disagree with your statement. Traffic conditions a s a whole are much worse than years back when this test was whipped up to satisify the auto makers lobby. Dropping the rating and hopefully holding CAFE will actually force automakers to produce more efficient vehicles.
 
Messages
10,898
Location
Nokesville, VA
quote:
Originally posted by rjundi: Traffic conditions a s a whole are much worse than years back when this test was whipped up to satisify the auto makers lobby.
Why change the EPA ratings to accomodate people who can't figure out how to avoid rush-hour traffic, and, additionally, are too stupid to realize that rush-hour stop-and-go traffic WILL cause their vehicle to consume fuel? Outside of rush-hour, traffic conditions are not any worse than they were "years back", and even then it's not true that rush-hour traffic conditions are worse over all metropolitan areas.
 
Messages
956
Location
Eastern burbs, MN
Even while driven at under highway speeds (say 68mph in 70mph zone), no jackrabbit starts from stopsigns and red lights, neither of my Ford's ('99 Taurus 24v and '01 Windstar) have come even close to the EPA sticker ratings. I use synthetic oil, keep the tire pressures at 1 psi over, use LC and FP, keep extra junk out of the trunk, etc. I solely blame the ethanol in the fuel here in MN for the poor fuel economy.
 
Messages
2,187
Location
Arizona
quote:
Originally posted by brianl703: Outside of rush-hour, traffic conditions are not any worse than they were "years back"...
I'm afraid I disagree with you, Brian. Traffic conditions may or may not, as you pointed out, be worse in a given metro area, but the fact is that there are more "metro" areas in the country now than there were 20 or 30 years ago, and there are a great number of metro areas that are just massively larger than they were then. That means that thousands (or millions?) of acres of what used to be rural rural roads running light traffic at 50-75mph are now urban or suburban surface streets running at 20-45mph with lights, stop signs, and congestion during various times of the day. Perhaps this is more obvious in much of the formerly-open West than it is in other areas, but make no mistake, traffic is much "worse" than it used to be over a large geographical area of the country.
 
Messages
10,898
Location
Nokesville, VA
I'll take your word for it, but I don't believe that poorly planned development is any justification for lowering EPA estimates. Interstate highways are immune to the problem (traffic lights and stop signs are obviously not allowed on them) unless there are too many interchanges close together. VDOT has stated that they do not want any more interchanges on I95 in the Fredericksburg area of Virginia for that reason.
 
Messages
239
Location
California
They are not lowering EPA estimates. The problem is EPA estimates have nothing to do with reality. They are almost arbitrary. They don't even take the car out on a test track. Changing the EPA fuel economy estimate system is an easy way of taking away the CAFE loop hole which the big 3 have been adicted to for years. This has nothing to do with traffic or idiots on the road. And no matter how briliat drivers are if you put enough cars on the freeway traffic will come to a stand still. The road only has a certain capacity it can handle. After that its stop and go.  -
 
Messages
10,898
Location
Nokesville, VA
quote:
Originally posted by jtantare: They don't even take the car out on a test track.
How is taking the car on a test track going to be a more controlled test, which provides more repeatable results, than what they do now?
 
Messages
10,898
Location
Nokesville, VA
quote:
Originally posted by jtantare: And no matter how briliat drivers are if you put enough cars on the freeway traffic will come to a stand still.
True, but how often is it the case that a freeway ends up in traffic-jam conditions and the cause is not a blocked lane due to an accident/broken down vehicle, or rubbernecking due to an accident..that there is no cause at all other than volume? Not very often, from my observations. There was an article recently in the Washington Post about how a significant percentage of the traffic congestion in this area may be our own fault--ie, caused by the way we drive and how we maintain our cars. I happen to agree, based on what I see on my commute to and from work. Major backups, for example, are almost always caused by a blocked lane.
 
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