This past December, the Environmental Protection Agency
that it would revise its fuel economy ratings to reflect current real-world
conditions. EPA ratings at the time didn't take into account stop-and-go
traffic, cold weather environments or posted speeds of 65MPH or 70MPH currently
found today's highways (EPA testing maxed out at 55MPH).
In February, the EPA rolled out its
revised testing procedures for 2008 model year vehicles and included a tool
on its website that would take old EPA estimates and convert them to the new
testing methodology. Not surprisingly, hybrids were some of the big losers with
the 2008 EPA estimates.
Popular hybrid models including the Toyota Prius, Toyota
Camry Hybrid and Honda Civic Hybrid drop from 60/51 (city/highway), 40/38 and
49/51 to 48/45, 33/34 and 40/45 respectively.
John True, an Ontario, California native, wasn’t amused with
the latest MPG mash-ups. True purchased his Civic Hybrid last year when the
stated EPA mileage ratings were 49/51. True averaged 32MPG in his Civic Hybrid
over the course of 6,000 miles -- even lower than the revised 2008 EPA ratings
of 40/55. Consumer Reports also
tested a Civic Hybrid in 2005 and averaged just 26MPG in the city.
The poor fuel economy led True to file
a class-action lawsuit against American Honda Motor Company. True claims
that Honda has misled buyers with false advertising.
"This case does seek relief for tens of thousands of
consumers like Mr. True, who purchased the HCH expecting to benefit from its
'remarkable' fuel efficiency, and paid thousands of dollars extra for an HCH
that looks identical and performs basically the same as the non-hybrid Honda
Civic," said a June 4 court filing.
Even though the suit goes after Honda, the actual party
responsible for MPG ratings is the EPA. "I can tell you that the 49/51
figures are EPA numbers, not Honda numbers," said Sage Marie, a Honda
spokesman. "Some customers achieve the EPA mpg figures and some don't, as
fuel economy performance is a function of conditions, traffic, driving style,
Manufacturers have no control over what rating the EPA will
give a particular vehicle once it has completed for regular production. It just
so happens that hybrid manufacturers like Honda and Toyota have been able to
use the inflated EPA scores to entice buyers over the years.
Honda already acknowledged that its Accord Hybrid wasn't up
to snuff. Honda promised performance greater than a V6 Accord with fuel economy
comparable to a 4-cylinder Accord. Edmunds,
however, showed that its Accord Hybrid only managed 23.8MPG after two years and
30,000 miles of driving.
Honda is dropping the hybrid model from the 2008 Accord
redesign and instead
will go with a 2.2 liter i-CTDi clean diesel.
quote: It's crap because HONDA is using a federal standard - how can Honda get sued for something the federal government is quoted as stating???
quote: In my opinion, the effect of particulates are negligible compared to other hazards of everyday life
quote: European diesel and gasoline is of much higher quality than what they serve up there in the US.
quote: Smoking health concerns were specifically covered up by a few extremely wealthy and powerful lobbyists for many years. Saccharine was shown to increase chances of cancer in laboratory rats by independent research. Fen-Phen was rushed to market and received Rapid FDA approval through lobbying
quote: Has anyone seen any warnings about pacemakers and hybrids within sales literature or owner's manuals?
quote: but I still question crash safety
quote: Within the www.drive.com.au piece, there is contradicting information.
quote: As you also might not be aware, the Prius only has rear drum brakes in the US, but the overseas models have four disc brakes. The Jetta comes standard with four wheel discs in the US. Why have reduce braking ability in the US, but have it offered overseas?
quote: Also, who in their right mind would spend any good amount of money on a car that gets 23.8mpg....
quote: close to useless for interstate driving
quote: Ideally, then, [with an Otto cycle engine] we would like to size the engine in a car so that in the most common driving situations, we use about 40% of the maximum power the engine can deliver. Unfortunately, such a car would not be able to accelerate according to our expectations and would not be able to climb hills very well. It takes only about 15 hp to drive a car like the Echo at 65 m.p.h. on a level road and considerably less at lower speeds. But if we gave the car a 30 hp engine, it would take more than 30 seconds to accelerate to 60 m.p.h. and would slow to 30 m.p.h. on a 10% slope. So, the Echo has a 108 hp engine for acceleration and climbing hills. This means that most of the time the power demand is well below the efficiency "sweet spot" and fuel economy suffers as a result.
quote: The 1NZ-FXE is one of two power sources for the Prius. The 1NZ-FXEis a 1.5 liter inline 4-cylinder engine with VVT-i (Variable Valve Timingwith intelligence) and ETCS-i (Electric Throttle Control System withintelligence). The 1NZ-FXE includes a number of modifications thathelp balance performance, fuel economy and clean emissions in hybridvehicles.
quote: VVT-i allows the engine control system to independently adjust intakevalve timing. The 1NZ-FXE uses this ability to move betweenconventional valve timing and Atkinson cycle valve timing , varying theeffective displacement of the engine.
quote: On my last interstate trip, a 500 mile drive from central PA to Boston, my Prius got 53mpg driving 75mph on the interstate, despite the hilly Appalachian terrain. Even in the dead of winter when the mileage is the worst possible I get 45mpg on the highway. Either way the figures are comparable to the EPA numbers.
quote: Just in case you are suggesting the Prius is not fast enough for the interstate, remember that Al Gore's son got pulled over driving 100mph in a Prius. Basically, other than your brilliant observation that the Prius runs on gas, you don't know wtf you are talking about.
quote: There are no rechargable batteries on the market today that will retain thier performance for 15 years
quote: Roughly half that time is more likely, with some degredation in performance by the 7 year mark
quote: Of course it does. If it did not, then they would ship from the factory with 39% less battery capacity to start with, making them significantly cheaper.
quote: Keep in mind that that is assuming average usage pattern.,
quote: There has to be a reason why Freight Trains in the US operate as giant generators - the diesel engines generate electricity for the engines...
quote: It is always less efficient to convert energy from one form to another before using it than it is to use that energy directly, so a completely diesel train engine would be more efficient than the current diesel/electric design
quote: If your not happy with your fuel economy get the lead weights off your left foot.
quote: unless your car was a flex fuel car, anything more than about 10-15% ethanol and your engine wouldn't really run at all