Tuesday 22 August 2017
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EPA May Require Real World Fuel Economy Tests

EPA May Require Real World Fuel Economy Tests

fuel economyThe Environmental Protection Agency is reportedly preparing to require all automakers to verify fuel-efficiency estimates via new real-world driving tests.

The move is said to be focused on preventing automakers from using computer modeling or lab-test manipulation to exaggerate fuel economy claims. The agency has received complaints from many drivers who achieve real-world mpg figures that are significantly lower than manufacturer claims.

Several automakers have been forced to revise their mpg ratings for existing models. Notable cases include a handful of newer models from Hyundai, Kia and Ford.

“Some auto makers already do real-world verification, but we are establishing a regulatory requirement for all auto makers,” EPA Office of Transportation and Air Quality director Chris Grundler told The Wall Street Journal.

The greatest discrepancies between fuel economy estimates and real-world performance have appeared in hybrid models. Ford’s 2013-2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is a glaring example, with a recent revision dropping its city/highway mpg estimates by 7-8 mpg.

Ford blamed its error on incorrect rolling-resistance figures that were correlated to wind tunnel observations when determining MPG estimates. The EPA proposal aims to force companies to compare their computer-modeled variables against observations from real world testing on a track, verifying figures for wind resistance and rolling friction.

The EPA is preparing to accept public comments on the proposal before moving forward with implementation.

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