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Old 12-10-2012, 11:17 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Ford hybrids don't live up to MPG hype - Consumer Reports



Quote:
Ford's C-Max and Fusion hybrids get nowhere near the fuel economy estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a new blog post by Consumer Reports magazine.

Consumer Reports does its own fuel economy tests separately from those conducted by the EPA. But the magazine says that its results usually track more closely to the EPA's.

The EPA estimates that both the Fusion Hybrid and C-Max Hybrid get 47 miles per gallon in both city and highway driving. In Consumer Reports testing, the Fusion Hybrid got 35 mpg in city driving and 41 on the highway.That works out to 8 mpg less than EPA estimates in combined city and highway driving.The C-Max hybrid, meanwhile, got 35 mpg in city driving and 38 on the highway in the Consumer Reports test. That's 10 mpg less than EPA estimates in combined driving.

"This is the biggest discrepancy of any current model," said Jake Fisher, head of auto testing at Consumer Reports.

Still, he added, both vehicles get outstanding fuel economy, by either measure. In fact, the Fusion Hybrid still gets the best fuel economy of any mid-sized sedan that Consumer Reports has ever tested.

Related: Cool cars from the Los Angeles Auto Show
Nevertheless, Fisher felt it was important to call attention to the big differences in their fuel economy readings. Consumer Reports' mileage tests usually come with in a mile or two per gallon of the EPA ratings, he said.

"Even though the fuel economy is excellent," Fisher said, "if a consumer expects 47 mpg when they purchase that vehicle, they're going to be very disappointed."

Vehicle owners can report their own fuel economy figures on the EPA's fueleconomy.gov Web site, and the average owner-reported mileage is 39.5 mpg for both vehicles.

The C-Max is Ford's new compact wagon. It's available only in hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions.

At least some owners have had good experience with the fuel mileage in both vehicles, Ford said in a statement.

"Early C-MAX Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid customers praise the vehicles and report a range of fuel economy figures, including some reports above 47 mpg," the automaker said. "This reinforces the fact that driving styles, driving conditions, and other factors can cause mileage to vary."
The EPA has said it would look at Consumer Reports' test data.



Differences between EPA and Consumer Reports fuel economy testing are usually larger for hybrid cars than for others. For instance, following Ford's (F, Fortune 500) C-Max and Fusion, the next five vehicles with the biggest discrepancies are all hybrids, according to Consumer Reports. They are the Toyota (TM) Prius C, Toyota Prius, Honda (HMC) Civic Hybrid, Infiniti M35h and Lexus ES300h.

Differences between EPA estimates and real-world fuel economy have become a focus since Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia were found to have over-estimated their fuel economy in EPA-mandated tests. Both automakers have agreed to compensate vehicle owners for the differences.
http://money.cnn.com/2012/12/06/auto...on=money_autos
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:15 PM   #2
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Just another report by a magazine bought out by other automobile manufacturers. Ive been working on ford hybrids for over 5 years. Best hybrid on the road. Most of the fusions get 5-15% better mileage than the sticker. Not to mension, they look like normal cars. Im not being paid to say this nor will I ever by a hybrid or a ford for that matter. All you have to do is look to see who CR is getting paid by..
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:12 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Evil XT View Post
Just another report by a magazine bought out by other automobile manufacturers. Ive been working on ford hybrids for over 5 years. Best hybrid on the road. Most of the fusions get 5-15% better mileage than the sticker. Not to mension, they look like normal cars. Im not being paid to say this nor will I ever by a hybrid or a ford for that matter. All you have to do is look to see who CR is getting paid by..
Umm if you have been working on them for over 5 years how are you not being paid to say that? So you are giving the ringing endorsement that you would never buy a product you worked on. Awesome
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:54 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Evil XT View Post
Just another report by a magazine bought out by other automobile manufacturers. Ive been working on ford hybrids for over 5 years. Best hybrid on the road. Most of the fusions get 5-15% better mileage than the sticker. Not to mension, they look like normal cars. Im not being paid to say this nor will I ever by a hybrid or a ford for that matter. All you have to do is look to see who CR is getting paid by..

So, you are saying that one of the most known and used auto sources is lying through their teeth to consumers and getting away with it? The way you say it, this week, Chevy must me paying them to bash a Ford hybrid, and next week, Ford will be paying them to bash a Chevy hybrid.

LOTS of people are reporting that they are not getting near the MPG that is advertised. Someone shouldn't have to drive like a Grandma to achieve that.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:39 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Evil XT View Post
Just another report by a magazine bought out by other automobile manufacturers. Ive been working on ford hybrids for over 5 years. Best hybrid on the road. Most of the fusions get 5-15% better mileage than the sticker. Not to mension, they look like normal cars. Im not being paid to say this nor will I ever by a hybrid or a ford for that matter. All you have to do is look to see who CR is getting paid by..
Yeah, no.

CR actually goes out and buys the products they test. They are not given products for free, they do not go on the fancy manufacturer schmooze cruises, they are not Road and Track. Try doing some research in the future, might I suggest Consumer Reports?
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:33 AM   #6
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Didn't the EPA ever, you know, test the cars? When did it become OK for the manufacturer to just report whatever number they want? That devalues the entire MPG rating.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:14 AM   #7
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Didn't the EPA ever, you know, test the cars? When did it become OK for the manufacturer to just report whatever number they want? That devalues the entire MPG rating.
It has always been ok for the manufacturer to test. The EPA tests some just to check. It saves money. Unless you want to pay more taxes so the EPA can test every vehicle I say we keep doing it this way. Hyundai and Kia got egg on their face cheating. It is nice to see that happen as well.

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LOTS of people are reporting that they are not getting near the MPG that is advertised. Someone shouldn't have to drive like a Grandma to achieve that.
You are right they should have to drive like the EPA test to get those numbers. Because you know that is where the numbers come from... If you drive more aggressively you should not complain about missing the numbers.
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:11 PM   #8
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For some reason No Ford seems to live up to mileage claims on sticker or otherwise.
We always suspected they use a fuel additive or tuning for the test cars.
Some brands seem to get better than EPA and some always worse. On larger domestics and pickups they never get near claims. Ford 150 ecoboost gets like 12mpg towing many who own them claim. About same as 5.0
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Masterauto View Post
For some reason No Ford seems to live up to mileage claims on sticker or otherwise.
We always suspected they use a fuel additive or tuning for the test cars.
Some brands seem to get better than EPA and some always worse. On larger domestics and pickups they never get near claims. Ford 150 ecoboost gets like 12mpg towing many who own them claim. About same as 5.0
And about the same as my 5 year old RAM.
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:56 PM   #10
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You are right they should have to drive like the EPA test to get those numbers. Because you know that is where the numbers come from... If you drive more aggressively you should not complain about missing the numbers.

But the claims are "normal" driving. Guess that term is subjective though. Someone else might call my aggressive driving normal to them.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:12 PM   #11
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Just another report by a magazine bought out by other automobile manufacturers.
Are you really claiming that CR has bee bought off?
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:02 PM   #12
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EPA estimates are kind of flawed. They are slanted in the direction of optimum conditions and very timid driving habits. The average driver simply doesn't operate in the same conditions nor drive overly conservative. I could never eclipse 15 mpg (17 mpg city advertised) with my Mustang GT even I absolutely babied it. I have no idea how Ford came up with their numbers.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:08 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Masterauto View Post
For some reason No Ford seems to live up to mileage claims on sticker or otherwise.
We always suspected they use a fuel additive or tuning for the test cars.
Some brands seem to get better than EPA and some always worse. On larger domestics and pickups they never get near claims. Ford 150 ecoboost gets like 12mpg towing many who own them claim. About same as 5.0
I don't think there is a towing estimate in the EPA. My gf's Focus does right at the EPA combined but she does a significantly more highway driving. She is not a fuel efficient driver at all though. Regardless I think the fuel economy is right about where I'd expect it to be given the MPG ratings. My GTO tends to be pretty spot on too if I'm not stomping on it.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:21 PM   #14
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I expect we will see more and more of this happening in the future. A major perception problem with MPG is the decreasing rate of efficiency change as the number goes higher. A small change in efficiency or testing methodology on something that gets 40-50 mpg is going to swing the number a lot.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:37 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Rootus View Post
I expect we will see more and more of this happening in the future. A major perception problem with MPG is the decreasing rate of efficiency change as the number goes higher. A small change in efficiency or testing methodology on something that gets 40-50 mpg is going to swing the number a lot.
Yup, 10% off on a 40mpg vehicle is 36mpg. 10% off on a 20mpg vehicle is 18mpg. One appears to be much worse. In true dollars, being 2mpg off on a 20mpg vehicle costs you more money than getting 4mpg off on a 40mpg vehicle ($300/yr versus $150/yr @ 15k miles/yr and $3.50/gal).
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:42 PM   #16
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Total non-story.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:02 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by heavyD View Post
EPA estimates are kind of flawed. They are slanted in the direction of optimum conditions and very timid driving habits. The average driver simply doesn't operate in the same conditions nor drive overly conservative. I could never eclipse 15 mpg (17 mpg city advertised) with my Mustang GT even I absolutely babied it. I have no idea how Ford came up with their numbers.

That simply isn't true. The old EPA numbers maybe. Current testing methodology is actually fairly representative. The problem is if you give people more power they use it. So you give them an underpowered (from my perspective) vehicle and they hit EPA numbers. But you throw a turbo into the mix and suddenly they are doing worse.

Ford fusion hybrid 8.5s 0-60 time

Compare that to a prius and what do you find? So the consumer drives faster and gets worse mileage. If you cannot control your foot you should not complain about mileage.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:52 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by sxotty View Post

That simply isn't true. The old EPA numbers maybe. Current testing methodology is actually fairly representative. The problem is if you give people more power they use it. So you give them an underpowered (from my perspective) vehicle and they hit EPA numbers. But you throw a turbo into the mix and suddenly they are doing worse.

Ford fusion hybrid 8.5s 0-60 time

Compare that to a prius and what do you find? So the consumer drives faster and gets worse mileage. If you cannot control your foot you should not complain about mileage.
My Mkv GTI would ape-rape a Fusion hybrid powerwise, but I still always managed the pre-revised highway MPG estimates over 58k miles. I even hit every onramp like it was my last (pulled over going 80 still on the onramp once). Running the 11 and 13 mile tests with a fully charged, large-capacity battery and a high speed capable electric motor will definitely allow some unrealistic numbers.

Here is a simplified example. My Prius will do 1 mile in EV mode if I have the battery charged to the top. Imagine if the test were a 3 mile cycle that never went over 25mph. Even if my Prius only got 35mpg while it was recharging the battery on those next 2 miles, after nearly depleting it to run as much EV as possible, the "rating" would be 52.5mpg.

I don't believe the EPA test calls out charge level when starting the test or anything about charge level at starting the test versus ending the test. If the Volt didn't have a way to charge other than the gas engine, a 1/4 charged Volt would get an infinity rating even though we know it really doing ~35mpg when the gas engine is charging the battery.

I think the current EPA test is reasonably accurate for IC engines. I think it inflates hybrid numbers and more so when you throw a big battery and a high speed electric motor in the mix. Mild hybrids that require the gas engine to be running all the time are probably OK on the current EPA cycles. Being able to shut the engine off and run solely on electric power leaves a lot of room for the engineers to play.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:41 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by quentinberg007 View Post

My Mkv GTI would ape-rape a Fusion hybrid powerwise, but I still always managed the pre-revised highway MPG estimates over 58k miles. I even hit every onramp like it was my last (pulled over going 80 still on the onramp once). Running the 11 and 13 mile tests with a fully charged, large-capacity battery and a high speed capable electric motor will definitely allow some unrealistic numbers.

Here is a simplified example. My Prius will do 1 mile in EV mode if I have the battery charged to the top. Imagine if the test were a 3 mile cycle that never went over 25mph. Even if my Prius only got 35mpg while it was recharging the battery on those next 2 miles, after nearly depleting it to run as much EV as possible, the "rating" would be 52.5mpg.

I don't believe the EPA test calls out charge level when starting the test or anything about charge level at starting the test versus ending the test. If the Volt didn't have a way to charge other than the gas engine, a 1/4 charged Volt would get an infinity rating even though we know it really doing ~35mpg when the gas engine is charging the battery.

I think the current EPA test is reasonably accurate for IC engines. I think it inflates hybrid numbers and more so when you throw a big battery and a high speed electric motor in the mix. Mild hybrids that require the gas engine to be running all the time are probably OK on the current EPA cycles. Being able to shut the engine off and run solely on electric power leaves a lot of room for the engineers to play.
Mmmmmm......ape-rape.........
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:13 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by quentinberg007 View Post
My Mkv GTI would ape-rape a Fusion hybrid powerwise, but I still always managed the pre-revised highway MPG estimates over 58k miles. I even hit every onramp like it was my last (pulled over going 80 still on the onramp once). Running the 11 and 13 mile tests with a fully charged, large-capacity battery and a high speed capable electric motor will definitely allow some unrealistic numbers.

Here is a simplified example. My Prius will do 1 mile in EV mode if I have the battery charged to the top. Imagine if the test were a 3 mile cycle that never went over 25mph. Even if my Prius only got 35mpg while it was recharging the battery on those next 2 miles, after nearly depleting it to run as much EV as possible, the "rating" would be 52.5mpg.

I don't believe the EPA test calls out charge level when starting the test or anything about charge level at starting the test versus ending the test. If the Volt didn't have a way to charge other than the gas engine, a 1/4 charged Volt would get an infinity rating even though we know it really doing ~35mpg when the gas engine is charging the battery.

I think the current EPA test is reasonably accurate for IC engines. I think it inflates hybrid numbers and more so when you throw a big battery and a high speed electric motor in the mix. Mild hybrids that require the gas engine to be running all the time are probably OK on the current EPA cycles. Being able to shut the engine off and run solely on electric power leaves a lot of room for the engineers to play.
The EPA test does require certain battery states for hybrids. Sorry. There is no magic. If you really drive very aggressively you are going to get worse fuel economy. And frankly a hybrid will do better under aggressive braking since you can get some energy back at least.
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:48 AM   #21
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The EPA test does require certain battery states for hybrids. Sorry. There is no magic. If you really drive very aggressively you are going to get worse fuel economy. And frankly a hybrid will do better under aggressive braking since you can get some energy back at least.
Can you link a source? My googling hasn't found the beginning and end battery charge state requirements. How do they force the charge to be the same at the beginning and end? My Prius lets the battery charge level "float". It can run very low sometimes without kicking the engine on, but given the opportunity (generally downhill grade), it will max out the charge level.

Last edited by quentinberg007; 12-12-2012 at 06:53 AM.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:35 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by sxotty View Post
The EPA test does require certain battery states for hybrids. Sorry. There is no magic. If you really drive very aggressively you are going to get worse fuel economy. And frankly a hybrid will do better under aggressive braking since you can get some energy back at least.
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Originally Posted by quentinberg007 View Post
Can you link a source? My googling hasn't found the beginning and end battery charge state requirements. How do they force the charge to be the same at the beginning and end? My Prius lets the battery charge level "float". It can run very low sometimes without kicking the engine on, but given the opportunity (generally downhill grade), it will max out the charge level.
I, too, would like a source backing up your claim, sxotty. The technical details are frankly over my head, but see pages 30 and 31 of this thesis:

http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/ava..._MJ_T_2011.pdf

As much as I can parse it, it's directly relevant to Quentin's point.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:26 PM   #23
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Here Quentin thanks for not being persnickety about it.
http://papers.sae.org/2012-01-1006/?PC=VIDEO
In the abstract
Quote:
EPA's updated method was fully implemented in 2011 and uses equations which weight the contributions of fuel consumption results from multiple dynamometer tests to synthesize city and highway estimates that reflect average U.S. driving patterns. For the US06 and UDDS cycles, the test results used in the computation come from individual phases within the overall certification driving cycles. This methodology causes additional complexities for hybrid vehicles, because although they are required to be charge-balanced over the course of a full drive cycle, they may have net charge or discharge within the individual phases. As a result, the fuel consumption value used in the label value calculation can be skewed.
Shika your own link says they have to be charge balanced. I don't see why you would cite something backing up what I said then complain about not having evidence for it...
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:56 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by sxotty View Post
Shika your own link says they have to be charge balanced. I don't see why you would cite something backing up what I said then complain about not having evidence for it...
Page 44:

Quote:
The EPA fuel economy label values are computed by equations which synthesize results extracted from individual phases of drive cycles, including the UDDS and US06. For hybrid electric vehicles, although charge-sustaining over the entire cycle, the fuel consumption result for a phase may be significantly affected if it is not within the allowable NEC range, as was shown by testing of the 2010 Toyota Prius as an example. For the Prius, the electric consumption on individual phases of CS UDDS and US06 cycles fell outside of the 1 % NEC limit and was near the 5 % charge-correction limit in most cases. According to the SAE J1711 testing standard, these changes in NEC are significant, and on a per-phase basis, the impact on fuel consumption was as high as 22 % (UDDS Phase 2).
My reading is that hybrids just repeat some phases whereas others don't to account for slower warmup times? I'll check that sae link too.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:29 PM   #25
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It wasn't just the warm up times. It was also saying that they repeat some so that they are charge balanced. If you started with full battery then it would decline slowly as you complete the cycle, but eventually it would quit declining if the ran the cycle over and over and over. Then it is charge balanced. The problem they were talking about was that the cold start test is ridiculous to conduct in that way b/c they would have to run it, turn off car. Wait 12 hours then run it again.

The thing is that just b/c you can get a different value doesn't mean it is better or worse. Most people for example do not accelerate up an on-ramp over and over. So it makes no sense to require NEC of 0 when doing that part of US06 test. The cycles are supposed to be representative of actual driving and therefore it makes more sense to for NEC of 0 over the whole cycle.

BTW 80% or so of people drive less aggressively than US06 cycle. About the same drive more aggressively than the UDDS. All these tests will never work for every individual. The idea is they are supposed to be consistent. If we actually had more data as consumer theoretically we could say "Hey I drive like cycle X and there fore I would get Y economy in this vehicle"
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