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Ford Wants New Way to Measure Mileage

Consumers “confused” by and “tuning out” current, misleading numbers.

by on Mar.27, 2013

Jim Farley, global marketing chief at Ford Motor Co.

If you’re like most motorists, you’ve struggled to reconcile the numbers in those endless automotive ads with the actual mileage you’re likely getting day-to-day.

The reality is that the current EPA fuel economy rating system doesn’t work, and American motorists are both “confused” and “tuning out,” according to Jim Farley, global marketing chief at Ford Motor Co. That’s especially true when it comes to hybrid vehicles, which can be extremely sensitive to variations such as weather, road conditions and personal driving style, he added.

So, a new way of calculating mileage that gives motorists a real idea of what to expect is necessary, said Farley, in his keynote speech at this year’s New York International Auto Show.

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“It is confusing how we express fuel economy,” he declared, adding that the official federal ratings “really aren’t relevant. We need to help customers understand their personal fuel economy.”


Feds Rate Nissan Leaf at 99 MPG

But new rating system could confuse, rather than clarify for battery-car customers.

by on Nov.22, 2010

The Nissan Leaf recently paced the NY Marathon. Now, says the EPA, it is setting the pace for the rest of the midsize auto segment.

The Nissan Leaf gets 99 miles to the gallon and can go for at least 102 miles per charge, according to new government fuel economy ratings.  Or is that 100 miles before having to plug in again?  Or 120?

While the EPA’s long-awaited calculation, which will appear on the window sticker of the Japanese battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, should please many green-minded motorists, it’s likely to confuse plenty of others.

The government’s challenge has been to come up with ways to measure the efficiency of a battery car in a manner comparable to the current fuel economy calculations used for conventional gas-powered automobiles.  But skeptics question whether the new numbers  are any better than a controversial earlier proposal that would have shown Leaf’s fuel economy at something close to 400 mpg.

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As it stands, the pure battery-powered Nissan Leaf is the most fuel-efficient car in the midsize segment, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, which is charged by law with determining the mileage of new cars, trucks and crossover.  The agency’s finalized testing process gives Leaf a Combined 99 MPGe figure, or miles per gallon equivalent, which is a measure of what an alternative fuel vehicle actually would get if it were powered by gasoline.


Feds to Stigmatize Gas Guzzlers with a D Grade?

New label might result in sticker shock - for makers.

by on Aug.30, 2010

1. This vehicle can travel about 26 miles on a gallon of gas for combined city and highway driving. 2. This vehicle uses 3.8 gallons of gasoline to travel 100 miles for combined city and highway driving. This is an energy efficiency rate called fuel consumption. Fuel consumption values, unlike MPG, relate directly to the amount of fuel used. 3. This bar depicts the range of combined city and highway fuel economy for all labeled vehicles. The pointer shows where this vehicle is within the range of all vehicles and other vehicles in the same class as the labeled vehicle. 4. will continue to provide consumers with a source of in-depth information. The website allows consumers to personalize estimates based on their own driving habits (i.e. annual miles traveled, local fuel cost, etc.). 5. This vehicle can travel about 22 miles on a gallon of gas for city driving. 6. This vehicle can travel about 32 miles on a gallon of gas for highway driving. 7. $1,617 is the estimated annual fuel cost based on a given number of miles and fuel price, which are listed lower on the label (15,000 miles per year and $2.80 per gallon for this example). 8. This bar depicts the range of the combined city and highway carbon dioxide (CO2) tailpipe emission rate for all labeled vehicles. The pointer shows where this vehicle is within the range. 9. This bar depicts the emission rating for vehicle tailpipe emissions that contribute to local and regional air pollution, creating problems such as haze and smog. The pointer shows where this vehicle is within the range. 10. A QR Code can be used by many Smartphones to access a web page, allowing consumers at a dealership to compare vehicles and personalize estimates, based on their own driving habits and fuel costs.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are jointly proposing the most radical changes to the fuel economy labels on the window of every new vehicle in dealer showrooms since the regulation began 30 years ago.

The stated goal of the new labels is to provide consumers with “simple, straightforward energy and environmental comparisons” across all types of vehicles, including electric vehicles (EV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), and conventional gasoline-powered vehicles.

DOT and EPA said in a joint release this afternoon that they are looking to provide enhanced information on efficiency and environmental performance, including information about air pollutants, such as smog, that impact public health to consumers.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 passed under Republican President Bush specifically calls on EPA and DOT to rate available vehicles according to fuel economy, greenhouse gas emissions and smog forming pollutants.

Labels, Fair or Foul!

“New technologies such as battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids are entering the American market in greater numbers,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We need to provide consumers with labels that include fuel economy and environmental information so that buyers can make better informed decisions when purchasing new vehicles.”