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EU fuel economy numbers proven worthless

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by eledille, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. eledille

    eledille TMS 85 owner :)

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    #1 eledille, Dec 15, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
    13. december, the Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang (VG) printed an article about misleading fuel consumption numbers.

    The largest car leasing company in Norway, Leaseplan, tested twenty of their most popular models for VG. At least tens of cars of each model were tested and each car was driven for at least 5000 km and for a period of at least five months, so at least two hundred drivers were involved and at least one million km were driven.

    Not a single model was better than claimed. None managed less than 5 l. Particularly low emissions cars exceed the advertised emissions numbers by a large amount, up to 53%. The 75 hp Polo actually used more fuel than the 105 hp Golf. These misleading numbers are the ones used when the anti EV lobby "prove" that EVs are more polluting than ICEVs (in addition to a whole host of other lies, of course).

    Model: Claimed (l/100km), Actual (l/100km), difference

    Volkswagen Polo 1.2 l, 75 hp, 5 door, diesel: 3.4, 5.2, 53%
    Volvo V60 1.6 l DRIVe, 115 hp, diesel: 4.5, 6.7, 49%
    Toyota Auris 1.8 Hybrid, gasoline: 3.8, 5.5, 45%

    The full list can be found here.

    The full article can be found here (in Norwegian).
     
  2. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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  3. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    #3 stopcrazypp, Dec 15, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
    It's not just the anti-EV lobby, most of the studies being done comparing emissions of the US with Europe fail to take into account the differences in testing cycles between the two countries. There needs to be a better way to account for the differences (while also accounting for the differences in driving conditions, for example a different mix of highway vs local roads plus speed limit and congestion differences will have a noticeable effect). Otherwise if only comparing sticker efficiency, it's best to stick to only one testing procedure (which is what I do, I stick to EPA numbers).

    The post 2008-EPA ratings are much closer to real life. Most people report within 5-10% variance for the combined number. The pre-2008 numbers are probably just as bad as NEDC; 50% variance is pretty outrageous. I think NEDC needs a similar update.
     
  4. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    You're not kidding about this! I suspect the lack of any roads with speed limits over 55 in my area, combined with relatively little congestion, accounts for the very substantial differences from sticker mileage I get.
     
  5. widodh

    widodh Model S R231 EU

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    I can confirm that, 5.5 is almost the number I'm (5.7) at after 28.000km on the ODO-meter.

    In Holland we have http://www.werkelijkverbruik.nl/

    Good website with some nice information!
     
  6. Alan

    Alan Member

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    I agree the figures are not worth the paper they are written on but is the fact that these are leased cars a factor.

    If you try to drive economically then you can usually meet the manufacturers claims, but thats no fun at. On the Roadster the actual range can be half the ideal range if you are having fun so I wonder how the Tesla would have come out in this report.

    If I am driving one of my own cars I treat it with mechanical sympathy - if its my Lotus Esprit I drive gently and keep the revs low until the oil has warmed up, at the end of a journey I back off to allow the turbo to cool down etc (in between of course I thrash it to within an inch of its life, but no one is perfect..). If however its a leased or hire car then I am not so careful, especially if I am not paying for the fuel.

    Real world miles (km) per gallon (us gallon / litre) can vary by 400% in my experience depending on driving style - on the Lotus I can get 35mpg if I am careful but I can also get 7mpg if having fun.
     
  7. eledille

    eledille TMS 85 owner :)

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    dpeilow: I've been saying it too, I knew that the numbers are very optimistic based on my own driving.

    During long distance driving my ICEV is spot on, I can even beat the advertised numbers (6l, I've managed 5.4). But during daily driving in Oslo throughout a whole year, in traffic and varying weather, I couldn't get it below 10 l per 100 km on average. I measured all power used to charge my EV for a whole year too, 11500 km. I paid NOK 1043, which is approximately USD 175. It was driven almost exclusively in heavy traffic. Energy consumption worked out to the equivalent of 1.8 l per 100 km, plus about 25 l of diesel for the heater. EVs are almost immune to cold weather and traffic, and this is never accounted for.

    What I didn't know is that the much touted recent fuel economy improvements are mostly due to optimization to the test cycle and disappear in the real world. My ICEV is 10 years old and probably not optimized in this way, and this test shows that the situation is even worse now than it used to be.

    Anyway, it's going to be nice to be able to point people to this article when they claim that the modern ICE is so incredibly efficient that EV's aren't needed.
     
  8. Eberhard

    Eberhard #421 Model S #S32

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    #8 Eberhard, Dec 16, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
    I can easily beat the ideal range of my roadster by 20%. Try to do this with an ICE.
     
  9. eledille

    eledille TMS 85 owner :)

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    #9 eledille, Dec 16, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
    Alan: That might be a factor, but on the other hand, these aren't exactly driver's cars... People buy/lease these cars to get from A to B. I would think that 10+ different cars with different drivers and 5 months and 5k km per driver would give a fairly accurate average. I have just asked the journalist who paid for the fuel, but I doubt it would make much of a difference - in my experience, most people don't care sufficiently about fuel costs to really strive to drive economically.
     
  10. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    Certainly it's true in any car that if you thrash it (esp. on a track), you can have a huge variance. The issue right now is the variance in the average fuel economy (which mainly represents point A to point B driving, not really any "fun" driving) because that is what a driving cycle is supposed to represent. If it's as big as 50% from the driving cycle, then it's an issue with the driving cycle, not with driver habits.
     

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