Ford announced that the US EPA might change its procedures for testing hybrids’ mileage.
According to Raj Nair, Ford’s product development chief, some of Toyota’s Prius hybrid models had even bigger fuel-economy shortfalls compared with the EPA estimates than Ford C-Max hybrid and Fusion hybrid when tested by the Consumer Reports magazine.
“They reflected a lot of differences versus the EPA label for all manufacturers,” said Nair. “There are a lot of factors that can introduce that type of variability” in actual fuel economy compared with EPA ratings, including speed and outside temperature, he said.
When Consumer Reports tested Ford’s C-Max hybrid and Fusion hybrid fuel-economy, the models fell 17% to 21% short of the automaker’s promised 47 miles (76 km) per gallon. According to the magazine, the Ford Fusion hybrid achieved 39 mpg and the C-Max hybrid 37 mpg in the city and highway driving. Nair said that hybrids can lose up to 7 miles per gallon if driven at 75 miles per hour instead of 65 mph, a difference of 30 degrees in the outside temperature can also cause a 5 mpg disparity and other 5 mpg are lost if the vehicles has more than 6,000 miles driven.
“We continue to work closely with the EPA to determine whether the industry testing procedure needs changes for hybrid vehicle testing,” Nair said.