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Ford Hybrids' Fuel Economy Failing To Live Up To EPA Ratings?

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by jsfabb, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. jsfabb

    jsfabb Active Member

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    Ford Hybrids' Fuel Economy Failing To Live Up To EPA Ratings?
     
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  2. Sergiospl

    Sergiospl Senior Member

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    Toyota Prius v is winning the real-world average mileage contest?
    C-Max Hybrid: Ford C-Max MPG Reports | Fuelly
    C-Max Hybrid: Your MPG Estimates
    Prius v: Toyota Prius v MPG Reports | Fuelly
    Prius v: Your MPG Estimates
    Ford hybrids' fuel economy failing to live up to EPA ratings? | Fox News

    Ford Hybrids' Fuel Economy Failing To Live Up To EPA Ratings? (Page 2)
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i don't see how this is possible. i believe our own tony schaeffers wife gets 45-50 mpg in the old fusion hybrid if i'm not mistaken.
     
  4. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    That is the old Fusion, which the article notes as meeting expectations. It is the new one that falls short.
     
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  5. Sergiospl

    Sergiospl Senior Member

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    High Gear Media mentioned in the article that the last Generation Ford Hybrids did hit their combined average EPA ratings in their tests.
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    right. why would the new one be rated higher and not do as well as the old one?
     
  7. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Duh! It's Tony's wife so she has an awesome hypermiling teacher. I bet he blocks her grille and everything. :) LOL
     
  8. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    It's sad really. I had hoped the C-Max would be good competition and raise the bar. Instead you get a car with compromised cargo room and "poor" fuel economy. :(
     
  9. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    Personally, I think this is an opportunity for the early adopters to figure out how the Ford systems work. Based upon a single, three mile, 10 minute C-MAX test drive, it will be different from what we've learned about the Prius.

    I wish the early adopters, GOOD LUCK!
    Bob Wilson
     
  10. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Which has been on the road for what, a month?
    The reviewers results aren't looking good, but what were CR's numbers with the gen3 Prius again?

    It's too early to make a call with the data from everyday users.
    Today, there 16 C-maxes registered with Fuelly versus 193 Prii v. The sample size isn't comparable. Then the Prius v numbers have the benefit of the temperatures from the milder weather spring and early summer. The C-max has only seen colder weather with less efficient winter blend gas.

    The early numbers aren't good. No denying that, but neither were the Volt's when released around the same time. Toyota had the foresight to release their new hybrids during the time of year when weather and gas formulations will only get better for fuel economy.
     
  11. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    When you get here, the article proves how trollish green car reports is.
    That article or really more of a blog rant bordered on slander
    CR and car and driver both got 39 mpg on the prius c. Car and driver had the correct response that they never get close to the milage in hybrids because of the way they drive them. YMMV.

    They also are skewed by state. Looking at fueleconomy.gov the c-maxs are in texas the prius vs are in California. ;) It is likely that c-max drivers that pick it because its more fun to drive, will end up hypermiling less, and "real world" results will be hurt. I don't think porsche owners get the epa either.

    The only real piece of information we have so far is at 75 mph the c-max gets 34 mpg. There appears a big drop off at higher speeds. We have one c-max energi review that got around 60 mpg in charge sustain mode, but they were driving that in northern california - likely little hit for HVAC and unlikely to be going fast like we do in Texas.
     
  12. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer and Ebike enthusiast.

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    I really hope this turns out to be false. I'm really rooting for Ford (since they didn't take the bailout). If it does turn out to be true, I will be very disappointed and it will be a black eye for Ford.

    I understand them wanting to gain a competitive advantage but this must be done with integrity. I hope they haven't mislead us.
     
  13. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Fuelly is not really instructive until enough cars are reported to approximate a bell curve. Then the median usually matches EPA.

    There are loads of confounding variables for now. A head to head drive between a Prius, Prius wagon, and C-max would be interesting.

    Rampant speculation: I wonder if c-max drivers are different than Prius drivers, and I wonder if the EPA testing took advantage of higher speed glides the owners are not. It is certainly true that EPA results are mostly performed in mild environments, so initial owner reports from areas already in winter are going to show the hit from the cold. Does the c-max have EGR ? One other point to sort out is the accuracy of the Ford fuel meter. For all I know it underestimates fuel economy.

    A comment on the greencarreports site mentioned 40 mpg from 40 mle highway drives at 65-70 mph. FWIW, that does sound low.
     
  14. paprius4030

    paprius4030 My first Prius

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    When the cars are tested for the EPA figures are they actually driven or are they put on a dyno with some computer program running things?
     
  15. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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  16. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    They're put on a dyno w/a human "driving" it. See Car and Driver: The Truth About EPA City / Highway MPG Estimates | PriusChat.

    BTW, there are some (many?) sources of potential error (either intentional or accidental). We went over this in some of the Hyundai MPG threads. See Hyundai, Kia Mileage Mishap: How It Happened - KickingTires, New Testing Process | Hyundai MPG Information and Coastdown Facts | Hyundai MPG Information, for example.

    I haven't had a chance to read the article in the OP, but I do wonder if it's a case of Ford better optimizing for the EPA test, Toyota sandbagging, some intentional or accidental error in executing the test or reviewers driving Fords "wrong". I wish the EPA/fueleconomy.gov would indicate which vehicles they actually verified the MPG on themselves (in other words, the 15% that got picked to be verified).
     
  17. paprius4030

    paprius4030 My first Prius

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  18. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    There was a long piece showing the EPA test does not standardize for SOC, which is why many get worse mpg with hybrids. If there is a large error, I would expect it to have something to do with that.

    I expect that toyota also gets better on the epa test versus similar cars, but we have strong anecdotal evidence that prii drivers that post to fueleconomy.gov and fuelly drive more frugally than the general population.
    I'm one of those that epa is a major overestimate of my prius milage. EPA seems to not consider short trips:) The important thing is to understand the error.

    The volt is a good source of information since onstar is recording everything. Those on fuelly or voltstats do much better than the average on onstar. Reviews in publications like CR and Edmunds drastically implied worse mileage than the volts get in the real world.

    I would expect though that driver profiles will cause the ford hybrids to underperform the prii.
     
  19. Jason dinAlt

    Jason dinAlt Member

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    dyno - uses the data gathered during EPA testing - and a lot of math and fudge.
     
  20. walter Lee

    walter Lee Hypermiling Padawan

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    With respect to fuel efficiency, the Ford C-Max Hybrid has the same weakness as the Toyota Prius - it is overweight so its fuel efficiency is more sensitive to hilly/mountainous terrain, it is going to get poor fuel efficiency on short trips, its fuel efficiency will drop with frequent hard accelerations, and its fuel efficiency will drop in cold temperatures (<=55 F). The higher the EPA rating - the more visible the drop ( because even a small percentage loss is measurable and more visible if the MPG rating is high enough). This year on Cleanmpg.com initial trials of the Ford C-Max Hybrid produced disappointing results but -later this year- actual owners of the Ford C-Max Hybrid reported much better summer time MPG results that matched the EPA rating after learning how to drive it - albeit they weren't able to get FE much higher than the EPA rating. For heavy vehicles like the Prius and the C-Max Hybrid - fuel efficiency improves significant when avoiding hard accelerations - this cannot be monitored by using the average fuel efficiency (MPG) - instead one needs to maximize the instantanous MPG (iMPG) and/or keep the fuel consumption rate (GPH or LPH) low. This is where having a ScangaugeII Xgauge for GPH and iMPG is useful when driving for highest possible fuel efficiency. In general, this translates to coasting more often, accelerating gently as possible, accelerating less often, and decelerating gently and for longer periods of time before stopping. In hilly terrain, it means a hypermiling technique called Driving With Load(DWL) a technique that goes as follows: accelerating before going uphill at the the end part of a downhill incline before having to swing back uphill whenever possible, after reaching a target top speed going uphill allow the vehicle to slowly decelerating as the vehicle is going uphill, coasting at the top of the crest of a hill, accelerating at the very start of going downhill to take advantage of the lesser gravitational forces on the power plant to get back to a target speed, and then coasting the rest of the way down hill until you get to the end part of the downhill incline. Near the end of part of the downhill incline you repeat this process/cycle (for the next hill). At highway (>50 mph) speeds, DWL needs a very responsive throttle to keep up and I normally have trouble modulating the 3rd Gen Prius throttle when its in ECO mode so at high speeds I prefer doing DWL in Normal or PWR mode(still haven't completely mastered this technique though :notworthy::rolleyes::( ). With respect to hypermiling/DWL , the lighter the vehicle ( i.e. the vehicle with the lighter curb weight) the easier it is to hypermile and to implement a DWL cycle. Hence, the Toyota Prius v which is several hundred pounds lighter than Ford C-max hybrid - is easier to hypermile than the Ford C-max hybrid.
     
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