Daily Archives: February 3, 2012


Ben Wojdyla does a good job of explaining how EPA fuel economy estimates are determined… 1

Ben Wojdyla does a good job of explaining how EPA fuel economy estimates are determined and testing a couple of todays more efficient compact cars, the Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra.

Anyone comparing their real world mileage to the new car sticker must remember this, Your Mileage WILL Vary!

Both cars met or exceeded the label estimates but the conditions during the test were also pretty optimal with temperatures in the 40s that meant no air conditioning, heat or window defoggers were needed. The tests were also run during the day negating the need for headlights. All of these factors reduce the drain on the engine and the lack of traffic during the mid-day testing also eased the load.

I just have one small nit to pick with Ben's explanation of the EPA test procedure and it also affects real world efficiency. Ben described the fuel used during EPA testing as 100% gasoline. While Ben meant that there is no ethanol blended in as there is with most pump gas sold in the US, there is in fact no such thing as pure gasoline.

Gasoline as we know it is a blend of primarily heptane and octane (hydrocarbon compounds with 7 and 8 carbon atoms respectively) along with a number of other chemicals such as detergents and stabilizers. The exact blend of gas you get from the pump in various parts of the country varies depending on the location and time of the year. The blends are adjusted for factors like altitude, humidity and temperature to ensure easy starting in cold weather and thin air. The specific blend affects the mileage you get. However, the EPA uses a specific standard blend for all certification tests so that the results can be compared.

#fuelefficiency #mileage

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Mileage Moment of Truth – We Put 40 Mpg Claims to the Test
The 2012 Hyundai Elantra and Ford Focus SFE are among 20-plus cars that now claim 40 mpg highway. But given the peculiar way in which the EPA calculates its fuel economy estimates, do those mileage nu…

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Italian environment minister Corrado Clini has called out Fiat for failing to jump…

Italian environment minister Corrado Clini has called out Fiat for failing to jump on the electric vehicle bandwagon but I think this unwarranted.

However, given the general state of the Italian economy, what Fiat has done actually looks like a very reasonable business decision. While most consumers love to say "sure I'd like to buy an EV," that statement is usually followed by a caveat "as long as it doesn't cost more than $X,000 more."

The problem is that the cost differential between an EV and conventional equivalent is usually several times what people are willing to pay. We're still very early in the plug-in vehicle era and it remains to be seen just how truly successful these vehicles will be in the market. The people buying the Volt and Leaf still largely fall into the early-adopter crowd. Sales of both cars were in the 600+ range in January.

Rather than create a whole line of dedicated plug-in vehicles, Ford has gone a different route by designing new platforms with the flexibility to accommodate multiple powertrain configurations. http://fordfusionstory.com/mpg/

Given the need to re-engineer the entire Chrysler lineup in the wake of bankruptcy, Fiat clearly made a strategic decision that is now paying off with rising sales. Those same vehicles are coming to market with better fuel efficiency than the models they replace and this is a trend that will continue with other models as Chrysler aims to meet new CAFE standards.

Once it finishes addressing its near-term product needs, I wouldn't be surprised to eventually see Chrysler follow a similar path to Ford by incorporated new flexibility into future vehicles. That will give them the ability to quickly respond to shifting consumer demand. Ford is obviously in a better position today because both its compact (Focus) and new mid-size (Fusion) platforms already have this capability.

#rechargingthecar #electric #electricvehicles

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Italy Environment Minister:Fiat Missed Electric Car Opportunity – WSJ.com
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OK, that is kind of funny, particularly the ending 1

OK, that is kind of funny, particularly the ending

Reshared post from +Jeff Gilbert

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Chevy Uses Barry Manilow, Twinkies and the Apocolypse to Poke Fun At Ford
Chevy unveils it's new Super Bowl ad, which highlights its Silverado pickup, and pokes fun at the competition.

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