How many miles per gallon does your Prius really get?

The EPA should update the way it measures fuel efficiency, after independent tests raised questions about hybrids’ gas mileage.

By The Denver Post Editorial Board

Independent tests showing some hybrid vehicles get far fewer miles per gallon than advertised is a consumer issue that has significant public policy implications.

We would hope the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is paying attention and will take steps to update its testing protocol.

At issue arerecent auto testsconducted by the venerable watchdog Consumer Reports.

The organization found, for instance, that the EPA rates the Ford C-Max hybrid as getting 47 mpg overall. But the Consumer Reports tests mimicking real-world conditions showed it got only 37 mph.

Why the discrepancy?

Consumer Reports says the EPA is using outdated testing methods that favor hybrid vehicles.

For instance, in gauging highway mileage, the EPA uses a car treadmill, called a dynamometer. The test involves stop-and-go driving and an average speed of 48 mph.

Hybrids, which canrely on their electric powera lot in those situations (as opposed to their gas-fueled engine) fared well in the test.

The testing that Consumer Reports did involved measuring the gas consumption of vehicles going steadily at 65 mph. Under those circumstances, the hybrids did not do as well.

Consumers could very well feel deceived by the numbers, but there are other issues at work.

Hybrids with just a single occupant can zip past traffic using high-occupancy-vehicle lanes in some parts of the country —including Colorado— because of their superior efficiency. The idea is to support, through public policy, efficient vehicles that generate less harmful emissions. But if they’re really not substantially more efficient, it’s neither environmentally beneficial nor fair to drivers of traditional vehicles that may, in reality, get similar gas mileage.

Read more:How many miles per gallon does your Prius really get? – The Denver Post
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3 thoughts on “How many miles per gallon does your Prius really get?

  1. Before the 15% ethanol blend became so common, I would get 20% better mileage.
    Now, that better gas is very hard to find. Oh and the winter blend,,,even worse mpg!

  2. In 2007, an independent research groups did an energy comparison for all of the energy costs for a given vehicle from gathering all of the materials, to its usage, to its disposal. You can read a copy at The study showed at a conventional sedan, like a Toyota Corolla uses one-fourth the energy that a Prius uses over its lifetime.

  3. Granted the hybrid cars do not represent the “green” that they are made out to be. But once they are built, my experience is that they in fact get better mileage than the average automobile. The entire American automobile market is a scam, a rotten scam. Lies, thieves, oil slick barons transferring our wealth to themselves as many ways as they can. Emission standards that set us back in time. More ethanol is bogus. Hemp is the answer to replace many oil products, period. In the mid-70’s we had a Toyota Corolla that get better mileage then, than they do now. The whole thing is a rip off, designed to further burden the American middle and lower class.

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