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Hybrid Fuel-Efficiency Ratings: The Demand for New Regulations and Technology

Recently accusations came to light that Nissan and GM to inflate their MPG claims by combining gas and electric mileage so their green rating appeared higher, and in order to ensure that the Environmental Protection Agency  won’t follow in their alleged footsteps, The Society for Automotive Engineers and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory are recommending two different rating systems for electric vehicles that plug-in and also run on gas.

The groups are suggesting that in addition to miles-per-gallon ratings which are typically applied to vehicles that run partially on gas, and partially on electricity,  an electricity-per-mile rating also be applied. Both of these ratings should be present on fuel-economy stickers so the consumer can get a realistic grasp of the data. The process for calculating driving efficiency of these hybrid vehicles is more complex since the traditional calculations do not effectively reflect annual fuel costs, however, new methods are in the works which will calculate based dynamometers, instead of just gauging how long it takes until a tank runs empty when running vehicles on a machine.

The final proposal will be submitted by the Society for Automotive Engineers and NREL within the next 6 months so that the EPA can formally review rules and regulations for hybrid fuel-efficiency in the spirit of full-disclosure that will be beneficial to drivers looking into purchasing a vehicle that runs of gas and plug-in!


Image Via: Flickr User NA.dir with a Creative Commons License

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