Real world tests loom for mileage data

Real world tests loom for mileage data

US auto industry looks at taking testing out of the laboratory.

Real world tests loom for mileage data
Many buyers are dissatisfied with the amount of fuel their cars use, compared to their expectations.

We find it all the time, the claimed urban and combined fuel consumption figures are seldom met by our ‘real world’ testing.

Often, the cars we test will use more than 20% more fuel than the claimed figures and, not surprisingly, many new car buyers are also less than impressed by the extra fuel use they experience when they start getting about in their vehicles.

The problem seems to be that the laboratory testing that the manufacturers do, although consistent across the industry and government audited, is too clinical and not based on the variables of real-time car use.

But, change could be on the way, in the United States at least.

Automotive News reports that the Environmental Protection Authority is looking at a proposal that would require manufacturers to actually road test vehicles to verify mileage claims.

These tests would account for variables such as wind speed, temperature and pavement conditions – all elements that are hard to replicate in a laboratory!

At this stage manufacturers seem receptive of the proposal, the only issue seems to be, how do you guarantee consistency in these tests?

We’ll keep an eye on developments and discuss this story in more depth on this week’s podcast. More info on Australian testing can be found here.

Joel Helmes