Monday, November 21, 2005


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is working on updates to the procedure it requires for estimating vehicle fuel economy in an effort to make results more realistic. The agency is likely to propose changes by about the end of the year, although adoption won’t occur until sometime next year. EPA says the proposed changes—the first in 21 years—could reduce the official fuel economy numbers for at least some vehicles by as much as 10%, says The Wall
Street Journal. The current test procedure assumes average city and highway speeds of about 21 mph and 49 mph, respectively. But the agency says motorists actually cover between one-third and one-half of the total miles they drive at speeds above 60 mph. It says drivers also accelerate and brake harder than the original test specifies. The agency also notes that the current test doesn’t consider the impact of such things as running the airconditioning
system on a hot day.

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