Electric Cars Muddy the MPG Waters

By dancurranjr On November 23rd, 2009

plug-in-hybrid-car-phevWith more electric, fuel cell and hybrid vehicles on the road today, measuring miles per gallon isn’t as easy as it was in the old days, the Washington Times reports.

Alternative-fuel cars have different ways of computing mpg. For example, the new Chevy Volt electric car has a projected fuel economy equal to 230 mpg.

Edmunds.com is asking the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to come up with fuel-cost ratings to assist buyers in comparing the cars. On Sept. 15, the agency asked for public comments on emissions and fuel economy standards for plug-in electric and hybrid cars.

“A consumer could reasonably assume, based on the way that they have been using window stickers now going back to 1975, that the Chevy Volt is over four times more efficient to operate than the Toyota Prius. And [that] would actually be completely wrong,” said Jeremy Anwyl, CEO of Edmunds.com.

Edmunds.com would like for the EPA to stop allowing car makers to promote vehicles based on mpg. “If car companies are building cars with very high monthly costs from a fuel perspective, that’s the sort of information that needs to be out there,” he said.

Anwyl said the agency is interested in the proposal from Edmunds.com and has been inquiring of the company how customers use the Internet comparison sites when making decisions.


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