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Ford hybrids' fuel data queried

2012-12-16 11:49

TRANSIT FUEL QUERIED: The US Environmental Protection Agency is questioning the truck's number; Ford says the EPA should change its testing protocol.

DETROIT, Michigan - Ford is talking to the US government about fuel economy data involving its hybrid (petrol/electric) cars after a report suggested they were falling short of targets.

Consumer Reports said the new C-Max hybrid didn't meet the published fuel consumption of five litres/100km; it managed only 6.2 in the magazine's tests. Other hybrids, among them Ford's Ford Fusion and Toyota's Prius V, also failed to meet their claimed figures after testing.

Ford said it followed the US Environmental Protection Agency's guidelines when it set its fuel consumption standards but the EPA's tests didn't exactly mimic real-world driving, Ford's global vehicle development chief Raj Nair said.

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For instance, Nair said average speed and even air temperature could affect the numbers. Ford, Nair said, suggested the EPA change the way it tests hybrids.

Fuel consumption dominated the conversation Friday as Ford introduced two commercial vehicles that will go on sale in late 2013.

The Transit - also scheduled for South Africa in 2013 - will eventually replace Ford's E-Series vans in the US with a choice of three engines (one of them made in South Africa) and will have a 136kg greater payload and twice the volume

There will also be three roof heights.

Wheels24 says: You can't run the same tests on a petrol/diesel vehicle as you can a hybrid: On a long run, a diesel engine is always going to be more economical; in a city, perhaps on a delivery run, a hybrid with its battery support on acceleration etc, is likely to the winner. Horses for course, and all that...

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