Maybe a bad analogy but the story’s about deceptive fuel efficiency numbers on hybrid cars.
The “experts” advocated keeping them charged and never using the gasoline engine for maximum efficiency.
Doesn’t that seem counter-productive? Why buy a car with an engine you won’t use and by NOT using it risk it not being able to run when you truly need it?
The consumer watchdog tested 22 popular hybrid models over 62 miles (100km) and found that they had all been advertised with unrealistic fuel efficiency figures.
On average, hybrid cars were found to be 61 per cent less fuel-efficient than promised.
The worst offender, the BMW X5, was 72 per cent less efficient than claimed, and could cost its owner up to £669 more each year in fuel expenses.
Meanwhile the Toyota Prius, the ‘best’ of the rest, was still 39 per cent below its official fuel economy rating and could cost up to £171 more to run each year.
Which? said that their tests were tougher than the official ones, because they better represented real-world driving conditions.
A recent report from Greenpeace and Transport & Environment called hybrid cars a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’, as they emit 2.5 times the CO2 in reality than in tests.
‘A fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid vehicle is an attractive feature for prospective buyers, as many will expect to spend less on fuel and reduce their carbon footprint,’ said Which? head of home products and services, Natalie Hitchins.
‘Yet our research shows many hybrid models are not as efficient as the manufacturers claim, which means motorists could be spending more on fuel than they anticipated.
‘It is clear that the standard set for calculating fuel consumption is flawed and should be reviewed to better reflect real-life driving conditions.
‘This would ensure manufacturers advertise more accurate figures and consumers have a better understanding of how much they should expect to spend on fuel.’
The fuel consumption figures advertised by car manufacturers are calculated via the so-called Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) and include consideration of the given model’s electric driving range.
This means that the miles per gallon figure achievable in real-world conditions can be much lower than the test figures, resulting in drivers consuming more fuel than they might expect.
Other poor performers in the consumer watchdog’s tests included the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, which was found to be 71 per cent less efficient than claimed.
According to BMW, this vehicle can cover 156.9 miles per gallon (mpg), whereas Which? concluded that it could only do 44.8 mpg and would therefore cost £1,081 a year to fuel, or £772.08 more than the £309 based on the manufacturer’s mpg figure.
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class plug-in hybrid, meanwhile, was found only able to cover 78 of the promised 256 miles per gallon, adding an extra £411 to the annual fuel bill.
Annual fuel costs were calculated based on average fuel costs of 121.8p for diesel and 118.5p for petrol and an annual mileage of 9,000 — roughly the average distance travelled by respondents in the Which? annual car survey.