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?

Plug-in hybrid electric cars can use four times more fuel than makers claim, costing owners an average of £462 per year more than expected, Which? has warned.

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.

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  1. RedneckGeezer says:

    Antz, you’ll probably disown me since I’ve never told you I have a hybrid car. I own a Toyota Camry hybrid. It’s both our car, but mainly my wife’s. It is the nicest car we have ever owned. It gets great mileage, but I’m sure there’s something out there that runs gas only that could get better. I swore I would never buy a hybrid or electric car long ago. Ran across multiple friends with them and each one was very happy. Then, gas went to $5 a gallon and we were driving across country all the time. That’s when I started looking at them. Prior to looking into them, I assumed the gas engine generated electricity that charged the car. I am definitely not an electrical/electronic/automotive engineer, so got no real clue the physics behind things, but virtually all the charging comes from the braking system. Maybe I’m wrong and all of it does. When you think about it, there has to be a lot of energy used to brake a car. At any rate, regardless of mileage, I really like the car. You can run the car on electric alone only if certain conditions are met, which is usually at really low speed. Like I said, I have no clue how it works, but I can’t drive out to the interstate, get up to 75mph and then shut the gas engine off and cruise down the highway like an electric car. Doesn’t work like that. But, still, it is the nicest car I have ever owned and I’d buy one again if I had a reason to buy a new car. Also, it’s the first new car I’ve bought in longer than I can remember. I figure I can do the Algore thing in reverse with carbon credits. My other vehicle is a 2003 Chevy Duramax diesel which actually gets reasonable mileage if I’m not towing a heavy trailer or have a huge load in the bed. Before we got our Camry, my truck was the most comfortable and nicest vehicle I ever owned. Between the two, I’m happy and can go anywhere. Oh, and did I pay too much if I did a complete cost analysis over the life of the car? Probably, but I don’t really care.

  2. antzinpantz says:

    1. drive whatever pleases you is my philosophy. I just don’t want to get preached at about how what I drive is causing global warming. Unfortunately, that’s the default position of liberals…always preaching they know best.

    2. my point was that it does not make sense to buy an electric vehicle that then switches to internal combustion when the batteries run out and have some sanctimonious prick say, “well, just make sure the charge never runs out so that you never use the internal combustion engine. What’s the fucking point of buying a car with something you’ll never use and then cost untold thousands to repair when it fails from non-use.

    3. not sure if I ever mentioned it but before I bought my truck I took sound pressure level readings in my existing vehicle at different speeds. Then I test drove the truck on the same roads at same speeds and compared. The truck was 5-7 db quieter. Which is a shitload. I can cruise at 75 and speak with passengers at barely above a whisper. I love it.

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