Ford Motor Co. disclosed that the United States Environmental Protection Agency may modify its procedures for testing the mileage of hybrid vehicles. Raj Nair, Ford's product development chief, noted at the Deutsche Bank Global Auto Industry Conference in Detroit that following tests by Consumer Reports magazine, a number of Toyota Motor Corp.'s Prius hybrid models exhibited higher fuel-economy deficits against EPA estimates than the Ford Fusion hybrid and C-Max hybrid.
Nair remarked that the shortfalls reflected a lot of differences against the EPA label for all carmakers. He said that several factors like speed and outside temperature could influence the differences in actual fuel economy compared with EPA ratings.
The Ford Fusion hybrid and C-Max hybrid promised to deliver 47 miles (76 kilometers) per gallon, but during tests conducted by Consumer Reports, the models’ ratings dropped 17 percent to 21 percent, according to a statement by the magazine in December 2012. According to Consumer Reports, its tests showed that the Ford Fusion hybrid achieved 39 mpg, while the C- Max hybrid averaged 37 mpg in both city and highway driving.
According to Nair, hybrid vehicles could use up around 7mpg when driving at 75 miles per hour rather than 65 mph. He also noted that a difference of 30 degrees in outside temperature can lead to a 5-mpg disparity. He added that another 5 mpg can be lost for a hybrid after 6,000 miles driven. Nair said that Ford is working closely with the EPA to determine whether the industry testing procedure needs changes for hybrid vehicle testing.