Hybrids, a combination of Gasoline and Electric power, are getting high ratings by the EPA for it's high mileages. But are they really reaching the mileage estimates?
According to the EPA, the Prius, the best-selling hybrid, gets 60
miles per gallon in city driving and 51 m.p.g. on the highway.
The Escape is rated at 36 and 31, the Accord 29 and 37.
The hybrids fell as much as 40 percent below the EPA
mileage figures for combined city and highway driving
during my recent test, which covered a mix of Detroit-area
The Escape, the largest of the three vehicles,
did fairly well, giving me 21.6 m.p.g.
The Accord, got 20.4 m.p.g. The Prius'
fuel economy suffered the most, 22.8 m.p.g.
So why are the hybrids not getting the mpg that are being toted by the auto manufacturers?
Running the front defroster increases their fuel consumption
drastically, as I discovered while driving three of them during
Detroit's typically cold winter. Setting the air-conditioning on
maximum cool has the same effect, so the problem is not
limited to northern regions.
While the Tree Huggers are promoting hybrids as the best thing since sliced bread, it's not really living up to anyones expectations.
All three vehicles I drove probably got somewhat better
fuel economy in my test than if I'd been driving conventional
models, but this is just the latest example of hybrids falling
short of the hype that surrounds them.
Even some very enthusiastic hybrid owners have
becomefrustrated by the cars' failure to delivery fuel
economy matching the EPA numbers.