Environmental Organization Claims Automakers Forge Fuel Consumption Tests
|   Friday, November 14, 2014
A lobby group in Brussels asks the European Commission to change the methodology of calculation of fuel consumption for all cars sold in Europe. Transport & Environment Group draws attention to a study by ICCT (International Council on Clean Transport), and an analysis of it by showing how car manufacturers succeed to achieve a stated fuel consumption that is much better than in reality.

The folks at Transport & Environment show the tricks by manufacturers who do this, the average being 31 percent in 2013.
The difference is up from 2001, when the European average was eight percent. Because of this difference, an average driver spends about 500 extra euros per year for fuel to cover the spread.

The lobby group report was supplemented by an analysis of the difference between the declared values and the real figures sold on the European market using the NEDC cycle values, and the values obtained by drivers and fleet managers who collaborated with them. The above analysis was carried out by ICCT.

The European body focused on environmental protection calls for the EU to change the rules of the test until 2017, because the current method of the standard NEDC cycle does not reflect the driving styles of ordinary people and allows producers to exploit certain loopholes to improve results. The subject on which they are focusing comes after Hyundai and Kia have received a record fine for declaring a lower fuel consumption for their cars sold in the US over the last two years, and all Europeans are turning to vehicles to ensure their fuel consumption as low as possible.

The current standard European test cycle fuel consumption was introduced in 1996 specifically to bring comparable results between different types of vehicles available on the market, regardless of the factors that have a big difference on the efficiency of a car in real life. Greg Archer, spokesman for the Belgian body, says exactly the same differences bring higher consumption in real life than the values declared by manufacturers.

Among the tricks used by some car manufacturers to get the best possible fuel consumption value we have disconnecting the alternator, stopping all auxiliary consumers (air conditioning, radio, lights, etc.), using higher gears where they would not necessarily be required to make the engine to run at a lower speed, careful lubrication of components not normally lubricated and use other oils to standard cars and even sticking tape over small areas of the body for improved aerodynamics.

The Mercedes-Benz division of Daimler had the largest deviation found from consumer values announced according to NEDC cycle, the Transport & Environment study shows. The difference was about 40 percent of the test value announced in the European cycle. The following positions were held by BMW and Ford. Industry standard deviation is 30 percent, which means higher consumption by up to 30 percent in real life than the NEDC values. Below average scored companies like GM, Volkswagen, Renault, Fiat, PSA and Toyota.

The ICCT study shows that small displacement engines (up to a liter including) have the biggest difference between the declared values and real life cycle ones. The most "honest" engines are over 5.0 liters, with almost insignificant difference between the real values and those achieved in NEDC tests.
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