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EPA Ratings – Your EV Mileage May Vary

Nissan Leaf EPA Fuel Economy Label - Your Mileage May Vary
Nissan Leaf EPA Fuel Economy Label – Your Mileage May Vary

We have all seen or at least heard the phrase, “Your mileage may vary,” and it has much more to do with the driver than anything else. We recently covered an interesting test drive that Edmunds.com puts all their test vehicles through, a 105.5 mile real-world test track otherwise referred to as the One Lap of Orange County.

What was really interesting, and we didn’t do a whole lot of analysis of, was how much Edmunds’ test results differed from the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] ratings of the exact same vehicles.

I suppose it could be a good thing that the EPA ratings are a little off, but it does speak to some concerns that maybe their rating procedures need to be changed. Every EV that Edmunds tested resulted in a much higher range than the EPA suggested.

The reason I say suggested instead of tested is because the EPA doesn’t actually test the fuel economy of the vehicles they rate. Instead, they take information from the automaker and apply a complicated formula to determine the fuel economy of the particular vehicle.

Sometimes their estimates are higher than real-world, and sometimes they’re lower. In the case of all the EVs that Edmunds tested, the EPA was a little low estimating range. The point of all this is, “Yes, your mileage may vary,” but “No, you don’t have to be a fanatic in order to get great fuel economy,” or in the case of electric vehicles, good range between charges.

Really, the only thing as a driver you need to learn how to do is relax, avoid excessive speed, jackrabbit starts, and aggressive maneuvers. It’s better on the car, and it’s safer for you and the people you share the road with.

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