Fuel economy is one of the biggest sellers of vehicles today, but driver habit is probably more of a factor than the vehicle itself.
We’ve all heard “your mileage may vary,” because it depends on much more than the vehicle itself. Without hypermiling, most drivers epect to achieve fuel economy fairly close to what the EPA sticker says. On the other hand, ignore all good driving habits and you might as well have bought the gas guzzler. Recently, Hyundai faced a class action lawsuit for inflated fuel economy numbers, and now Ford is under fire for the same reason. The Ford C-Max was advertised to get 47mpg, but most drivers haven’t been seeing much more than 34mpg.
Even the hypermilers have barely scratched 40mpg, so it’s understandable that there are plenty of disappointed owners out there. With vehicles becoming more connected than ever before, a whole new realm of app development is now underway. Ford is hoping to spur some creativity by running an app developer contest. Developers need to create and deploy an app that helps drivers improve their driving habits, and therefore their fuel economy. Teaching people how to drive responsibly via app should be interesting, and Ford will give prizes totalling $50,000 to successful app developers.