The fuel economy is the amount of fuel (such as gasoline or diesel) a vehicle consumes per leg in relation to the distance covered. It affects both the costs and the car’s environmental credentials.
Various indicators of fuel economy are used in different countries. In Sweden, a measure liters per Scandinavian mile (10 km) is traditionally used. Nowadays it is often used instead liters per 100 km, like in many other countries in Europe. In the United States the inverse of fuel consumption is indicated and defines the distance in miles (1.6 km) that you are going on a gallon (3.8 l) of fuel.
Those who write research paper on fuel economy must know that the figures given officially are, according very many people experience, very optimistically relative to consumption that the vehicle exhibits during everyday driving because of how the measurements are perform.
Firstly, it is an independent testing institute that brings out the values, it is not the manufacturer testing and determines the official values.
Fuel consumption is measured while the exhaust emissions and some of the conditions are as follows:
- must have rolled between 300 and 1500 mil, (have been run).
- before the test has to be stored in a room with a temperature between 0 and 30 degrees Celsius for at least 6 hours.
- shall be driven by a driver of 75 kg plus 25 kg of load. All equipment shall be installed, but the lighting and air conditioning must be off.
- should run on a special fuel which should correspond to the average quality of fuel available on the market.
- runs on a rolling road test in a laboratory. The rolling road is programmed with the car’s characteristics for air resistance and rolling resistance as standard, meaning no extra mud flaps, wider tires, spoilers, and more.
- the temperature in the test lab must be between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius, the reference temperature is 20 degrees, if the actual temperature is higher one of the values is calculated to apply at 20 degrees.
- consists of four test cycles where the speed should be held precisely. First three cycles are equal and should correspond to city driving; last cycle must correspond to highway driving.
- average speed at “city driving” mode must be 19 km/h up to maximum speed of 50 km/h
- average speed at “highway driving” mode must be 62.6 km/h and maximum speed 120 km/h (if the vehicle maximum speed is at least 130 km/h)
- During the test, gather all the exhaust into a large “bag,” which are analyzed on the CO2 emissions calculated on the fuel consumption.
The values can be useful for comparing different cars but you cannot expect that the car will consume the same values in real running. Driving style, climate, and loads greatly affects the consumption. At speeds above 120 km/h auto body air resistance can be different and have a significant effect on fuel consumption.
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