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While I agree with the premise that the administration is willing to perform accounting fraud to help advance their agenda, this is a case where I have to say both major parties are equally guilty.

Witness the measurement called "GDP," which includes government spending. This was a change implemented, I believe, under Reagan to "legitimize" Keynesian economics - that Ponzi scheme aimed at convincing people that there is such a thing as perpetual motion in economics.

Double-counting money and classifying debt as an "asset" are among the many tricks administrations have used to hide the coming avalanche of debt. Why would it surprise anyone that they would do the same thing with automobile mpg figures to make it look like they are actually doing something about the alleged "energy crisis?"
 

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Unfortunately I am afraid I have to agree with this article. I want to see more people driving electric cars, but using an equivalency number as an advertising gimmick is wrong.

Lets face it, for most of us this number is absolutely meaningless. For those of us who don't know anything about electric cars, they may end up thinking this is the vehicles range.

In order to get people into electric cars we need to push the electric vehicle's advantages. And one of them is the fact that MPG is a useless measurement, because they no longer need to burn liquid fuel in their car at all.
 

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I read this article and I thought,
That is not a good measure!

99 miles on 37Kwhours (energy equivalent of 1 gallon petrol)

Then I thought 37 Kwhours at $0.10 / unit = $3,70 - is that the US price for petrol?

A measure of miles/dollar or Miles per Cost of 1 gallon petrol - strikes me as a good measure for the public

For the Leaf - that is about 99!

Here it would be over 200 (night rate electricity $0.08 , petrol $ 6/gallon)

The rest of the article slavers on about efficiencies -
From my reading the EPA had two choices

(1) Change the numbers everybody is familiar with to match a new methodology

(2) Apply a variation to their new number (for the leaf) to line up with the old numbers

The EPA very sensibly chose (2)
 

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Duncan, the problems I see with this method is most people will not understand the calculation and more importantly as you point out, the number rating is a moving target based on the cost of the energy at the time of the vehicle sale making it almost worthless.

Miles per gallon are the same no matter how much the fuel costs which is why that is a good metric for rating ICE powered vehicles. Kwh/mile or equivalent would have been a better choice in my view.
 

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Hi David

I agree -
Ideal would be
Leaf
99 Miles per cost of Gallon of petrol (Nov 2010)
370 Whours/Mile at highway speeds
300 Whours/mile city cycle

Then you could easily compare with other electric vehicles and petrol ones

- the 370 Whrs/mile seems a bit high to me for a modern AC electric car - does the modern EPA cycle replicate a very heavy footed driver?
 

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I read this article and I thought,
That is not a good measure!
...........(1) Change the numbers everybody is familiar with to match a new methodology...........
In order to get people into electric cars we need to push the electric vehicle's advantages. And one of them is the fact that MPG is a useless measurement, because they no longer need to burn liquid fuel in their car at all.
Both good points.

Why not use the method they use on electric appliances? Energy cost per year. Maybe for a standard of 12,000 miles per year.

At $0.10/kWh, that would be $448/year. Or about 6 or 7 times what it cost me to run my refrigerator.

As more electrics become available, it will become perhaps more important to compare one EV to another EV than to some gas burning relic.

major
 

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Both good points.

Why not use the method they use on electric appliances? Energy cost per year. Maybe for a standard of 12,000 miles per year.

At $0.10/kWh, that would be $448/year. Or about 6 or 7 times what it cost me to run my refrigerator.

As more electrics become available, it will become perhaps more important to compare one EV to another EV than to some gas burning relic.

major
You know, if I remember right, I believe all cars including the new EVs also have the fuel cost per year on the sticker. Unfortunately it is in very small print and hidden amongst all the other small print.

I agree with David, Kwh per mile would have been an excellent measure, but I see their point. They are trying to standardize the ev with a measurement everybody is already familiar with, unfortunately the method chosen is meaningless for EVs. Miles per charge is the most useful number, but even that will depend largely on how the vehicle is driven.
 

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What was wrong with kWh/mile? Most people get a power bill and are familiar with the unit kWh. Some of them actually know what they pay per kWh. They could then estimate cost per mile. I tell people that at 50 mph my car uses about twice the power of a clothes dryer.:p
 

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Hi David

I agree -
Ideal would be
Leaf
99 Miles per cost of Gallon of petrol (Nov 2010)
370 Whours/Mile at highway speeds
300 Whours/mile city cycle

Then you could easily compare with other electric vehicles and petrol ones

- the 370 Whrs/mile seems a bit high to me for a modern AC electric car - does the modern EPA cycle replicate a very heavy footed driver?
I don't know how many times the EPA has revised their testing methods so far but they have made changes to account for "real world driving".

This commerical from 1983 was one reason they made chances in the past


That same truck would get closer to 22 MPG instead of 25 combined by today's testing standards (which is strange since its still ahead of most full size pickups built today but I digress). I own a heavier, diesel version of that truck and it will get anywhere from 13 to 24 MPG depending on the conditions, so how you define "real world driving" is indeed very subjective and hard to pin down.

More recently the EPA has tried to revise their testing methods for hybrids like the prius after complains the MPG numbers were unrealistic.

But when you think about it, I would rather err on the side of under estimating performance than over estimating it.

As far as dating the fictitious MPG estimate of the electric car, that doesn't entirely resove the issue because fuel prices can vary from one day to the next and from one region to the next. I'm not even sure if it's possible to have an absolute average price of petrol across the united states for any given day of the year.
 
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