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Hybrid Gas Mileage Good? Bad? As Expected?

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Comments

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,694
    Hybrids suffer in cold weather

    I would say it is more the driver than the car. I know of one Accord in Illinois getting close to 48 MPG. That is extreme, yet how many hybrids in Chicago get that kind of mileage. Where was the vehicles in your chart tested. CA and AZ should not have any winter issues with mileage. Unless you are up in the Sierras. After 6200 miles in my TDI most on 2-3 mile trips with the AC running full blast (warm yr in SD) I have not seen a big fluctuation in mileage. 1-2 MPG on each tank difference. So AC on a diesel is not a factor that I can see. Maybe on small high revving gas engines it makes a difference.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Everyone who owns a diesel car seems to think the A/C has no effect. I have yet to see a scientific basis for that. Are air conditioners installed in diesels DIFFERENT than air conditioners in gasoline cars? Of course not.

    Can a diesel car do this: turn on the ACC and run the air conditioner. Does it get cold? If not, then it requires FUEL to get cold. If it gets frigid with the car not started, then it's not using fuel. Gary, try that with your TDI and let us know.

    From green car congress:

    "Minimize Use Of Air Conditioning. Unless it’s freezing, or sweltering, keep the air conditioner off (fan is usually sufficient for cool or warm air flow into the vehicle). It is a major fuel thief in traffic, increasing fuel consumption by up to 10%."
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    If it's "more the driver than the car" then that means hybrids can get high mileage ANYWHERE, which supports what I said in the first place.

    The chart in question (which was removed because it was "too wide") was from a car in the Pacific Northwest of the USA.
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    The Prius has an electric AC so mileage hits are minimal. It also doesn't sap power when driving around town. My friend who has a diesel Merc (older model) keeps the AC off as it takes a bit hit on the performance. Hybrids... gotta love them!! So cool.... Still possibly getting mine!!! Nothing else out there has my interest!!
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    hey Falcon - tink about dis:

    "electric" A/C

    Where does Prius get it's "electricity" from?

    very little from regen - most from FUEL.

    So anytime the A/C is running, it is still "in a roundabout way" using fuel.

    No free lunches.....:D
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    Very true.. BUT you do not have a power sapping compressor delaying your departure. My WRX automatic with AC was truly a DOG when I put the AC on. Unless you drive a car with a very high HP output, the AC always seems to sap the power. I've never felt this with the Prius. Another nice thing is the silent idle at lights with nice cold aire blowing. Hybrids....gotta love em!!!
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,694
    Everyone who owns a diesel car seems to think the A/C has no effect.

    Maybe that is because it is true. While cruising at 70 MPH at 2100 RPMS the TDI is at the peak of it's torque curve. In other words there is a lot more power than is needed to push the Passat down the highway. Unlike the inefficient gas engine that is very weak at lower RPMS. When you turn on the AC at 70 MPH you have to give it considerably more gas to maintain the speed and the AC. Diesel is a superior fuel for vehicles without any doubt. No amount of hype can change those FACTS.

    Getting back to my original post. I am not the one relating that my hybrid gets 10, 20, 30% less mileage in the Summer and the Winter. Hybrids are just more susceptible to little outside influences. Heat, cold, wind, tire pressure, driving skill, etc. When the emphasis for owning a car is the mileage you get, it becomes a big issue. Also on my wife's LS400. We get 27 MPG on the highway year round. Mostly trips to Las Vegas across the desert. It seems to me the only engines that suffer when using the AC are the small low torque engines designed to get optimum mileage under very restricted circumstances.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    quote-"It seems to me the only engines that suffer when using the AC are the small low torque engines designed to get optimum mileage under very restricted circumstances."-end quote

    On what are you basing that assumption? Gut feeling? It's a FACT that use of the air compressor requires fuel, regardless of the engine size. That's not different in any car.

    It's a major factor in why the EPA tests, which DO NOT USE THE Air Conditioner, are incorrect for 87% of cars.

    Diesel torque has nothing to do with fuel used to air condition a car.

    Did you do your test, Gary, the one I suggested to you? Get in your TDI on a warm day and turn the key to ACC and run the air conditioner. Does it get cold? If not, then the engine must be running for it to get cold. What's the difference you say? Well, FUEL is being used by the air compressor to cool the air.

    Found a page that says running the A/C generally robs 5% of an engines HP:

    "If a car has 100 horsepower, the five-horsepower cost in engine power for running the air conditioner doesn't seem that great. However, the same car at cruising speed requires only 25 horsepower at the most. Then, relatively speaking, that five horsepower represents a much larger demand on the engine."

    Found yet another page that says this:

    "According to the National Safety Council’s Safety and Health Policy Center, driving without using the car’s air conditioning increases fuel efficiency by about 2.5 miles per gallon."

    Another:

    "The common automobile air conditioner uses shaft work of the engine to turn a mechanical compressor. Operating the mechanical compressor increases the load on the engine and therefore increases fuel consumption, emissions and engine operating temperature. "
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    My sister and I along with my nephew drove down to the Delaware shore this past summer. Outside temps were 81 with RH of 52%. We set the A/C at 72 and drove on the relatively flat Garden State Parkway at 68-71 MPH. The MFD at the end of the trip registered 51.3. Gotta love it!!!!
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,694
    Diesel torque has nothing to do with fuel used to air condition a car.

    I will have to differ unless you have some documented proof to the contrary. I am sure your 5% loss was based on a gas engine. As an example when driving the Mazda 626 and I turn on the AC I can feel the loss of power. When I do the same in the Passat TDI there is no loss. It all has to do with where your power curve produces the maximum. If you are cruising along in a 4C gas car at 2000 RPMS that is about half of the horse power you have at 4000 RPMS. So any little drag on the engine will be felt. I can tell you that I am getting the same mileage now as in the heat of the summer here. Many days over 95 degrees. Mostly short trips.

    What I am seeing is a lot of excuses made for the hybrid technology and why it is not delivering the expected mileage. I agree with those that feel it should stand on it's own merit and not the skill of the hypermiler. As we know hypermiler's get great results without the aid of hybrid technology.

    Maybe some sort of hypermiling course should be added to the curriculum of driver's ed classes in school. That would probably have a bigger impact on our oil supply than the over complicated hybrid technologies.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    "U.S. drivers use about 7.9 billion gallons of fuel each year to run their air-conditioners, which draw power from the engine."
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    That is an incredible statistic!! I've always read that using the AC is better than keeping the windows open at speed. As I mentioned previously, we easily achieved 51.3 with the Prius on the highway. Not too many cars can keep you cool and get 51.3 at close to 70!!! Prius...gotta love it!!!
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    "U.S. drivers use about 7.9 billion gallons of fuel each year to run their air-conditioners, which draw power from the engine."

    Yeah, but we're, like, really hot see. ;)
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,694
    "U.S. drivers use about 7.9 billion gallons of fuel each year to run their air-conditioners, which draw power from the engine."

    I am sure that is gasoline not diesel that is used. Just another reason to switch to a diesel car. My VW TDI is happy to run the AC without wasting fuel. Oh, and my GMC hybrid with climate control keeps pouring out the cold air with the engine stopped at the stop lights. Does your HCH do that?
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    All cars regardless of gas/hybrid/diesel use additonal fuel for their AC. As Larb said, there is NO free lunch. I'm happy with what I've seen on my sister's Prius. 51.3 MPG @ 68 MPH!!!! Gotta love dat Prius!!!!
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
  • mistermemisterme Posts: 407
    "When you turn on the AC at 70 MPH you have to give it considerably more gas to maintain the speed and the AC"

    Cruising @ 70MPH you don't notice if the A/C is on with an HCH in regards to engine load.

    "Diesel is a superior fuel for vehicles without any doubt. No amount of hype can change those FACTS"

    How about diesel car hype?
    Let's look at some facts:
    *Diesel cars have a much shorter life span than gasoline cars. Used car listings are solid proof.
    www.autotrader.com
    *Diesel fuel is considerably more expensive and is harder to find than gasoline.
    Proof is at your local gas station (Which probably doesn't even sell diesel)
    *Diesel cars, particularly VW continues to be plagued by gross failures from fires to steering parts falling off
    http://money.cnn.com/2004/11/08/pf/autos/cr_auto_reliability/
    *Jetta reminds me alot of a '76 Chev Citation
    http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/tw/images/81citation.jpg
    But I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    Gagrice this is not a diesel vs hybrid thread (But you can see I'm glad to filter out the hype).

    I understand there's a few people getting almost 70MPG from their '06 HCH over at that "Green" website.
    Any vehicle that can get over 50MPG is great in my book (Diesel included) but 70MPG is simply fantastic, especially from a gasoline powered car.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,694
    I understand there's a few people getting almost 70MPG from their '06 HCH

    I see someone is getting 52.9 MPG which is good. I am sure you have followed this thread, and the debate is why so many hybrid owners are disappointed in the mileage during the summer and winter. What do you attribute the 10-30% loss in mileage during the extreme heat or extreme cold. I know in Atlanta it is 75 degrees year round so that is not an issue with your driving.
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi Gagrice:

    You could start by uploading your own FE figures over at GH so we can see your real world FE? Someone complaining about others FE should not mind the rest of us seeing his or hers. So far, all I hear is that your Lexus gave you this, the TDI that, or the Silverado Hybrid hasn’t seen its first tank and its 4 months old, etc …

    You know my hybrids and non-hybrid’s FE to the last mile/ounce as I post them but where is yours so we can see the disappointment tank over tank in your non-hybrids too? If most non-hybrid drivers kept track of their FE tank over tank, they would be ashamed to post their results! If you think a Hybrid not hitting the EPA in the dead of winter or heat of summer is bad, try a Chevrolet Impala, Toyota Tundra, Ford Crown Vic, or Honda Odyssey in a 7 mile commute of downtown stop and go. When you see 10 or less mpg’s tank after tank after tank, you would be glad to own the Prius, HCH, or FEH receiving their paltry 25 - 45 + mpg in that exact same driving scenario and circumstance.

    Finally, a quick look over CR’s Annual Car Buyers Guide issue will show you what the non-hybrid’s are capable of in a stop and go city environment according to CR’s own testing. This is not done in the dead of winter either! The Accord is worth just 16 mpg according to CR’s and I know a few I4 Accord owners in downtown Chicago that wish they could achieve that high a FE this time of year. Remember that the Accord is one of CR’s highest FE rated non-hybrid automobiles available with a 38 mpg highway rating …

    Older report but still relevant: http://autos.yahoo.com/consumerreports/article/fuel_efficient_cars_category.html-

    Good Luck

    Wayne R. Gerdes
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,694
    When you see 10 or less mpg’s tank after tank after tank, you would be glad to own the Prius or HCH receiving their paltry 30 - 45 mpg in those exact same driving circumstances.

    I have never owned a truck that got 10 MPG or less. My Suburban was a 13-14 MPG around town rig. It would get 17 MPG on the highway. My new hybrid had 670 miles when I filled it yesterday. Didn't bother to figure the mileage. Somewhere around 15 MPG. I like driving the truck, just trying to get miles on the VW TDI to sell it. I have the VW on a spreadsheet. After 6123 miles the Passat is at 27.96 MPG. Most of that is trips shorter than 3 miles.

    Now back to the point at hand. You can bet your bottom dollar if I bought a Prius and it only got 35 MPG when it has an EPA of 55 MPG combined, I would be upset. If a car cannot get close to EPA with normal driving. NO hypermiler technics. It is not something I would be interested in. That is why I bought the Passat. It gets what it is advertised to get. It gets better in town than I expected.

    I read from hybrid owners every excuse under the sun why they are not getting EPA. That is fine for them. I would not be happy. The truth is and I think you have proven it to yourself and surely to me. If mileage is a big concern in your driving, you can get great mileage out of most anything you drive. I don't put enough miles on my vehicles to worry about the fuel I use. Insuring one vehicle costs more than gas for all 4 cars in a year.
This discussion has been closed.