Disputes regarding overstated fuel economy and driving range on fuel efficient and electric vehicles have consumer watchdogs disputing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) tests. Consumers have always questioned the ratings posted on window stickers of new vehicles, but as the government demands and enforces stricter fuel economy ratings, consumer advocates are asking that automobile manufacturers state closer to true life ratings.

Currently, the tests are performed under controlled conditions that put the vehicles through five different cycles. They still reflect city and highway driving, but now have additional tests that simulate faster speeds, acceleration and decelerating, air conditioner use, and more varied outdoor temperatures. The test covers a total of almost fifty miles, which according to the EPA, is sufficient in determining fuel economy estimates.

Fuel economy window stickers ratings on automobile use to be “good to know” information, but as consumers demand better fuel economy, they are more likely to make their buying decisions based on this number. According to the EPA these numbers are only calculated so consumers will be able to compare fuel economy from vehicle to vehicle and the actual economy achieved will be affected by the drivers driving habits.

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