Hybrid vehicles always deliver the best gas mileage, right? Well, not exactly. Often times, the real world gas mileage numbers do not equal the advertised fuel economy rating on the window sticker. While this is not likely an attempt by the automakers to fool the customers, there are many hybrid owners that are furious at their observed gas mileage. Here are some of the reasons that a hybrid vehicle may get less than the expected gas mileage.
The speed at which a car is traveling has a direct impact on its overall fuel economy. Studies have proven that the majority of vehicles tend to get substantially worse gas mileage when driven in excess of 55 mph. Although the electric motor handles the brunt of the load during city commutes, the gasoline motor usually does most of the work on highway drives. Driving at a speed of 75 mph on the highway is a surefire way to a less than the desired fuel economy.
The fact of the matter is that gasoline is formulated differently for the winter, which means that there could be a drop in fuel efficiency. There are also a few other cold weather factors that promote a loss of fuel efficiency. Due to the effects of the cold temperatures, the motor oil usually thickens up quite a bit. The engine must work harder to pump through the increased thickness, thus requiring more fuel. Furthermore, the entire electric motor system is also less efficient during frigid temperatures.
The majority of car owners do not realize that new vehicles are likely to deliver a less than advertised fuel economy. The reason is because the car’s moving parts need a certain amount of wear to reduce the amount of friction. After the initial break-in period, the owner may actually see an improvement in gas mileage.
Style of Driving
The reality is that not every motorist drives in manner that promotes great gas mileage. While some hybrid vehicle owners complain about getting a relatively bad fuel economy, there are other drivers that are getting better gas mileage than the EPA rating. Hypermiling, which is a driving style geared toward efficiency, involves the use of efficient driving tactics. This frugal style of driving could mean big savings in the overall consumption of gas.