New Fuel Consumption Standards

Changes In Fuel Ratings

Anyone who keeps their eyes on new vehicles and their specs might notice some interesting differences in regards to fuel consumption for new 2015 model year vehicles in comparison to their predecessors. New government testing procedures have been implemented for the Canadian market this year providing more accurate fuel consumption statistics – a basis for new fuel consumption standards. These new tests reflect a larger range of driving habits and conditions that lead to overall more accurate numbers. Though car buyers and enthusiasts will notice consumption values that may show 10%-20% higher than previous year models, the values are a reflection of much closer to real-world driving than they had previously.

Two Cycle Test Methods

Up until the end of 2014, vehicles were tested for their fuel consumption based on what is called the Two-Cycle Test Methods, which tests a vehicle’s performance in both city and highway conditions.

The city test does its best to simulate average urban driving, assuming stop-and-go like traffic at an outdoor temperature between twenty (20) to thirty (30) degrees Celsius with the vehicle initially acclimated. The test covers a total of 17.8 kilometers (km) at an average speed of 34 kilometers per hour (km/h), stopping 23 times and including over five minutes of idling time

The highway test on the flip side does its best so simulate highway driving, taking into account both open highway and rural road driving at speeds averaging 78 kilometers per hour (km/h) with no stopping and light acceleration rates.

Five-Cycle Test Methods

Improving upon the limitations of the long-running two-cycle testing methods, three more cycles of testing have been added for the 2015 model year season to give fuel consumption ratings a much better representation of realistic driving conditions, including cold temperature tests, air conditioner use as well as higher speeds with more dramatic acceleration changes.

The cold temperature tests are done using the same conditions as the original city test, with the main difference being the external temperature rated around -7 degrees Celsius. The air conditioner usage test takes into account the lowering of internal cabin temperatures while exterior temperatures exceed 35 degrees Celsius. Finally, vehicles are tested for variable and overall higher acceleration rates at speeds up to 129 kilometers per hour (km/h) on highway conditions.

Summing it Up

The combination of all five cycles of testing when brought together provide a much more accurate representation of typical fuel consumption used by a large variety of drivers. Though every individual’s driving experience will differ depending on driving habits, location and temperatures, these new standards of testing fuel consumption should provide car buyers with a more realistic set of expectations in terms of vehicle fuel efficiency from now onwards.