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Ask your local congressman why the situation is so bogus--it's not the EPA's fault. The EPA has had more realistic mileage tests for quite a while. The SC03 test shows the effect of using A/C in high ambient temperatures, and the US06 test shows the result of "aggressive driving."
http://www.dieselnet.com/standards/cycles/ftp_us06.html

"US06 is EPA's preferred method for establishing control of emissions from non-LA4 driving behavior. The US06 covers the range of non-LA4 driving, while targeting severe, high emission events. Because the driving modes generating the highest emissions differed widely across vehicles, it is very important to include a variety of high load events representing actual aggressive driving behavior. In addition, the US06 cycle achieves the objectives of both EPA and CARB, thus eliminating issues or costs associated with the respective agencies having two different controls."
http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/ld-hwy/ftp ... p-us06.pdf

The Insight gets around 40 MPG on the SC03 test with A/C on, and around 50 MPG on the US06 test.
http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy01osti/31085.pdf
 

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Maybe instead of changing tests to follow agressive driving habits, we should teach people how drive sensibly?
 

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Seems to entirely miss the main point of the tests, which is to have a common standard of comparison between cars.

No test is going to predict the mpg that any particular driver will get from a car. In fact, I've always gotten rather better than the EPA ratings - my Insight, for instance has averaged about 73 mpg in the something over two years I've owned it, and I'm a fairly fast and aggressive driver.

If a lot of drivers get worse mileage than the test numbers, maybe it's time to start trying to teach them how to drive. As for instance today's news stories about people running out of gas while evacuating the Houston area. Not because they drove a long distance, but because they were too dumb to turn off their engines while stopped in a traffic jam.
 

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james said:
they were too dumb to turn off their engines while stopped in a traffic jam.
yes, and a lot of people are too dumb to turn off their engine in parking lots!

We have a lot to teach them!
 
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