Diesel Drivers get better Real World Mileage.

December 17th, 2006 by William

It is no secret that the diesel is one of the most fuel-efficient internal combustion engines ever designed. Diesel drivers have long reported excellent mileage returns on their clattery-engined vehicles. A new study has reaffirmed the diesel engine’s efficiency prowess by using real world data.

The diesel powered Audi won the 12 hours of Sebring with a combination of speed, reliability and efficiency.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study uses information gathered from individual drivers who monitor their own gas mileage and then send the information back to the lab. This information, dubbed “YourMPG”, was compiled by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and included data from some 221 diesel drivers, 520 Hybrid drivers, 680 High MPG conventional gas drivers (over 32mpg average), and 7330 conventional gasoline drivers.

The premise of the study was to compare labeled mpg to fuel economy that drivers found they were actually getting in real world scenarios (YourMPG). In this study diesel vehicles were by far the best, out performing their labeled mpg by 4.3%. Both high-mpg gas and conventional gas vehicles came close to their labeled mpg only under-performing by slightly over 1%, while hybrid vehicles faired the worse falling short of the labeled mpg by 8.2%.

I’ve always admired diesel engines for their stump-pulling torque and good economy, but they put up massive clouds of exhaust, sounded like they were falling apart and always seemed to fall short in the fun department. However the clattery motors of the past have come along way, and with the addition of forced induction and numerous technological advances they are more refined and much more fun. With cleaner diesel technology being developed and brought to the States, and an increase in the availability of good diesel vehicles in the US, the information from this EPA study might play a key role in the future diesel power in this country.

View the technical report here: http://www.epa.gov/fueleconomy/420r06017.pdf

-Bill Mertz

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About William

I am a twenty something car enthusiast. I spend most of my days working in a small restoration shop in Northern California that specializes in vintage Alfa Romeos. I also manage to do some freelance writing for a handful of automotive publications. When I'm not at the shop I can usually be found working on one of my own project cars, out driving on a good windy road or good jeep trail. Despite what my girlfriend says cars aren't what defines me, they are only what I do. When I have a chance I also love to go camping, play sports or generally do any type of outdoor activity. I don't take myself to seriously, so I hope you don't either.

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