Monday, February 1, 2016

"the best way to use that gallon is to ultimately not burn it at all"

Some truly great reporting and writing from Motor Trend.

Basically, they matched up the Volt and the Prius and did a deep comparison between the two. Not just the usual superficial crap most media sources indulge in. MT gets a big nod from me because this is solid work and sadly, all too uncommon these days. Part of the intro...

However, trusty Sam Boyle—who’s still holding that beaker of gas (thanks, Sam)—really doesn’t care about any of this. His job at our partner company, Emissions Analytics, is to narrowly but scientifically measure how far cars travel in the real world with that gallon. At this moment, he and his assistant, Jesus Flores, have tested a whopping 328 cars and trucks for our Real MPG program. Supported by a 15,000-gallon, chemically stable supply of regular, premium, and diesel grades from our partner, Chevron, the cars are instrumented with a $150,000 gas analyzer and expertly lapped around a tedious 100-mile real-world course. Numbers are crunched and adjustments are made for traffic fluctuations, weather, and air-conditioner use, and once Emissions’ London-based chief and statistician, Nick Molden, is satisfied, the results are added to our tally. While there’s lots of buzz now about “real-world” testing in the wake of Dieselgate (in Europe, Renault has announced it will publish independent real-world results next to the government scores)—we’re already doing this testing. How opportune, then, that the two cars Sam is standing in front of—the all-new 2016 Volt and Prius—are making the biggest gallon-stretching claims out there. Sam may be their worst nightmare. As if they need nightmares.
Go read this. It's good start to finish and no, I won't spoil the result here. Cheers to author Kim Reynolds and photographer Robin Trajano for the great work.