Car makers' fuel economy claims don't match reality

In a worrying trend it appears car manufacturers' fuel economy and CO2 emission claims derived from standardised lab tests are growing increasingly out of step with real-world experience.

In 2012 ICCT carried out an analysis of “real-world” fuel consumption data in Germany for the years 2001–2010, based on data from the German website This is an online database with more than 200,000 registered users who regularly provide fuel consumption values collected in the course of their daily driving.

We recently updated that study, and have now covered about 70,000 individual vehicles, compared to about 28,000 in our initial review. We also extended the time range covered to include 2011 data.



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