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“High mileage” is going to take on a different meaning with the EPA “improved” mileage estimates for 2008 cars and trucks.
EPA-certified estimates on fuel efficiency will be dropping, not because gas mileage will be worse, but because testing procedures to determine miles-per-gallon will change for the first time in 20 years.
The new rules won’t be used to determine whether automakers meet federally mandated “fleet” fuel averages – so-called CAFE standards – that are regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Rather, the new fuel-use averages are designed to “empower consumers,” according to U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson.
“They can be confident those estimated more closely reflect real-word conditions,” Johnson said.
Under testing standards proposed by the U.S. EPA on Tuesday (Jan. 10), mileage estimates are expected to drop 20% for city driving and up to 15% for highway speeds, because testing will be required under more normal driving conditions that reflect high interstate speeds, rapid acceleration, the use of air conditioning and colder air temperatures, according the EPA.