The New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) Fleet looked at actual fuel economy of hybrids versus non-hybrids and found that hybrids performed better than expected in fuel economy in comparison to non-hybrids.
Fleet staff reviewed data in calendar year 2019 for 4,000 non-policing fleet units including sedans, SUVs, pickups, and vans. These units traveled over 18 million miles in this period with half the mileage using hybrid vehicles and the other half non-hybrids. This report focused on hybrids and not plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) or battery-electric vehicles (BEVs).
For each of 106 separate vehicle models and years, staff members compared the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel economy to the actual fuel economy. EPA ratings are under perfect conditions, while actual use data includes factors such as air conditioning or heating, idling, traffic, etc. Telematics systems were used for accurate reporting on fuel economy per mile.
According to ratings from the EPA, the city’s hybrid vehicles should have been 118% more fuel efficient than non-hybrids. In fact, the hybrids were 155% more fuel efficient. In total, and especially for SUVs, hybrid vehicles perform better in reality against their EPA ratings than non-hybrids, according to the DCAS.
Chief Fleet Officer Keith Kerman wrote in the DCAS fleet newsletter that the reduced fuel costs combined with lower maintenance costs and improved resale value make these hybrids the clear choice, both environmentally and fiscally, over gas models. He further stated that the city is strongly opposed to the federal government’s intention of changing current Corporate Fuel Economy Standards (CAFE).
DCAS has published these findings, including the findings for each model, here (Excel download).