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Underestimating Fuel Emissions - 10/13/15

A recent study funded by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory finds that U.S. government testing underestimates how much fuel cars will burn.  These findings come on the heels of a scandal involving Volkswagen, which admitted that it has been equipping diesel cars with software allowing cars to run clean during lab tests in order to hide actual emissions. 

The latest research finds that fuel economy measurements used to certify compliance with federal regulations overestimated engine efficiency by approximately fifteen percent for much of the nineteen nineties and two thousands.  The study found that driver cited fuel economy was twenty five percent below government estimates for twenty thirteen and about twenty two percent lower this year and last.

As indicated by Reuters, the report analyzed roughly seventy five thousand individual fuel economy estimates reported online by drivers to the Environmental Protection Agency.  A separate study by the U.S.-based nonprofit International Council on Clean Transportation found an even wider gap between testing and real world carbon emissions.  That study concludes that up to half the gap could be the result of manufacturers designing vehicles that perform better during lab testing.

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.