AJAC has been in discussions with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) regarding its new fuel consumption ratings for 2015 model year vehicles with regard as to how these changes will affect both Canadian consumers and the evaluation process for...
AJAC has been in discussions with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) regarding its new fuel consumption ratings for 2015 model year vehicles with regard as to how these changes will affect both Canadian consumers and the evaluation process for our annual Canadian Car of the Year awards program. Particular emphasis will be placed on our new Canadian Green Car of the Year award, which is to be presented at next year’s Vancouver International Auto Show.
Canadian consumers have been raising concerns regarding fuel consumption figures with many claiming the numbers do not adequately reflect a real-world driving scenario. To address this issue, NRCan plans to move from its current 2-cycle testing platform to a more comprehensive 5-cycle test procedure for the 2015 model year.
AJAC fully supports NRCan in what we feel will greatly improve vehicle shopping for consumers here in Canada. However, some adjustment in thinking shall be required from everyone for this new system to work. AJAC hopes to assist NRCan in getting this message across to the Canadian consumer.
Those Numbers WILL Increase
Fuel consumption figures, those posted on the EnerGuide labels affixed to all new light-duty vehicles sold in Canada, will likely increase by approximately 10-20 per cent for the 2015 model year. This may cause some confusion for Canadian consumers, particularly when comparing a 2015 model alongside a similar 2014 model, as the 2014 label will still show the former 2-cycle numbers.
AJAC would like to assure Canadian consumers that this new system will much better reflect real-world fuel consumption numbers, and will therefore be of benefit to all Canadians shopping for their new vehicle in the future.
How the New 5-Cycle System Works
The new 5-cycle system, outlined below, expands on the former 2-cycle system by adjusting city and highway ratings to account for air conditioner usage, cold temperature operation and driving at higher speeds with more rapid acceleration and braking.
The city test simulates urban driving in stop-and-go traffic with an average speed of 34 km/h and a top speed of 90 km/h. The test runs for approximately 31 minutes and includes 23 stops. The test begins from a cold engine start, which is similar to starting a vehicle after it has been parked overnight during the summer. The final phase of the test repeats the first eight minutes of the cycle but with a hot engine start. This simulates restarting a vehicle after it has been warmed up, driven and then stopped for a short time. Over five minutes of test time are spent idling, to represent waiting at traffic lights.
The highway test simulates a mixture of open highway and rural road driving, with an average speed of 78 km/h and a top speed of 97 km/h. The test runs for approximately 13 minutes and does not include any stops. The test begins from a hot engine start.
In the air conditioning test, the ambient temperature of the test cell is raised to 35°C. The vehicle’s climate control system is then used to lower the internal cabin temperature. Starting with a warm engine, the test averages 35 km/h and reaches a maximum speed of 88 km/h. Five stops are included, with idling occurring 19% of the time.
In the cold temperature operation test, the same driving cycle is used as in the standard city test, except that the ambient temperature of the test cell is set to -7°C.
The high speed/quick acceleration test averages 78 km/h and reaches a top speed of 129 km/h. Four stops are included and brisk acceleration maximizes at a rate of 13.6 km/h per second. The engine begins warm and air conditioning is not used.
Naturally, fuel consumption differs from driver to driver and several other factors need to be taken into consideration (weather/payload/vehicle maintenance etc.). AJAC believes these new NRCan fuel consumption ratings to be a major step forward, and once this initial changeover year has passed, will prove truly beneficial to the Canadian vehicle buying public.
For further information on the new 2015 NRCan 5-cycle fuel comparison ratings, please visit https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/efficiency/transportation/cars-light-trucks/buying/7491
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