Relax, and stop comparing apples and oranges. Fuel economy is best observed over the long haul. Let it warm up and see what that does to your average. If, over a period that includes an equal amount of warmer weather, your average meets or exceeds your expectations, will your cold weather performance even matter?
I’m trying to compare apples to apples. I’m comparing how and where I drive between two cars. Same/similar weather. Same/similar route. Same/similar amount of idling. Under EPA conditions my current car gets better mileage. Under my conditions it doesn’t.
At first, I was only trying to share my disappointment. Maybe get a ‘Hey it will get better’ comment or two. Instead I got information on how to get better mileage. That has since driven my curiosity and I’m simply trying to find out where that difference is coming from.
I’m not agitated… I’m just curious.
Several of us have been trying to say this nicely already so maybe some different wording is needed.
Your expectations are unrealistic. Simple as that.
A bigger car will almost NEVER get better mileage than a smaller and lighter "economy" model.
The bigger car weighs more and (probably) has a significantly higher aero drag. Because of that, it likely has a bigger power plant.
Given your prime objective, you probably should have gone with the Focus hybrid or Cmax or PIP.
The situation IS what it IS. Continuing to fret over it accomplishes nothing good.
How exactly are my expectations unrealistic? The starting point of my expectations was the EPA sticker. FFH = more efficient than Focus. Just as I didn't get anywhere near the EPA numbers in the Focus during winter driving, I didn't expect to get near the EPA numbers in the FFH. I didn't even expect to get better than the Focus… I just was hoping that it would be equal.
A bigger car gets worse gas mileage than a smaller car. By that logic are you saying that I won’t get better than 37-40 mpg in the FFH even in the summer? That would be a first for me as I've exceeded the EPA numbers in all the cars that I've owned (at least the ones where I tracked fuel mileage).
I’d argue that continuing to fret over this should do me a lot of good. If I can figure out what exactly is making up this difference, I can then minimize that action and maximize any action that increases my fuel mileage.
And this is the issue. The window sticker MPG is not based on how you drive. It's based on the EPA test cycles. On the EPA test cycles the Fusion will use less fuel than the Focus. On your driving pattern the Fusion uses more gas than the Focus.
Idling is why you're getting such low MPG out of the Fusion. Stop idling the car and your MPG will be way better than the Focus.
The Fusion is much heavier than the Focus. This means it requires more energy to move it. At a sustained speed, say 75 MPH, the Fusion is going to require more energy to overcome aerodynamic drag & rolling resistance. The Focus will likely get better MPG at these speeds because it is smaller & lighter. The main advantage of a hybrid is being able to turn off the ICE at low speeds. But if you are cranking up the heat then the ICE is unable to turn off because it needs to burn fuel to heat the coolant to heat the cabin. The Fusion ICE burns fuel at idle at a high gallons per hour than the Focus. As lolder has explained many times before, the FFH Atkinson cycle ICE is designed to run at almost WOT all the time. This is how it becomes more efficient. It's also more efficient because it can work to keep the ICE in a narrowing operating range by using electric power to assist when there is a high power demand and by using the electric motors to store energy in the battery when power demand is low. However, when you spend a lot of time idling or at high speeds the benefit is negated.
What's a Focus Hybrid? How would the C-Max Hybrid perform any differently from the Fusion in this scenario?
I’m trying to figure out what between the EPAs test cycle and my driving is making this difference. Is it that the cold affects a hybrid more than it affects a non-hybrid? Is it that idling affects a hybrid more than it affects a non-hybrid?
‘Stop idling the car and your MPG will be way better than the Focus’. I acknowledge that. The MPG would also improve in the Focus if I hadn't idled… but I DID idle the Focus. I started it up before many trips and idled it during those lunches. As I said above, I’m trying to compare apples to apples.
I’ve read through this entire thread again, and it seems that I’m back full circle. I had understood the difference to be in the idling (back in post 18). After I gave myself a pat on the back for understanding that though I was ‘corrected’ for misunderstanding it. So I’m going to go back to what I said back in post 18:
Being here has allowed me two things.
1) The information as to why the fuel mileage is so low (remote start, idling, both of which burn far more fuel than a 'normal' car does while doing the same thing)
2) Seeing real people with real fuel mileages and the fact that they can average well above 40 mpg and are getting in the 30s in the winter. That alone gives me a lot of hope that I'll get far better fuel mileage as the mercury continues to rise.