Why hybrids are more efficient in India, China than in the U.S.
— By Kirsten Korosec on April 1, 2014, 2:44 PM PST
The article is poorly worded. The data shows that hybrids have a higher savings relative to conventional vehicles in these countries. It is not a comparison of US hybrids to china/india hybrids, but hybrid vs conventional.
It's clear that this is simply due to higher amounts of street driving and less highway, stop and go traffic, and time spent idling in gridlock.
This should be a surprise to no one, when the first hybrids came out in the US, that showed flipped epa efficiency numbers compared to conventional engines. Meaning that with engine stopping instead of idling, regenerative braking etc, they used less gas driving a given number of city street miles, in traffic, than the same number of miles on the highway, at highway speeds.
Are they comparing identical cars or country specific? If the latter, the US crash requirements are probably the difference. The cars in the US weigh a lot more than other places due to the NTSB require the cars to survive crashes whereas, elsewere, the feel that drivers need the more careful and AVOID crashes.
I really love articles like this. Without hard facts, it can be interpreted any way you want. Sure, hybrids have a better improvement in crappy conditions, but the article says that they are more efficient. A better phrase would probably have been more effective. That's different. If you start out with a relatively high MPG because you spend most of the time moving, the benefits of limiting idling go away. A comparison of hybrid/conventional highway MPG ratings makes this apparent.
And what should we learn from this startling revelation? Is it an endorsement to make all of our traffic lights out of sequence so our hybrids would appear more efficient, even though their real MPG probably goes down? Maybe India should look at the data and ask themselves why hybrids perform so well over there and fix that issue, instead of using it as a stick to have lots of hybrids stopped on the road.
I don't know about China, but having been to India I'd suggest "low percentage of time spent on highways" could be related to a low number of decent highway's in the country. Many of the trunk roads linking main cities are god-awful.
Also, the context of "Researchers found that driving a hybrid would achieve fuel savings of about 47 to 48 percent over a conventional car in India and about 53 to 55 percent in China. Meanwhile, in the U.S., hybrids are rated to produce a fuel savings of about 40 percent over their conventional counterparts." makes absolutely no comparison of popular/common vehicles/average vehicle mileage between any of the countries. Very efficient vehicles like a Honda Jazz/Fit, Ford Focus, Toyota Prius will already be getting great gas mileage of 50mpg on the decent roads and highways in the US, Europe etc. Bearing in mind a lot lower number of vehicles per head, and many of them that are on the road are pretty old/inefficient, the headline "Why Hybrid's are more efficient in India and China than the US", is misrepresenting itself as comparing like with like. Smartplanet "thought provoking analysis" should have picked up on this.
A common taxi in India, is the Hindustan Ambassador - dating back to it's origins as a Morris (of Oxford, UK) Ambassador from the 1950's design., with assorted engines in them petrol, diesel and CNG.
@operator2001 Please stop. They really don't need any more new bad ideas in order to make their old bad ideas seem better.
@Neil Postlethwaite When was the last time you visited India ? 19th century ? The 1950 vintage Ambassador taxis you refer to have for all practical purposes been off the roads for nearly 20 years or more. The conditions of the trunk roads - no where comparable to European or US highways are not "god awful" any more.
Currently the stress is on smaller and highly fuel efficient vehicles. I don't believe there is any compact car being made that averages less than 20 km / liter in city driving - that is your 48 miles per US gallon. Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that absolutely NO foreign manufacturer wants to bring the latest vehicle technology to India !
So far as human traffic is concerned it is mainly by trains. For really remote locations it is by state owned bus services. If you were to check the figures India has the highest number of railway miles in spite of being only 1/3 of land mass of the US ! Rail to road passenger traffic ratio would be closer to 20:1
BTW there zero production of hybrid cars in India. So whatever vehicles were used for the tests were taken right off the assembly lines meant for other countries. As expensive and unreliable electric supply is in India it would not make sense to go for full production for any manufacturer.
It should also go without saying that electric vehicle will use practically zero power while idling the petrol vehicle will consume and waste some. So it is this ratio of - idling to moving - that will determine the fuel saving figures.
Erm, are you sure...... Looks like they just stopped/suspended production of them @ the Hindustan factory, although as the BBC report says due to low demand - 2,200 sales in their financial year 2013/2014, though they are a reported "There are 33,000 Ambassador taxis in Kolkata alone, but the car is being superseded by more modern vehicles."