We previouslydiscussed problems with the way the EPA lets auto manufacturers measure the fuel efficiency of their vehicles. What with all the hullabaloo, the EPA proposed to revise its testing methods by the end of the year so they more resemble the real world. According to the Boston Globe, the three core changes would be to:

  • Alter testing to reflect today’s more aggressive and high-speed driving habits, as well as address traffic-stifling congestion in cities and expanding suburbs.
  • Account for vehicles driven in cold climates, where fuel economy suffers.
  • Calculate the impact of accessories, such as air conditioners, that cut fuel economy.

While individual drivers still might find that their vehicles’ gas mileage doesn’t match up with official figures, because of differences in driving conditions and habits, the new EPA estimates would give them a better idea about actual annual fuel costs. Even better, since CAFE standards are based on these tests, more accurate tests would mean more accurate CAFE estimates, likely causing auto manufacturers to improve fuel efficiency all around.