Thursday, June 16, 2016

Making Sense of the First Petron-DOE Euro 4 Fuel Economy Run Results


Recently, the Department of Energy (DOE) together with the country’s biggest oil company, Petron, held the first Euro 4 fuel economy run. Used as dry run to come up with a standardized measure of fuel economy under the Philippine Energy Standards and Labeling Program or PESLP (the same group that determines the efficiency of your electric fan or refrigerator), 70 cars from 22 brands participated.

Starting from Petron Clark station in Angeles City, Pampanga, the convoy snaked through SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway), TPLEX (Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway) and back in the middle of the night.

The methodology was far from scientific, but it was real-world relatable. It required each car to be filled up to the brim, driven through the course, and fueled again. The results were determined by dividing the kilometers traveled by the fuel consumed (the full tank method). And to eliminate unfamiliarity with the cars, each manufacturer brought their own driver and co-driver tandem, who along with a media observer, drove through the 280-kilometer course with a maximum speed of 80 km/h with their air conditioner at full blast. And while enjoying the frigid recycled air in the cabin, the observer had to make sure that the car was following a three-second gap to the car ahead and that no overtaking took place.

After collating all the results from the run, the DOE and Petron presented their official findings. Given the nature of the course and the time of the run, it was unsurprising that 71 percent or 27 of 38 vehicles powered by Petron XCS (95-octane gasoline) achieved a figure above 20 km/L. Meanwhile, 66 percent or 21 of 32 participants using Petron Turbo Diesel achieved the same figure. The most fuel efficient gasoline-fed car remained the Suzuki Celerio CVT that registered 29.14 km/L. On the other hand, the Isuzu D-Max 3.0 LS M/T barely sipped diesel, doing 38.46 km/L.


Here are other interesting tidbits gathered from the results:

The average fuel economy of all participants was 22.32 km/L. The average fuel economy of all diesel participants was 22.13 km/L while for gasoline, it was surprisingly higher at 22.48 km/L.



It’s clear that for variants that ran both automatic and manual transmission, it was the former that fared better.  For instance the Mitsubishi Mirage (27.05 km/L vs. 25.64 km/L) and the Suzuki Celerio (29.14 km/L vs. 27.70 km/L).

Not counting brands that ran with just one entry or multiple variants of the same car with the same drivetrain, Isuzu Philippines had the highest corporate fuel economy average at 27.6 km/L. The best among a full gasoline line-up? Suzuki at 25.3 km/L. The worst was Foton at 15.4 km/L.


The Honda Jazz 1.5 CVT with its 28.60 km/L fared better than any other hatchback even compared to the diesel-fed Hyundai Accent’s 25.64 km/L. It’s even better its sedan twin, the City 1.5 and even the much-vaulted Mazda2 Skyactiv.

Comparing the two 1.5-liter compact turbos, the Ford Focus 1.5 EcoBoost did an abysmal 19.20 km/L (the lowest for a hatchback) while the Honda Civic RS did 27.56 km/L—beating even the Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost (23.59 km/L).

The Isuzu D-Max’s win in the pickup category was substantial. The next best entry was the Toyota Hilux 2.4 running at 21.59 km/L and the Nissan NP300 Navara at 17.85 km/L. And on that subject, the Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi Strada, and Chevrolet Colorado didn’t participate.

Among the Pickup-based Passenger Vehicles or PPVs, the Isuzu mu-X 3.0 won the war with a 23.53 km/L figure. Among the automatic transmission variants that ran, the Toyota Fortuner 2.4 was the best at 18.91 km/L. This figure beat the Mitsubishi Montero Sport running in both manual (18.48 km/L) and automatic (17.79 km/L) transmission. Both versions of the Foton Toplander did pretty low: 16.07 km/L for the 4x2 and 14.81 km/L for the 4x4. These figures are even worse than the Subaru Forester XT’s 16.71 km/L run. Again, the Chevrolet Traiblazer and Ford Everest did not run.

Pegging diesel at P 30 per liter and gasoline at P 40 per liter, the Isuzu D-Max is the cheapest to run every 1,000 kilometers with a tank cost of just P 780.00. The remaining Top Five were all diesels: Hyundai Accent (P 1,020.00), Peugeot 301 TDI (P 1,022.14), Audi A3 2.0 TDI (1,054.29), and Volkswagen Jetta TDI (P 1,068.21).

The cheapest gasoline to run to 1,000 kilometers? The Suzuki Celerio CVT (P 1,372.86) followed by the Honda Jazz 1.5 (P 1,398.57), Suzuki Ciaz 1.4 M/T (P 1,431.43), Hyundai Elantra (P 1,437.14), and Suzuki Celerio M/T (P 1,444.29).

The most expensive to run to 1,000 kilometers? For the gasoline-fed entries, it was the BAIC MZ40 (P 2,751.43) and for the diesel, it’s Foton Toplander 4x4 (P 2,026.07).


The DOE Euro 4 Fuel Economy Run, the first in the country, forms part of DOE’s efforts to promote judicious utilization of energy. In addition, the DOE also wishes to promote the use of Euro 4 fuels, which it mandated in January this year. Euro 4 fuels are more environment-friendly, as they contain significantly lesser amount of sulfur and benzene.  

Both the Department of Energy and Petron understand that the data presented here still do not capture real-world driving conditions. It is for this reason that they’ll be conducting more fuel economy runs in the future. With the help of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers (CAMPI) and the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID), they’ll drum up more scientific measures which will help standardize fuel efficiency labeling for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in the future. Petron has pledged its full support to future runs.

26 comments:

  1. very misleading to buyers. even my mom barely reaches 18km/l at nlex with our dmax, and that all drops down at the slightest sign of traffic

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did mention a caveat in the article as to the conditions of the drive. It's definitely not "real-world". It's a pilot project to come up with a better standard of fuel economy locally.

      Delete
  2. hi, do you have the results in excel? just curious. thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi koi. Yes, I do. But it's basically just the raw data. The charts and analysis, we did ourselves.

      Delete
    2. great! i left you a message in your FB. :)

      Delete
  3. would have been great if we had the test run at 100kph. 80kph is too slow on a highway. then mix with 30 mins or an hour of heavy traffic. maybe manila to baguio, go around baguio with the heavy traffic there and back to manila. or even manila to tagaytay and back on a saturday or sunday (surely has heavy traffic). highway driving always gives out better fuel economy compared to city driving with heavy traffic.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I guess they don't want to show the fuel efficiency for Ford EcoSport. It should be bad. Now thinking twice.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sir Ulysses Ang, why they did not use the US EPA test speed as a reference?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. \_(ツ)_/¯

      The long and short of it is that they want results which are more relatable to the Philippine setting.

      Consider this Eco Run as the first step. The DOE along with Petron and the carmakers will refine the concept until they come up with a bigger way to measure fuel economy.

      Delete
  6. Is this true that the Mazda 2 used xcs? Dealer told me that it should only use 91 ron not hoger or lower than that

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All gasoline cars in this eco run used XCS

      Delete
  7. The figures released were unbelievably amazing! Definitely unreal traffic conditions. How we wish new vehicles like these can REALLY be fuel-efficient.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. possible if one has patience sticking to 80km/h. :D

      Delete
  8. I guess if we want to use real world to have no traffic we have to have fuel prices like in 2007-2008, that time driving was a breeze. And you can really hit your fuel economy figures unlike now.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Now why didn't Toyota enter the Vios, Wigo, and Altis? Would've been interesting to compare their results with their competitors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Notice that not all brands entered all their cars.

      My hunch? It's a trial thing. Once there's a government mandate that'll require mandatory fuel economy results, we'll see them field on.

      Delete
  10. Sir, kindly confirm/clarify, what was the variant used by Montero and Fortuner? Sabi kasi 4x4 variant ginamit sa Montero while 4x2 sa Fortuner.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Fairy tale results! Very unrealistic conditions were these vehicles subjected to. Imagine starting a test run at 12mn. Why didn't they just subject these vehicles in a treadmill built for automobiles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You mean a dynamometer?

      Delete
    2. Whatever that thingy's called. The highlight of this test is the gasoline not the cars. Petron just wanted to show the world that its gasoline is efficient because it registered mind-blowing results.

      Delete
  12. Whatever fuel you are using, fuel economy is virtually the same. Driver's foot has the most significant impact on economy, IMHO.

    ReplyDelete
  13. It's pretty shocking that a pick-up truck (D-Max) got one of the highest fuel economy figures very close to that of the Suzuki Celerio cutie. I must say, Isuzu must probably rock!

    ReplyDelete
  14. It's pretty shocking that a pick-up truck (D-Max) got one of the highest fuel economy figures very close to that of the Suzuki Celerio cutie. I must say, Isuzu must probably rock!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Isuzu brand is still the best when it comes to fuel economy rate. No doubt on that!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Suzuki brand, on the other hand, for gasoline category, really excel in terms of fuel economy rate. No doubt!

    ReplyDelete
  17. can i ask the fuel efficiency or Eco Run result of Ford EcoSport? plan to buy one.

    Dan

    ReplyDelete