PHOTO CAPTION: Interior of Toyota Prius Plug-In.

CSM's Guide to Reading Electric Hybrid Specs

Christian Science Monitor looks at the fine print in manufacturer specification sheets.

Published: 04-Feb-2013

We’re going to let you in on a little insider’s secret: when manufacturers are shilling their wares, they tend to favor statistics that illustrate their own version of the truth.

As any politician (or car company) will tell you, you can always find a set of numbers to work in your favor.

Take the figures used by Toyota’s webpage to compare its Prius Plug-In against the Chevy Volt, for example. On the page, the Prius Plug-In is $7,200 cheaper, has more front headroom, more front leg room and features active head restraints unavailable on the 2012 Volt.


EPA rates the Ford C-Max hybrid at 47 mpg, while Consumer Reports rated it at 39 mpg overall.

Agency action comes as a result of Consumer Reports tests of Ford C-Max mileage tests fell well below EPA numbers.

Pininfarina Nido electric concept car, circa 2011.

Factors driving adoption will include rising fuel prices, falling vehicle prices, and expanding model availability.


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