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Detailed Test Information

EPA tests vehicles by running them through a series of driving routines, also called cycles or schedules, that specify vehicle speed for each point in time during the laboratory tests.

For 2007 and earlier model year vehicles, only the city and highway schedules were used. Beginning with 2008 models, three additional tests are used to adjust the city and highway estimates to account for higher speeds, air conditioning use, and colder temperatures.

EPA test criteria for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids are slightly different than those for conventional vehicles. Both are driven on the same test cycles under the same conditions. However, to estimate driving range, EVs are driven until the battery is unable to supply enough power for the vehicle to perform at the required speed and acceleration. For more information, visit EPA's page on Fuel Economy and EV Range Testing.

EPA Federal Test Procedure (City Schedule): Shows vehicle speed (mph) at each second of test
City: Represents urban driving, in which a vehicle is started with the engine cold and driven in stop-and-go rush hour traffic.
EPA Highway Fuel Economy Test Procedure (Highway Schedule): Shows vehicle speed (mph) at each second of test
Highway: Represents a mixture of rural and Interstate highway driving with a warmed-up engine, typical of longer trips in free-flowing traffic.
Test Procedure (High Speed Schedule): Shows vehicle speed (mph) at each second of test
High Speed: Represents city and highway driving at higher speeds with more aggressive acceleration and braking.
Test Procedure (Air Conditioning Schedule): Shows vehicle speed (mph) at each second of test
Air Conditioning: Account for air conditioning use under hot outside conditions (95°F sun load).
Test Procedure (Cold Temp Schedule): Shows vehicle speed (mph) at each second of test
Cold Temperature:Tests the effects of colder outside temperatures on cold-start driving in stop-and-go traffic.
Test Cycle Attributes Test Cycle
City Highway High Speed A/C Cold
Trip Type Low speeds in stop-and-go urban traffic Free-flow traffic at highway speeds Higher speeds; harder acceleration & braking A/C use under hot ambient conditions City test w/ colder outside temp.
Top Speed 56 mph 60 mph 80 mph 54.8 mph 56 mph
Average Speed 21.2 mph 48.3 mph 48.4 mph 21.2 mph 21.2 mph
Max. Acceleration 3.3 mph/sec 3.2 mph/sec 8.46 mph/sec 5.1 mph/sec 3.3 mph/sec
Simulated Distance 11 mi. 10.3 mi. 8 mi. 3.6 mi. 11 mi.
Time 31.2 min. 12.75 min. 9.9 min. 9.9 min. 31.2 min.
Stops 23 None 4 5 23
Idling time 18% of time None 7% of time 19% of time 18% of time
Engine Startup* Cold Warm Warm Warm Cold
Lab temperature 68ºF–86ºF 95ºF 20ºF
Vehicle air conditioning Off Off Off On Off
Vehicle heater Off Off Off Off On

* A vehicle's engine doesn't reach maximum fuel efficiency until it is warm.

This website is administered by Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the U.S. DOE and the U.S. EPA.