Air Conditioning Greatly Affects Fuel Economy, Study Finds

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross Air Con 1 photo
Photo: original photo by autoevolution
Just about every driver knows that the air con or climate control have an effect on fuel economy. To find out just how much damage is done at the pump, Emissions Analytics tested over 100 cars in L.A. to determine how much extra fuel you really use.
The 100+ passenger vehicle population came in three distinct flavors: gasoline, diesel and gasoline hybrid models, that is. As it happens, hybrid automobiles are greatly affected by turning the air conditioning or climate control on, recording a 9.3 percent city/2.8 percent highway average reduction in fuel economy.

To put that into perspective, the 2015 Chevy Volt boasts with a range of up to 380 miles. If you turn on the air con and do only urban driving, that range slumps by 35.3 miles. The second most affected type of vehicle is the one that uses diesel. The average reduction in miles per gallon for diesel-fed automobiles sits at 6.3 percent city and 3.3 percent higway.

The type of car that uses the least quantity of fuel with the climate control on is the one that's got a gasoline-fed engine. Testing in real-world environments and traffic situations showed that the average reduction in miles per gallon of vehicles running on gasoline is 5.1 percent city and 2.7 percent highway. The effect of air con differs a lot from vehicle to vehicle, but the average reduction suffered by all the 100+ plus models tested comes down to 4 percent on the combined driving cycle.

Check out the full study by following this link.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Mircea Panait
Mircea Panait profile photo

After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories