I participated in the Fuel Economy Trial Event for the Media using the Nissan X-Trail Hybrid.
The X-Trail Hybrid is mounted with a one-motor two-clutch hybrid system. This hybrid system features a motor that serves as a generator. It features the EV driving mode, which drives the wheels using only the motor (without the engine). I, the representative of the Response Team, decided to first use the EV mode as a strategy. Then, as the principle of an “eco run,” I decided to turn off the air conditioning unit and drive with sheer determination.
I will tell you the results now. Getting a fuel economy of 17.5km/l, I ranked 19th out of the 28 participating media groups. The highest fuel economy logged was 19.4km/l, while the lowest was 15km/l. The fuel economy in JC08 mode is 20km/l, so no media group was able to exceed this fuel economy. The average fuel economy was 17.8km/l, which reached approximately 90% of the fuel economy listed on the catalog.
The trial course ran from Nissan’s global headquarters in Yokohama, Kanagawa, to the Fujigane Oishii Campground in Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi. The itinerary is from the capital freeway, passing through the Hodogaya Bypass, the Tomei Expressway, the Ken-O Expressway, the Chuo Expressway, and then to the local streets. The campground has an elevation of around 1000km or so. Given that we started from an underground parking lot in Yokohama, it can be said that this trial is about ascending to a higher point.
I logged a fuel economy of 18.6km/l for the return trip. This time, from Fujigane, we travelled through the city streets of Fujinomiya, then the Tomei Expressway, the Hodogaya Bypass, then to the capital freeway. I didn’t care about “eco run” on the way back, so this result was with the air conditioning on.
I analyzed the reason why I couldn’t have a better fuel economy. The biggest factor was that I was too conscious about the EV driving mode. When the engine starts while driving, you have to let off the accelerator to stop the engine. However, this action already started the engine. When this happens, the engine will rev up to 2000rpm. I think that the repeated instances of this caused me to log a low fuel economy.
After arriving in Fujigane, I had some time to spare, so I drove around the area and had better fuel economy. At this point, I realized that it is such a waste to become particular about the EV mode, and when I drove without paying attention to it, my fuel economy improved.
Another factor is that the fuel economy was not immediately displayed on the fuel economy meter. I couldn’t improve my average fuel economy because it wasn’t immediately reflected. As expected, when improving the fuel economy, you need to instantly know the current fuel economy, as well as taking into consideration how your actions affect the fuel economy.
For the X-Trail Hybrid, it was surprising that I logged better results when I drove it normally without worrying that much about the fuel economy. That is something I have learned despite the regrettable results I got.
(Translated by Katherine N. Bantiles)