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Captain Hybrid
Slideshow: Fuel-Stingy Technologies Set Sights on 54.5 MPG
9/18/2012

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Low-rolling resistance tires, like those on the Chevy Cruze Eco, use a silica compound and a revised tread design to provide a solid road feel and improved fuel efficiency. (Source: GM)
Low-rolling resistance tires, like those on the Chevy Cruze Eco, use a silica compound and a revised tread design to provide a solid road feel and improved fuel efficiency.
(Source: GM)

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akwaman
User Rank
Gold
Re: Smogasbord of Innovation
akwaman   9/19/2012 9:38:28 AM
NO RATINGS
Beth, I too am exited that these technologies are being explored and implemented.  I am not surprised, because many of these innovations are not new, certainly start-stop technology is something that is not new and could have been implemented 20-30 years ago (has been on the Prius for 15 years).  My hat is off to DN and Captain Hybrid for bringing some of the new technologies to light, we have heard too many excuses as to why we can't reach CAFE standards, and not enough examination of technology and innovation.  These are only 19 ways (there are many more existing) that can be used to increase mpg ratings, not to mention ideas that have not even been thought of yet.  Interesting that none of these ideas force cars to be smaller, and they don't even include hybrid technology.  Coupled with hybrid/electric technology, the 54mpg standard should be met easily if we stop fighting about it and start engineering.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Smogasbord of Innovation
Charles Murray   9/18/2012 6:04:56 PM
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I agree, Beth. There are a lot of little technologies that eke out a few tenths of an MPG. The technology that will have the biggest impact, and will be most widespread, I think, is start-stop. Over the next ten years, we'll be seeing that on huge numbers of vehicles.  

NadineJ
User Rank
Platinum
every little bit helps
NadineJ   9/18/2012 11:13:55 AM
NO RATINGS
The last time automakers needed to improve MPG, we got more aerodynamic, lightweight cars and other great technologies.  It all adds up.

The downside was the loss of individualism in design.  As things improve and become more standardized, everything starts to look alike. 

Nice slideshow.  Thanks for sharing!

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Smogasbord of Innovation
Beth Stackpole   9/18/2012 7:19:31 AM
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Wow, Chuck. I am duly impressed. I didn't realize there was such a wide swath of technology and innovations underway to address the 54.5 CAFE standard mandate. As you well noted, the focus tends to be on powertrain technology, yet there are many other places, many probably not considered, where auto OEMs can squeeze more mileage out of their designs. I particularly was impressed by the so-called "little things"--the improvements to making the wiring systems lighter and the flaps on the Chevy Cruze for aerodynamics. Very, very interesting stuff.

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