By 2025, every automaker will need to boost its corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) to 54.5mpg. That's not an easy task, so most manufacturers are already working with suppliers on products to help squeeze the most out of every gallon of gas. The obvious way to do that is to use electrified powertrains. But not all vehicles can do that, so automakers are building new engines, and vendors are dreaming up fuel-stingy components.
From fuel injectors and air conditioning compressors to tires and power steering systems, we offer a potpourri of technologies aimed at boosting CAFE to 54.5mpg.
Click the image below for a slideshow of 19 lesser-known mileage boosters.
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)
Tluxon, you are exactly correct about how much money some are making from the hysteria about alleged global warming. Of course I also agfree that we should strive to reduce toxic pollution as much as we can. But I also am quite concerned about those who are using this scare to advance their personalmagendas and take away many of our freedoms, since, aside from that, they are also failing to consider the unintended consequences of many of their "more severe" actions. Unthinking actions can lead to far worse outcomes.
Right. If the unsuspecting public were to follow the money, they would come to see that many millionaires have been made from the creation of almost every regulation. There's always a 'solution' that seems ready-made for the 'problem', and most of the time the resultant remedial regulation requires that solution.
Upon that realization, it forces one to question everything that's touted to be for our good.
For example, I don't think explosive airbags are safe, and just add weight and cost. I think heavy catalytic converters turn soot into much more toxic cyanates, formalins, sulfites, etc., they don't test for. In the US it is very hard to even sell a diesel at all.
I see where you're coming from. My second car was a 1974 Mercury Capri (German made) and it was relatively heavy compared to what could be done now. I loved driving it and got 35 mpg on the highway.
Among the challenges we have today that we didn't have 40 years ago are the numerous regulations and standards that each in their own way have negatively impacted fuel efficiency. I don't believe it's going to be a trivial matter either financially or technologically to make a car that is safe and comfortable for my family of 4 that gets 54.5 mpg and has a reasonable cost of ownership.
Despite the tone of my comments, I personally believe we've made glutonous and greedy use of combustible fuels, and I want to be efficient and judicial in my use of them. My contention is solely with the motivations behind much of the controversy over how reductions should be made. I guess I've seen too many 'remedies' that are worse than the 'disease'.
The average driver spends about $2000 a year on gasoline, so doubling milege saves over $1000 a year. It does not cost more than a couple thousand to make a car light enough to get 54.5 mpg. I had a Fiat 850 in the 1960s that got 40 mpg back then, and it was fun to drive. I had an MG 1100 back then that got 35 mpg and was fun to drive. I drove a Nash Metropolitan that got 35 mpg back then, and was fun to drive. It is not that hard to get getter mileage than we do. I can buy a VW Polo that gets 70 mpg right now in Europe, and it costs only $14k. Europe has stricter emission standards than we do.
Wouldn't you like to rephrase your statement: "There is no one making money off promoting global warming, and there is no major cost associated with minimizing it, because the main goal is conservation, and by saving oil, that saves money."?
You don't seriously believe that striving for 54.5 MPG isn't costing far more than the amount of oil/money it's going to save, do you? Perhaps you are aware of some manufacturers who'll back you up on that?
There used to be minerals from human CO2 sources that mitigated, but not after catalytic converters. Now car exhaust is "bright" pollution that causes much more global warming than the smog of the past did.
There is no one making money off promoting global warming, and there is no major cost associated with minimizing it, because the main goal is conservation, and by saving oil, that saves money.
The scientific community has explored past climate change cycles, and we are supposed to be already into the part of the cycle that is getting colder, not warmer. We have tracked solar output, and know that is not the cause.
But I agree that the reduction of O2 is a significant problem that should be getting more attention.
I'm not so sure that's wrong. Human driven CO2 is also accompanied by minerals that absorb it, and plant life requires CO2 regardless of origin. So little is agreed upon as to the net benefit or liability of or even what constitutes 'excessive' levels of CO2, that it borders on economically insane to throw so much money at this 'problem' without better understanding more of the factors and ramifications of such measures. For example, I don't believe we're applying nearly enough attention to the corresponding - coincidental or not - depletion of oxygen levels, which we and all animal life are dependent on.
I'd much prefer to see the scientific community push back more against the players who have jumped to premature conclusions in order to drive their agenda of global control and ownership of the populace of the planet. I don't know how they got away with minimizing the factors of the Sun and natural climate cycles for so long, but that has greatly skewed 'the science'. So few seem to give consideration to the very real possibility that CO2 increases were DRIVEN by warming rather than driving it. As complex as their modeling was, it didn't come close to replicating the complexity of the organism itself.
Many fundamental principles of science have been violated during all the 'debate', especially evident in the scorn and demonization of dissenting opinion. Dissent must be dealt with in a respectful manner by all sides or credibility will always be in question.
TLuxon, sorry, but you are wrong to believe a volcano is more significant than human pollution. That is because although a volcano will produce more CO2, it also produces raw minerals that absorb more CO2 than they produce. Then when you also consider the particulate cooling, they counteract global warming, not add to it. In fact, one of the proposed solutions to global warming is to deliberately cause more volcanoes.
When will it be made part of the system that both the engine and the AC will shut off if the vehicle has not moved for... oh, say three minutes.
The idiots I see sitting outside the drive-in burger/ice cream joint in their nice AC'd Lexus with the windows up and the engine running... and the outside weather is delicious. And they're the ones who carp the loudest about fuel costs and pollution.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies.
You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived.
So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.