20 Ways to Boost Fuel Efficiency

Since the Arab Oil Embargo of the mid-1970s, automakers and government officials have been on a quest to boost fuel efficiency. The gains have come slowly, but today's average unadjusted fuel economy for passenger cars sold is 29.8 mpg, up from a Corporate Average Fuel Economy target of 18.0 mpg in 1978.

Up to now, the improvements have mostly been a direct result of smaller engines. But there's more to come. Next-generation autos will benefit from the use of lightweight body panels, less wiring, and a host of up-and-coming engine technologies, including direct injection, variable valve timing, and cylinder deactivation.

We've collected photos of some of the most promising technologies. From turbochargers and electric motors, to motor-generators and air conditioning compressors, we present some of the best fuel-sipping innovations.

Click on the VW XL1 to start the slideshow.

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