The demand for fuel-efficient cars and improved technology will allow new vehicles to set records for average gas mileage in 2007. According to the U.S. Government, cars from the 2007 model year are estimated to average 26.4 mpg overall. That is a gain of 1 mpg over the previous year.
While sales of SUVs and pickup trucks continue to decline due to high gas prices, hybrid cars are on the track for record sales in the U.S. for 2007. So far, an estimated 187,000 hybrids were sold in the first half of 2007, which accounted for 2.3 percent of all new vehicles sales.
Honda is estimated to lead the pack with an average fuel-economy of 33.7 mpg for vehicles manufactured in the U.S. Honda is expected to be followed by Toyota with 31.7 mpg.
David Friedman, of Concerned Scientists, is saying that Toyota’s domestic vehicles are projected to fall 3 mpg in 2007. “At the same time Toyota’s producing ads with hybrids driving through green fields, it’s making less fuel-efficient vehicles,” Friedman told the Associated Press.
Those ad campaigns led Toyota’s Prius to hold its spot as the best-selling hybrid car, accounting for more than half of all hybrids sold in the first half of 2007.
Honda’s next-generation Fit is expected to average 55 mpg. Honda is also expected to discontinue the Honda Accord Hybrid and replace it with clean diesel engine, a 2.2 liter i-CTDi. Honda claims that the engine is capable of generating a fuel economy of over 60 mpg.
Domestic auto makers are also making progress as GM and Ford improved to 29.6 mpg and 28.8 mpg respectively. Nissan produced American made vehicles that averaged 33.4 mpg.
In June, the Senate is expected to approved legislation forcing auto makers to produce cars with better fuel-economy. Under a new Senate bill, auto makers will need to meet a fuel-economy of 35 mpg by 2020. The current standard is 27.5 mpg for cars and 22.2 mpg for SUVs and pickups.
[tags]Cars, Car, Auto, Automobile, Vehicles, Technology, Auto News, News, Automotive, Honda, Toyota, Hybrids[/tags]