In 2012, the US Government set a fuel economy standard for 2025: 54.4 miles to the gallon. According to Brian Kessler of Johnson Controls, this number may be attainable, and doesn’t pack the sharp bite that one may expect. Despite some efforts by the EPA to bring their fuel economy testing into real world situations, the economy ratings are still somewhat innaccurate. According to Kessler, that lofty economy number translates into 40 mpg for typical driving conditions. In other words, it’s not necessary to have a Prius or any other full hybrid or electric system to attain decent fuel economy numbers.
Kessler goes further to say that existing technologies such as turbocharging, direct injection, and stop/start devices will go a significant way to attaining the 54.4 figure. Thanks to the use of higher strength and lighter weight materials, cars are getting lighter, turbochargers are allowing smaller engines to be fitted, and cars are, by and large, getting more aerodynamic. Even the EPA has some encouraging figures to contribute: average fuel economy for passenger cars was up to 24 mpg, an increase of 0.4 mpg over the previous year and 1.6 mpg from the year prior.
-By: Sawyer Sutton