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74 MPG BY 2035?

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Thu, Sep 9, 2010

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

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The Aptera 2e electric vehicle

Can we really get 52 MPG by 2025 and 74 MPG by 2035? According to a new report by a University of Michigan researcher, the optimization of internal combustion engines and more adoption of "grid-free hybrids" could get us there. How, then, would we get to that impressive benchmark? As John DeCicco, a senior lecturer at the University of Michigan and a former auto policy expert at the Environmental Defense Fund explains to the New York Times, by "putting the pedal to the metal with the efficiency of internal combustion." DeCicco's report gets its 'technological optimism' from such improvements as turbocharged direct-injection gasoline engines, efficient diesels, improved hybrid drives, lightweight steel and other materials. DeCicco states that innovation is 'relentless' in the auto industry, but adds that it is often harnessed for goals other than fuel efficiency. The report assumes that efficiency improvements already within reach are 'maximized on a fleet basis.' And if that happens, then 'a tripling of new fleet fuel economy is an ambitious but defensible horizon for 2035.'" The expert from the University of Michigan also points to the rise of fuel economy by nearly 70 percent after the 1970s energy crises as a precedent for potential change. Ailis Aaron Wolf, 40mpg.org

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