New US fuel economy standard is reachable target - GM

06 March 2013 23:28  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The new US fuel economy standard, which requires light-duty trucks to have the performance equivalent to 54.5 miles/gal (23.2 km/litre) by 2025, is not a target that is “too hefty”, a General Motors (GM) executive said on Wednesday.

“Five years ago, 16% of our cars made in the US were at 30 miles/gal or more,” CEO Daniel Akerson said during IHS CERAWeek. “Today, it’s 60[%].”

In order to meet that requirement, GM is applying technologies that “will satisfy customers and make an enormous contribution to the energy security of this nation”, he said.

The company is targeting a 15% reduction in the weight of its vehicles by 2016.

“A good rule of thumb is that a 10% reduction in curb weight will reduce fuel consumption by about 6.5%,” Akerson said.

GM is also investing heavily into the science of new materials – including nano steels, carbon fibre, resistant spot welding and other structures – to reduce the weight out of the vehicle.

In addition, the company is deploying clean diesel engines and technologies such as turbo charging and direct injection.

Akerson said these technologies are not usually found in standard power-trained vehicles except in luxury vehicles.

“This is good news for the Corvette, Camaro and our pickup lines,” he added. “This would mean the death of the V8.”

Akerson explained that soon new GM engines will produce enough torque out of just four cylinders to sustain a vehicle that presently would require eight cylinders, which would help return better fuel economy.

“This is a really big deal for our truck customers who want the power of V8 they need for acceleration, hauling or towing with the fuel efficiency where they don’t need it,” he said.

GM is also expanding its range of alterative fuel technologies using compressed natural gas (CNG), as well as using more electricity to improve performance and fuel economy in its vehicles.

CERAWeek is an energy conference that runs through Friday.

By: Tracy Dang
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