Volkswagon came out with a non-hybrid concept design that could get up to 285mpg. Outside of using alternative energy in cars and changing the habits of the driver, the keys to creating this car were an aerodynamic, lightweight design. One way automakers are improving weight is by using more plastic in car chassis, as it is much lighter than steel.
Fuel efficiency standards implemented in fall 2010 state that all automobiles must get between 47 and 62 miles per gallon by the year 2025. There are two main methods American automakers are utilizing to increase fuel efficiency in cars. One method is installing more batteries within the vehicle, and another is to improve the efficiency of gasoline engines. The latter is achieved by creating a gasoline-electric hybrid engine.
In a technical report written with the California Air Resources Board, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation suggested that in order to improve fuel economy, automakers either start to make cars that use batteries or make gasoline engines drastically more efficient. With the help of his students. a professor at the University of California, Davis, has converted SUVs to hybrids in a process known as ‘downweighting.’ This doubles the fuel economy of a car and has been suggested to automakers as a way of improving fuel economy while maintaing while maintaing the size of the big cars Americans are notorious for driving.
General Motors is fine tuning their fuel cell technology. The vehicles run on electricity and are powered by a fuel stack in the vehicle. The fuel stacks are fueled by compressed hydrogen. The vehicles do not use an ounce of gasoline and produce zero emissions.
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