Meeting U.S. passenger vehicle fuel economy standards in 2016 and beyond
New fuel economy standards require new U.S. passenger vehicles to achieve at least 34.1 miles per gallon (MPG) on average by model year 2016, up from 28.8 MPG today. In this paper, the magnitude, combinations and timings of the changes required in U.S. vehicles that are necessary in order to meet the new standards, as well as a target of doubling the fuel economy within the next two decades are explored. Scenarios of future vehicle characteristics and sales mix indicate that the 2016 mandate is aggressive, requiring significant changes starting from today. New vehicles must forgo horsepower improvements, become lighter, and a greater number will use advanced, more fuel-efficient powertrains, such as smaller turbocharged engines, hybrid-electric drives. Achieving a factor-of-two increase in fuel economy by 2030 is also challenging, but more feasible since the auto industry will have more lead time to respond. A discussion on the feasibility of meeting the new fuel economy mandate is included, considering vehicle production planning realities and challenges in deploying new vehicle technologies into the market.
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- Plotkin, Steven E., 2009. "Examining fuel economy and carbon standards for light vehicles," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 3843-3853, October.
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