Getting To 55 MPG
The Obama administration and major car manufacturers recently announced a new initiative to double Corporate Average Fuel Economy to 55 mpg by 2025. Reaching that goal will take not only feats of engineering but also changing how Americans think about cars.
Professor Anna Stefanopoulou (left) examines a V8 internal combustion engine with students Jacob Larimore and Xinfan Lin at the University of Michigan's Automotive Research Center. The researchers model engine performance to improve efficiency.
Technology exists for gas cars to get 55 miles per gallon — the fuel economy goal set by the Obama administration for the year 2025. But all the extra comforts consumers are used to — including automatic transmissions and power windows — can drive fuel economy down by half.
November 21, 2011 Fuel-economy standards are set to double by 2025. Electric cars could help reach that goal, but consumers just aren't buying them on a large scale. Beloved by niche markets, the cars face similar challenges as when they first appeared over 100 years ago: a higher price than gas cars and concerns over battery life.