People have always been concerned about fuel efficiency of their vehicles, but it has never been such a big issue as it is now. After the American government got involved into auto industry and its work, the things had to be changed. Although people have their preferences for various models: cars, SUV’s, trucks, vans, etc., the government is dictating to automakers what kind of vehicles should be made by setting high standard on fuel efficiency.
Planning for the nearest future is not the only issue they work on. Just recently the Congress has made a statement that the fuel-efficiency of cars and light trucks should be on average about 35 mpg by 2020. Within four years from 2011 to 2015 all manufacturers that desire to sell autos in the U.S. will have to improve the efficiency of all their passenger cars from 27.5mpg to 35.7mpg. The trucks should also perform better: improve from 23.5mpg to 28.6mpg. This is a great leap for car industry and the manufacturers already started working on the projects which help saving gas and meet the high standards set by the government.
While trying to come up with new ideas for fuel-efficiency many automakers have already been using several technologies which help to save gas. The most popular and appreciated one is hybrid vehicles. They came to the market with Toyota and Honda, but now nearly every car manufacturer has a hybrid line in their production plans.
The fuel efficiency of hybrids is easily understandable. They have two engines: a gasoline one and an electric one. The second motor works at low speeds and when the vehicle is started. This helps to save a great amount of fuel in city driving where stop-and-go is common due to a big number of traffic lights and jams in big cities.
Another well-known fuel-saving feature is diesel. The price of this kind of fuel is higher than gasoline, but it still proves to be beneficial for vehicle owners. Diesel vehicles now are much better than they used to be several decades ago. Due to high fuel emissions from diesel, the autos with such engines were banned from several states. In order to return them to the market many manufacturers have worked hard on the development of filters and bio-diesel both of which provide environmental friendliness to diesel vehicles.
Besides these two options there are several more technologies that help to save on fuel. First of all it is cylinder deactivation system used by many automakers. GM installs it on its vehicles under the name the Displacement on Demand, Chrysler has it as Multiple Displacement System, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, BMW, Nissan and several others use it as well.
The main idea of this technology lies in the fact that a vehicle with 6 and more cylinders does not need all of them in everyday driving. When there is less power needed the sensors give a signal to the engine to turn off up to half of the cylinders. This reduces gas consumption at cruising speed. Overall cylinder deactivation cuts down about 25% of fuel usage.
Direct fuel injection is another invention that promises efficient fuel usage while providing more power to the engine and letting out cleaner emissions. By the use of computer technologies automakers have managed to develop the process during which a very precise amount of fuel is injected when the vehicle is started. With the direct injection finer mist is delivered to the system therefore allowing better and more complete fuel burning. While Cadillac shows only 1 mpg improvement in city driving with direct fuel injection, Volkswagen claims up to 25% in fuel savings and Audi shows 15% improvement.