Thanks in part to the EPA's announcement of new fuel standards and in part to a larger trend among consumers demanding more advanced vehicles, automobile manufacturers worldwide are focusing on innovations in fuel economy. At the Paris Motor Show, BMW touted its commitment to fuel efficiency. 2013's BMW 5 Series will be able to cut twenty-five percent of fuel consumption through innovations in navigation and design. The New York Times reports:
Many of the improvements are incremental: a plastic engine support instead of one made of aluminum, or a laser weld in a passenger seat that saves a few grams. Others are sophisticated but barely visible to drivers, like a grille with louvers that automatically close when less cooling air is needed, to reduce drag.Ford has unveiled its 2013 Fusion Hybrid. The Fusion Hybrid has received a rating of 47 miles per gallon from the EPA, which bests the fuel efficiency of other similar hybrid vehicles like the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord. Venture Beat reports:
“The new Fusion is part of our plan to offer vehicles with the very best quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design, and value,” Ford CEO Alan Mulally said in a statement today. “We are absolutely committed to class-leading fuel efficiency as a reason to buy Ford vehicles.”
In addition to the Fusion Hybrid, Ford has added the Focus Electric to its line, and has announced the Fusion Energi, a plug-in hybrid vehicle. Ford estimates that the Energi will get approximately 100 miles per gallon equivalent.
Pike Research reports that September has been a particularly good month for electric vehicle manufacturers. Nissan will expand production of the Leaf vehicle and battery pack in its Smyrna, Tennessee manufacturing facility.
In addition to Tesla's recent announcement of six free solar chargers in California, the company has ramped up production of its manufacturing. Pike cites the company's current production at two vehicles per day. Pike Research also points out that August "marked a milestone" of 20,000 plug-in vehicles delivered in the U.S. so far this year. By August last year, just 7,600 vehicles had sold.
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