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Fuel Efficiency Flat-Line

October 19, 2006 · · Filed Under Automotive Industry, Fuels, Governments, Related News 

Here’s a nice graphic from the Washington Post (found via AXP Blog) piece on the stagnation of fuel-efficiency ratings for new cars.

Flat-Line

Over at the X PRIZE, they did a little computelating and figured that the average MPG of cars today should be in the low 40’s – and not slumming around the low 20’s.

Here’s a (first order) conjecture based on extrapolating the EPA data:  Given that the average MPG increased roughly 7 MPG during 1975-1981, if that rate of change had continued (with constant average weight and acceleration), the average MPG today would be 42 MPG rather than 21 MPG.

But instead of spending all that engineering talent on creating highly efficient engines for cars, the money was spent building heavier cars with greater performance – and maintaining the status quo when it comes to mpg. Hopefully the new Automotive X PRIZE will invigorate the search for attractive-but-miserly car of the near future.

Comments

3 Responses to “Fuel Efficiency Flat-Line”

  1. Obama orders push to cleaner, more efficient cars | Fuelishness! Fuel Economy Blog on January 26th, 2009 7:08 PM

    […] I’m certainly a huge supporter and increased fuel efficiency standards (it’s a disgrace that fuel efficiency for modern vehicles is basically unchanged from those of …), I am concerned about the potential confusion of having each state able to set their own […]

  2. Obama Administration’s New Fuel Economy Standards Sued as Too Weak | Fuelishness! Fuel Economy Blog on April 4th, 2009 9:56 AM

    […] fuel economy standards have been nearly flat since the early 1980’s – while modern engines are more efficienct than older models (fuel injection vs. carborators is a […]

  3. You know, I have one simple request. And that is to have engines with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads! | Fuelishness! Fuel Economy Blog on July 21st, 2009 4:21 PM

    […] of engine efficiency innovations also repudiates the arguments that tried to explain away the flat-line in fuel efficiency since 1980 as a “technological barrier” we just couldn’t overcome because engines were […]

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