Johnson Controls executive Brian Kesseler isn't likely to get any holiday presents this year from Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn or Tesla Motors head Elon Musk, but lots of other folks might be happy with what he has to say about automakers' efforts to reach stricter fleetwide fuel-economy standards.

Speaking at the Automotive News World Congress, Kesseler said automakers wouldn't need to sell an extensive number of plug-in vehicles in order to meet the 54.5 mile per gallon Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard the US government set in 2012 for 2025 model-year vehicles. In fact, he said, components such as stop-start engine technology, turbochargers and direct injection may actually do the trick. Already, things like smaller engine sizes and lighter cars are already playing major roles in spurring fuel-efficiency gains. Of course, Johnson Controls sells batteries specially built for stop-start systems, so Kesseler does have a bit of skin in this game.

The 54.5-mpg CAFE standard equates to about a 40-mpg "real world" fuel-efficiency level. To put that into perspective, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said in a report late last year that model-year 2013 average fuel economy was an even 24 mpg. That was up from 23.6 mpg for the 2012 model year and 22.4 mpg for 2011.


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      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      Fine enough. Start putting all that engine tech that's been held back into gasoline cars already. Make gas engines 35% efficient instead of 30%... lolz I'll still be salivating over an electric car though and so will many others..
        EZEE2
        • 1 Year Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        275 mile range and 30 minute charge. Those are the magic numbers, as proclaimed by me (I am infallible). I (as you know) am not a big fan of mandates, however the gigantic F-150 is supposedly going to get 30mpg on the high way. When I hear that, I am like, 'wtf is up then with fiestas sonics, civics, and the like with their 40 mpg. Like, if a behemoth that is shaped like a brick can hit 30, (violating every one of a Sacred Dan's Rules), then a Yaris shoudl hit 50 mpg without even anything fancy happening.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EZEE2
          Because weight doesn't much affect highway mpg. The larger frontal area accounts for the bulk of the difference. City mpg is horrendous though and a much bigger gap in each vehicle. I know you don't like mandates... But truth in advertising is important. And marketers should be made to display city mpg in equal font as highway.
      CoolWaters
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Solar Home craze has already begun, Plugin's and EV's go hand in hand with this design. http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/english/NEWS_EN/20140117/328118/
        EZEE2
        • 1 Year Ago
        @CoolWaters
        Hey Cool! In Orlando there is a rather humorous radio commercial where Bush (W) and Clinton are in a house and Clinton is yelling at bush because he is in the shower too long. Bush explains, 'we have solar from (some local company)' and they have a back and forth, but the good part is, supposedly with the rebates and saving, with financing, the system (for solar hot water) is cash positive from day one. So the payments to the solar company are LESS than the savings on your electric bill. When my parents had their system, my mom mathed it out and it paid for itself after a few years or so. But not from day one (they were still happy with it, and then there were no controls on how hot the water got, so literally for a shower, you had the dial 1/2 way toward cold, because it was so scorching hot.
          CoolWaters
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EZEE2
          Solar Hot Water is a great system, but, as you can guess in some states it's vary hard to find anyone who knows what they're doing as they've installed none. It's good to hear Florida is becoming the new California. But, if you don't want to go that far, there's now Hybrid Electric Water heaters. - The compressor fan sounds like a fan on medium, and to heat up a 60 gallon tank takes 6 hours, but, it's 40% of the energy of pure electric. Once you're up to temperature, the compressor-fan only goes on for like 15 minutes a day.
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EZEE2
          EZEE George W is the greenest president we've ever had. See W's house compared with bigCO2foot algore's http://www.snopes.com/politics/bush/house.asp
      • 1 Year Ago
      In 1987 I brought a 200D Mercedes (E-class size) into this country and have now over 250,000mi on it. It has a 2L Diesel engine with 72 HP and a 5-gear stick shift. I still get 40-44 mpg here around Chicago with mostly freeway driving. All things considered, not that much progress has been made then...
        thecommentator2013
        • 1 Year Ago
        ...except for better crash results, more creature comfort, better seats, less noise, less pollution from the ICE, more warranty and on and on...
      HumanityFirst
      • 1 Year Ago
      We installed a engine booster that added 22% to our overall mileage on a 2000 toyota camry. there is a company out of New Mexico that sells modified chips too. this unit plugs directly into engine block with the power coming off the battery. been using it for 32 months and its great with higher power output. kmaxx.ca
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm also going to say that i've dropped my household transportation carbon footprint by 75 percent in two years. Here's what I've done: we've gone from a 2 car to a 1 car household, so we all share 1 vehicle. We've traded our Toyota Tacoma 2001 in for a 2012 Prius C, going from around 20mpg to 50mpg. We bought a scooter and make small trips to the store, gym, etc. on that. We use public transit once a week for getting to work. It takes longer, but it's a nice time to read a book or play on an iPad. We swim twice a week, and the swim team is not super close, so for one of those trips, we use a bicycle. Takes a lot longer, but it is cutting our use of fossil fuels considerably. Finally, we've altered our vacation travel. We've cut the 'miles' we travel each year by 50 percent. Instead of flying out of state, we've been visiting national parks and state parks closer by. It's slowed our lives down a bit, but I would have to say that my quality of life has gone up as I've become less 'dependent' on the illusion that burning a lot of fossil fuel somehow makes me smarter, sexier, or more sophisticated than my neighbor.
        lad
        • 1 Year Ago
        Step back with me to a time in 1943 when my dad was fighting a war and I was 7 years old; gasoline was rationed...we walked to school, rode electric trolleys all around Oakland and rode the Key system and cable cars across the Bay Bridge to Golden Gate Park. Had I a bicycle, my world would have been complete. My point is if you build your personal transportation system on necessities and good judgement, you are way ahead of the crowd. . I congratulate you on your energy saving decisions And, I wish many others would hear your message.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Thanks for sharing. Why do I think you are a Democrat and would be delighted to have laws to regulate that which you do no approve of? I know, it's because you are smarter and better than most. Pity.
          mikeybyte1
          • 1 Year Ago
          Thanks for sharing. Why do I think you get all of your news by watching Fox "News" and let your mind get easily brainwashed into thinking one of their "journalist's" opinions outweighs facts? I know because of your highly judgmental response to someone who is making an effort to live not only greener, but also healthier. Instead of commending them on making such healthy choices you pass judgement - just like Fox has taught you to. Pity.
          BipDBo
          • 1 Year Ago
          I'm a republican who tries to live while using up less. Just look at George Bush's lifestyle; avid runner, amateur painter, off-the grid ranch home. You'd probably assume he was a commie hippie. http://www.commondreams.org/views01/0429-03.htm
      • 1 Year Ago
      According to the article, 54.3 mpg CAFE, which the auto industry has been mandated to reach by the year 2025, is really only 40 mpg. We already have cars in service that match, or exceed, this goal. And this is only 2014.
      • 1 Year Ago
      My Volt has a lifetime 217 mpg routinely go over 50 miles a day on just electric
      • 1 Year Ago
      Carbon footprint, global warming, etc. Weasel words used by control freaks, hell bent on regulating due to their psychological problems. This is all about politics. If you honestly think CO2 is a pollutant, you are a product of the government schools. Being insistent on making others do your bidding is tyranny. You know it's tyranny because the freaks know what's best for you. Look at CFL bulbs, soon to be junk due to advancements in LED lighting. Poor fools don't understand economics and are seething with jealousy over those who do better economically. To quote Obama, "Under my plan, electricity rates will necessarily need to skyrocket." Why is it the losers of society are so obsessed with making us part of their perfect world plan?
        Mark Schaffer
        • 1 Year Ago
        Do you even realize how much of a crank you ARE? Helpfully the ACA includes provisions for mental health care.
        mylexicon
        • 1 Year Ago
        CAFE isn't about greenhouse gas emissions. They are cloaking economic policy in pollution rhetoric, but they are actually trying to address our trade deficit.
        jebibudala
        • 1 Year Ago
        I feel the government isn't doing enough. I think government should lock people down to their assigned government housing, and make electricity so expensive the citizens must run on treadmills for a faint glimmer of light. See, each citizen treadmill running would only get to retain 10% of the electricity, whereas 90% goes to elected officials.
        • 1 Year Ago
        And if you don't think CO2 isn't a pollutant, try sitting in your garage with the door shut and the motor running...
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          I think you're mixing up carbon monoxide ( CO ) and carbon dioxide ( CO2 ) :) The concentration of carbon dioxide that will kill you is about >100,000PPM, and it will kill you from suffocation ( likely just from displacement of oxygen since it would make up 10% of the air ). The only way you could kill yourself in a garage this way with a modern car is if you made the garage air-tight. The lethal dose of carbon monoxide on the other hand, is around 1,000PPM for an hour. So, air with 1% carbon monoxide in it is just as deadly. Before catalytic convertors, cars used to emit many thousands of PPM of carbon monoxide while running. But with catalytic convertors, 99% of these carbon monoxide emissions are now catalyzed to carbon dioxide which is almost nontoxic by comparison.
      fred schumacher
      • 1 Year Ago
      No mention of automotive morphology, except one cryptic reference to Elio Motors. The problem is that vehicles are primarily designed for "ultimate" (i.e, extreme) rather than "modal" (most common) usage. Nearly 7/8ths of the time we drive alone, yet, on average, we use a two-ton vehicle to accomplish the task of transporting a 200 pound payload. What's needed is a new class of vehicles, and there should be an ISO standard for them: narrow (1.1 meter or less width), light, two-seat/three seat, tilting enclosed "motorcycles" (2/3/4 wheel) to meet modal transportation needs. Such a vehicle should achieve 100 mpg with existing technology. If these vehicles are the primary providers, with multi-use vehicles as stand-by, then meeting the 54 mpg target would be easy. Such vehicles would allow for the development of narrow express lanes with minimal overall increase in highway width. For those concerned about safety -- they can be made as safe as modern open-wheel racing vehicles which operate at much higher speeds but protect their occupants. As to being hit by a semi -- no vehicle can protect you from that.
        BipDBo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @fred schumacher
        Part of that "ultimate" design, however, is crash worthiness. Sure, you don't need 2 tons of steel most of the time, but it comes in handy during that 1/100th of a second during impact. Most US drivers would just be too uncomfortable riding in a tiny car, sharing the road with huge SUVs and tractor trailers. Perhaps a car like the Elio, however will bridge the gap, however, and catch buyers that have a little more flexible comfortability level, but not quite the guts to ride a scooter in heavy traffic. Another issue is that these microcars have not yet offered substantial efficiency margins above offerings like the Prius or even sporty compacts like the Focus. To make 100 mpg on the combine cycle, something like the Elio would need to have a more expensive, heavier hybrid drivetrain. Also, as you get into the higher mpg numbers, the total gallons per lifespan use has diminishing returns. Rather than building smaller, more efficient niche vehicles, I think the industry should start working more at the other end, going for the lower hanging fruit. Trucks, SUV and crossovers are getting lighter. This is good for efficiency, but also indirectly makes smaller cars safer and more appealing. The larger vehicles, however are long overdue for hybridization, good hybrid drivetrains, not crappy GM mild hybrids. Minivans' for example are completely void of hybridization.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @fred schumacher
        Totally with ya.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I find it sad that so many Americans have 'bought in" to this global warming and save the planet one car at a time mentality. Anyone pay attention to what the rest of the world is doing in terms of polluting the environment? People are inconveniencing their lives (and their family) in order to brag about how much they "care" more than others. Saying that, I have a 2013 VW Passat Diesel that gets well over 40mpg in city driving. I drive long distance for business and needed to save $$$ on fuel. Seats 5 comfortably with huge trunk all for $26,000. The people who have to 'plug in" their cars, do they realize that they are using energy to "fuel' their car? And have they looked into the pollution that the battery plants make when producing the batteries? Check out the GM battery plant in Canada. Nothing grows in a 3 mile radius of the plant. Wonder how expensive it is to replace the battery packs in Prius?
        Mark Schaffer
        • 1 Year Ago
        You are sadly uninformed about AGW. Talk to any PHEV owner and they will happily explain that they indeed do know about electricity supplies. Now take some time to read this science report and learn something about why you are uniformed: http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_vehicles/smart-transportation-solutions/advanced-vehicle-technologies/#howclean And: http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_vehicles/
        mikeybyte1
        • 1 Year Ago
        Sounds like you made a smart choice given your driving habits. What about someone that commutes 10 miles a day to work? Why would they want a diesel? A plug-in or hybrid makes much more sense since city efficiency outweighs highway. One size does not fit all.
      jebibudala
      • 1 Year Ago
      We can easily achieve this number if we get to include our feet as a vehicle.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Via Motors is making a full size truck that gets 30+ MPG... today.... Thats MPG.... not MPGe. The same technology could make mid sized SUV's 40+ and mid sized cars 60+.
        mustang_sallad
        • 1 Year Ago
        "making" is a strong word, I don't think we've seen anything but mules and sales demo vehicles so far. But you're point is still valid - 54mpg is a HUGE stretch for a regular combustion vehicle, whereas it's dead easy with a plug-in.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mustang_sallad
          54.5 CAFE translates into about 40mpg real world, so we don't have as far to go as you think
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