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.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 120 Comments
      HumanityFirst
      • 11 Months 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
      • 11 Months 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
        • 11 Months 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.
        • 11 Months 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
          • 11 Months 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
          • 11 Months 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
      • 11 Months 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
        • 11 Months Ago
        ...except for better crash results, more creature comfort, better seats, less noise, less pollution from the ICE, more warranty and on and on...
      • 11 Months 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.
      • 11 Months Ago
      My Volt has a lifetime 217 mpg routinely go over 50 miles a day on just electric
      2 wheeled menace
      • 11 Months 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
        • 11 Months 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
          • 11 Months 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
      • 11 Months 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
        • 11 Months 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
          • 11 Months 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
          • 11 Months 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
      Joeviocoe
      • 11 Months Ago
      So, this guy is an "Expert"? Saying exactly what would benefit his company "Johnson Controls" since they make the technology that would distract automakers from persuing EVs, Stop/Start. I am a fan of Stop/Start... but this kind of thinking is exactly why there is a competition. Automakers can only allocate so much to R&D. Automakers should persue Stop/Start... but should not be under any illusion that they can stop there, and avoid Hybridization and Electrification.
        CoolWaters
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        Stop / Start, that's good for 1-2 mpg. You can only get the benefit of recovering energy going down hill, to use going up hill with at least a mild Hybrid system.
          offib
          • 11 Months Ago
          @CoolWaters
          Coasting is something that should be looked into. I'm sure it's something that can be done, only drivers of Plug-In cars and the Prius are familiar with this. While regenerative braking is a great asset, not so much when travelling at high speeds unless there's a need to slow down like off the motorway and on to a junction. These drivers would travel at their speed on a long, nice road and slot it into Neutral, which is just a switch. I think it's somewhat illegal. As I remember, only the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and Tesla Model S have a mode that allows such coasting. This eliminates regenerative braking and they just keep coasting, reducing little speed, especially if the car is exceedingly aerodynamic. The prius drivers have a little sweet spot at 40mph that's just behind from letting the engine turning on. It allows them to get stellar economy, improving their mpg almost around 75% compared to the EPA estimates. Other than improving aerodynamics, longer and/or more gears, I'd imagine a stop/start function at high speed could really be the ticket for manufacturers if they really despise the idea to acknowledge hybrids and plug-ins.
      Dave
      • 11 Months Ago
      The Prius, Fusion Hybrid, Camry Hybrid, and Avalon Hybrid are already rated at 40+ mpg. Ford and Toyota are working on cost effective hybrid systems for heavier vehicles. Combine that with the 700 lbs weight savings on the new F150, and we may actually see gasoline fuelled trucks coming close to 2025 CAFE requirements. Meanwhile, Chrysler and General Motors are expanding their diesel offerings in the USA, combined with more efficient transmissions. There will be plug-ins and there will be fuel cells, but they will remain a small minority for a long time, it seems.
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Dave
        Dave, unfortunately, you can't compare the new hybrid numbers with the gas/diesel numbers because the government has a different dyno program for hybrids and electric vehicles. The real world drop in MPG for hybrids or range for electric vehicles catches many consumers by surprise. As for cost effective hybrid systems for heavier vehicles, the only vehicles that would save fuel in the end would be an inner-city delivery vehicle like a local package delivery van (low speed, very low miles with a large number of starts/stops).
          Hunter Smith
          • 11 Months Ago
          Hybrids use the same test as gasoline or diesel powered vehicles. EVs and plug-in hybrids that have some pure EV range are subject to a new rating that attempts to give the buyer a comparison to conventional vehicles. That's necessary because an EV would have essentially unlimited mileage since it doesn't use gas or diesel.
      • 11 Months 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
        • 11 Months 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.
          • 11 Months Ago
          @mustang_sallad
          54.5 CAFE translates into about 40mpg real world, so we don't have as far to go as you think
      • 11 Months Ago
      When was this picture taken? I've not seen gasoline under $3.00 in many years here in NC. (Currently running $3.35/gallon). Making cars lighter can be done, but at what cost to safety? You can already get a tin can Smartcar, but would you really want to be in an accident in it, or trust the life of a loved one to it? More to the point, if people really cared so much about mileage over safety, we'd all be riding motorcycles. And please, don't get me started on so-called "green" electric vehicles. They are not in the least "green" when you take into account their getting power generated by mostly coal fired power plants. Then you have the environmentally nasty (and expensive) battery pack to dispose of at the end of its life. I did some number crunching...A Ford Focus electric costs $35,200 plus taxes and fees.... A similarly equipped "low end" gasoline powered Focus costs around $20,000. For the price difference, I could drive the gasoline powered Focus over 110,000 miles, and that does even take into account the additional cost of charging the electric one for that many miles, or the probably higher maintenance costs over the life of the vehicle.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 11 Months Ago
        Got any other fallacies against more efficient vehicles, or are you done? In the meantime, i would like to give you a round of applause for making a post in which every sentence is incorrect.
        • 11 Months Ago
        Most likely here in the Midwest. Gas sells for around $3.10 currently, but has dipped below $3 a bit in the past few months. You also have to remember, not all states have equal gas tax.
      adam
      • 11 Months Ago
      Many small cars in late 70s and early 80s Honda's and Ford's and dodges got 30+ mpg in town and 40+ on highway for some reason everyone forgets, my 78 accord got 44mpg highway I drove it pretty hard and had a 84 escort got 37mpg and had a 89 tempo got 32 mpg and a 95 accord got about 29 mpg yea not great cars but decent and got good mpg without being hybrid and here in 2014 we still can't make a sedan get at least 40mpg without hybrids all a bunch of bull
    • Load More Comments