Zoom-Zoom, indeed. Toyota may be the world's biggest maker of hybrids and Nissan may be making big strides on the plug-in front with increased sales of its Nissan Leaf electric vehicle, but it's Japanese automaker Mazda that has once again topped the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) list of most fuel-efficient automakers selling vehicles in the US, increasing its Model Year 2012 average by half a mile per gallon compared to MY2011.
Getting drivers to change their behavioral patterns is quite difficult, but the fuel economy payoff can be huge. Consumer Reports has been informing passenger car drivers about the consequences of hitting the gas pedal, and now the Volvo Group is participating in a project to improve commercial truck driver behavior.
Turbocharging isn't really Toyota's specialty, and the Japanese automaker isn't being shy about acknowledging it. Koei Saga, a senior managing officer in charge of drivetrain research and development, says that eschewing turbos and increasing displacement of engines using the Atkinson cycle can produce better power gains without sacrificing fuel economy, Automotive News reports.
Compared with the rest of the world, the U.S. has long been known as the gas guzzler country--the nation of the widest roads, largest vehicles and the least amount of reliable mass transit for the geography. That image could be changing, according to a new study that says driving in the U.S. has already peaked and will decline.
Manufacturers are making more efficient cars and trucks; we've known that to be true for some time. Nearly every new car has some sort of trick to eke a few extra miles out of every gallon of fuel. Whether that be turbocharging, active aerodynamics or hybrid technology/electrified powertrains, the fact is that our vehicles are more efficient than ever before.
Could all of the work some automakers are doing to increase diesel engine adoption in the US be going up in a cloud of smoke? Maybe so, as torquier and more fuel-efficient gasoline engines and cheapening hybrid technology are cutting into what had been perceived as the advantages of diesel drivetrains, the Detroit News says.
Readers of a certain age might remember those bumper stickers with Yosemite Sam toting two six-shooters and yelling "Back Off!" He wasn't yelling "So you can burn more fuel!" but researchers are looking at how tailgating could save gas, and, in this case, are working with big rigs.
When you watch the Zipcar video "How to Zip: Fill 'er Up" (embedded below) you'll see a Zipcar customer finding out he needs to stop at a gas station. There's a Zipcar co-pilot in the backseat who gives him friendly, detailed instructions on how to get reimbursed for filling up the gas tank.
General Motors has a couple of problems to deal with: a glut of pickups on dealer lots and the inability to claim best-in-class fuel economy for its usually strong-selling Chevrolet Silverado pickup. In light of the situation, GM's marketing message has transmuted into something else: "hey, at least they're cheap to own."
Factory fuel economy packages, the special trims or option groups bundled with efficiency improving items such as low-rolling-resistance tires, aerodynamic tweaks and electric power steering, cost the consumer a few hundred dollars (or more) at the time of purchase but don't seem to add any resale value down the road, says a recent report from Cars.com.
For October and November, the all-new Ford C-Max sold 8,030 units, making it the highest-selling hybrid vehicle ever in the first two months. The sales significantly surpassed the 7,300 Camry Hybrids that Toyota sold in that car's first two months on the market, back in May and June of 2006. Ford also calculates that C-Max sales are moving three times faster than combined results from the first hybrids on the US market – the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight – which were launched in 200
Nissan chief operating officer Toshiyuki Shiga offered an update on the automaker's "eco-targets" to further cut CO2 emissions and add 15 hybrid models by 2016. At a press conference in Yokohama, Shiga explained the company's commitment to sustainability through its Nissan Green Program 2016. "Thanks to environmentally friendly technology and new products, we are completely in line with our targets for the reduction of CO2 in the usage of vehicles," Shiga said in a video, which you can watch bel