Four simple tips for automakers to improve efficiency right now, not 2020

Popular Mechanics has published four simple tips automakers could apply now to improve car mileage. After contentious debate on Capitol Hill and lobbying from the industry, new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards will jump to 35 mpg for all cars and SUVs by 2020, up from the current 27.5 mpg for cars and 22.5 mpg for trucks.

The four tips given aren't rocket science and can be applied to current models - save for they would mean an increase in sales prices. Here they are:
  • Reducing weight: Using more aluminium, carbon-fiber or plastic panels to reduce the dead mass that has to be propelled.
  • Using better powerplants: The hydrogen-cell is not ready yet but hybrids and diesel are already available (and domestic automakers do have excellent diesel powertrains in Europe)
  • Mounting low-resistance tires: It's a bit at the expense of handling, but it's available and it doesn't cost too much.
  • More gears: CVT transmissions or 7 and 8-speed transmissions are ready. The lower the rpm are, the less gas the car burns.
Related: [Source: Popular Mechanics, thanks to Matt S.]

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