How Detroit Will Reach 35 MPG

Expect automakers to use a lot more aluminum, magnesium and lightweight steel to reduce the weight of all their cars.

Published: 22-Dec-2007

It's taken more than two decades of fighting, but the auto industry finally has a new fuel economy standard it can live with. The magic number is 35 mpg, and automakers have 13 years to get there. Now the question is: How?

Meeting that benchmark will require developing new technology, investing billions in new manufacturing and shunning the "bigger is better" mentality that has guided the auto industry for 20 years. It will be an unprecedented challenge and a seismic change for an industry that has never had much interest in either.

"This is the automotive equivalent of the moon shot," Ron Cogan, the editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and GreenCar.com, told us. "They know they have to reach these goals. They know it won't be easy. They'll have to marshal all of their resources, and those of their suppliers, to do this."

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