What You'll Be Driving In 2016

To get 35.5 mpg standard by the 2016 deadline, auto companies will need to roll out a mix of technological innovations.

Published: 17-Jan-2010

For years, the auto industry had successfully fought off attempts to impose tougher gas mileage standards. But when the big automakers came to Washington last year asking for handouts, the help came at a price: tough new national standards. The rules - previously proposed as state limits by California - will require each car company selling in the U.S. to deliver an average fuel economy of 35.5 miles per gallon for its cars, SUVs, vans, and pickups sold here.

That's about 40 percent higher than the current average. And to get there by the 2016 deadline, the auto companies will need to roll out a mix of technological innovations.

Some automakers are fielding new plug-in electric cars like the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf, both of which go on sale late this year. The mix on Auto Row will also include improved gas-electric hybrids and cleaner diesels. We may even see engines that run on natural gas or hydrogen making a dent in the market.


TREV two-place electric car

Student-built vehicle can do 0-60 in 10 seconds with top speed of 75 mph. Photo courtesy of University of South Australia.

Range-extended electric Chrysler Town & Country minivan developed by ENVI.

Is the company running before it can walk with its electric car aspirations?

BYD Found Wang with David Sokol at 2009 Detroit auto show. Photo credit: EV World.com

Chairman of MidAmerican Holdings speaks of his firm's $232 million investment in Chinese electric carmaker BYD.


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