An Updated Assessment of the Near-Term Potential for Improving Automotive Fuel Economy

Research Report T932


John DeCicco and Marc Ross


This report extends earlier analyses of the cost-effective potential for improving automobile fuel economy by incorporating refinements to existing technologies along with new ones, such as lean-burn engines, variable valve timing and improved transmission management. It finds that average new car fuel economies of 40-50 mpg could be achieved given 10 years’ lead time. Other issues including emissions, vehicle safety and manufacturer equity are also considered.