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How Automakers Will Get To 54 MPG

Ford's C-Max will be one of the market's most efficient vehicles at 47 mpg. But that’s about 15% short of the 54 mpg the White House has set for the auto industry with the new mileage standards that will be phased in between now and 2025. John Krafcik, the CEO of Hyundai Motor America admits “We don’t yet know how we’ll get there.” Weight and see, so to speak: Some experts believe the auto industry will be forced to abandon steel for lighter alternatives such as carbon fiber or aluminum. Aluminum has been a Jaguar substrate for several years now, but others are using it too. Carbon fiber, familiar to Formula One racing fans and exotic car aficionados, is difficult to work with and phenomenally expensive. But that is changing, and groups like the Steel Institute have been developing new alloys that are markedly lighter and stronger. And how about the CD player – which adds about 4 to 5 pounds a vehicle.



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