According to a recent report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), several fuel-efficient technologies that can deliver significant reductions in fuel consumption are currently or will soon be available for standard gasoline vehicles.
The report, "Annual Energy Outlook 2014," projects that standard gasoline vehicles, including those that use micro and mild hybridization, are projected to retain nearly 80 percent of new sales in 2025 and 78 percent in 2040. The technoloigies in these vehicles, according to the report, can assist manufacturers in meeting future greenhouse gas emissions and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, at a "relatively modest cost," and include:
- Engine technologies such as variable valve timing and lift, cylinder deactivation, turbocharging, and downsizing
- Electrification technologies such as electric power steering, and micro or mild hybridization (turning off the engine when the car is stopped)
- Vehicle technologies such as fuel-efficient tires and aerodynamics
- Weight-reduction technologies
- Transmission technologies such as aggressive shift logic (controlling on automatic transmission to maximize fuel efficiency) or 8-speed transmission
As noted in the above infographic, most of the fuel's energy in a gasoline-powered vehicle is lost in the engine, primarily as heat. Smaller amounts of energy are lost through engine friction, pumping air into and out of the engine, and combustion inefficiency.
For more information, download the EIA report.