The Stretch for Better Passenger-Car Fuel Economy
Since the earliest days of the automobile, improved fuel economy has been an objective of passenger-car manufacturers. The original market paced fuel-economy phase gave way to the CAFE-regulated phase in the late 1970s. September 1993 marked the start of a third fuel-economy phase, the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV). PNGV has as its objective the development of a mid-size “Supercar” achieving an EPA combined-schedule fuel economy of 80 mpge (80 mi/gal gasoline equivalent = 34 km/L = 2.94 L/100 km) without sacrificing other attributes of the current U.S. mid-size car. The PNGV program is differentiated from the two previous phases by its cooperative research effort between industry and government. A review of past automotive phases sets the stage for future PNGV projections.