Historic US fuel-efficiency law could offer opportunities for PM technology

September 10, 2012

The US Government has finalised and passed into law a fuel economy standard that calls for car manufacturers to meet a 54.5 miles/gallon average by the year 2025.

“By the middle of the next decade our cars will get nearly 55 miles per gallon, almost double what they get today,” stated President Obama in a statement released on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Website. “It’ll strengthen our nation’s energy security, it’s good for middle class families and will help create an economy built to last.”

The new standard will call on automotive engineers to design cars that essentially double their fuel efficiency in the next 13 years. U.S. lawmakers had previously passed regulations that would push automakers to boost their corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) ratings to 36.6 miles/gallon by 2017. The new regulation announced by President Obama will leave only eight more years to achieve an additional 18 mpg.

Automakers are expected to meet the new standard with a combination of technologies that include lightweight materials, smaller vehicle sizes, new transmissions, and more efficient engines, as well as hybrid and electric vehicle technology. This could open up new opportunities for the PM industry to supply lighter more fuel efficient PM parts for engines and transmissions, as well as magnetic materials for electric motors used in HEVs and EVs. The PM industry already supplies over 70% of its output to the automotive sector.

Posted by: Paul Whittaker, Editor ipmd.net, [email protected]   

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