Most people shopping for a car want one that has increased fuel efficiency, without any decrease in performance. Total Car Score ranks and compares cars. It has created a list of the top gas saving technologies utilized in cars that meet EPA standards. Automakers are now designing cars with enhanced fuel efficiency as competition in this area is increasing.
Some technological improvements in fuel efficiency have existed for many years, and others have been used on hybrids or compact cars. Some technology has recently been developed, but all of the fuel efficient technologies are now becoming common on most vehicles. People looking to buy a car will want to know about the type of fuel efficient technology used on any vehicle they’re consider purchasing.
Top Ten Fuel Efficient Technologies
1. Start-Stop Engines
Start-stop technology now improves fuel efficiency in non-hybrids by shutting the engine down when the vehicle is stopped.
2. Variable Valve Control
Variable valve control maximizes fuel efficiency and performance by altering the opening and closing of an engine’s valvetrain. It’s based on RPM and throttle input.
3. Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVT)
These transmissions have an infinitely variable gear ratio that keeps an engine in its most fuel-efficient operating zone across a wide range of speeds.
4. Active Aerodynamics
Modern cars are taking traditional aerodynamics a step further by actively altering their coefficient of drag according to vehicle speed and driving conditions.
5. Lightweight Materials
Using high-strength steel, carbon fiber and aluminum allows automakers to create lighter cars without sacrificing safety and less weight means lower fuel consumption.
6. 7+ Transmission Gears
A conventional automatic transmission with seven or more gears that reduces fuel consumption by keeping the engine operating at peak efficiency at any speed.
7. Direct Injection
This method injects fuel directly into the combustion chamber in extremely precise amounts to maximize fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.
8. Cylinder Deactivation
Shutting down one or more of an engine’s cylinders when a car is coasting or cruising under a light load reduces fuel consumption, without impacting performance.
9. Plug-In Hybrids
Hybrids have evolved from charging their battery packs while driving to charging their battery packs while plugged into either a standard wall outlet or high voltage “quick charger.”
10. Mild/Light Hybrids
Using a smaller motor and battery pack than traditional hybrids or a mild hybrid, can intensify an engine’s fuel efficiency with a nominal increase in vehicle cost or weight.
In an August 29, 2012 press release Karl Brauer, Editor in Chief of Total Car Score is quoted as saying “Fuel efficient technology, and the impact it has on EPA ratings for current and future models is a critical component in the design of today’s cars. Gas prices and miles-per-gallon claims are now top consideration points for new car shoppers when buying a car, playing a much bigger role than they did 10 years ago. Given the average car on the road is 11 years old, many consumers will be encountering all-new fuel efficient technology when they research their next vehicle purchase.”
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