This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
Technologies to Boost the Fuel Efficiency of Cars and Planes
While General Motors Corporation (GM) and Ford Motor Company are entering the hybrid vehicle market, they continue pursuing other technologies that will also yield improvements in gasoline mileage. Notably, the two companies announced in late April that they are investing $720 million to build a six-speed, front-wheel-drive, automatic transmission. The new six-speed transmission is expected to offer up to four percent better gas mileage compared to today's four-speed transmissions, according to the automakers. Starting in 2006, the new transmissions will be built at a GM plant in Warren, Michigan, and at Ford plants in Sterling Heights, Michigan, and Sharonville, Ohio. In November, Ford also announced a $155-million investment in its Sharonville plant to build rear-drive six-speed automatic transmissions there. See the GM press release.
Fuel efficiency improvements are also coming to jetliners, as Boeing Company has launched its new energy-efficiency 7E7 Dreamliner passenger jet. According to Boeing, the 7E7 uses 15 to 20 percent less fuel than today's airplanes of comparable size. Boeing achieved the fuel savings using lightweight, fuel-efficient engines; improved aerodynamics; smaller, lighter wings; and more efficient on-board systems. Japan's ANA (All Nippon Airlines) has ordered 50 of the new jets from Boeing. See the Boeing press release and 7E7 Web site.