CEO: better engines, higher mpgs
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - Carmakers will squeeze more miles out gasoline and diesel engines to meet the tougher fuel economy standards announced by the government last week, the chief executive of Chrysler said yesterday.
Sergio Marchionne, also head of Italy’s Fiat SpA, said changes to the internal combustion engine, and not electric or hydrogen fuel cell technology, will be the answer to meeting the new standards. The nation’s new car fleet must reach an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, double the current standard.
“You will see incredible results even out of what I consider to be absolutely plain-vanilla technology,’’ Marchionne told reporters at an auto industry conference in Traverse City. “Between the combination of transmissions and engines, you will find huge benefits going forward.’’
He also said electric vehicles have been over-hyped as the fuel economy solution by some manufacturers.
Marchionne’s companies are behind General Motors, Nissan Motor Co. and others in rolling out rechargeable electric vehicles, although Fiat is planning an all-electric subcompact next year.
As an example of mileage improvements from existing technology, Marchionne pointed to changes in the engine and transmission of a large Chrysler luxury sedan. The Chrysler 300 will get 31 miles per gallon on the highway when equipped with a V-6 engine and a new eight-speed automatic transmission. The 300 it replaced got 27.5 miles per gallon when equipped with a V-8.