Automakers was about to present their newest cars with the latest-developed green technology to the public, as the 2013 Washington Auto Show kicked off.
A luxury sports car that runs on electricity, a sedan that monitors tire pressure, and a computer system that adjusts an engine’s air flow, what is the common ground among them? No kidding. It is right the theme of the D.C. auto show, saving gas and helping the environment.
The above features introduced by Fisker, Nissan and Fiat, respectively, were among the 10 finalists for the 2013 Green Car Technology Award, which was a highlighted ceremony in the show. While the winner was unexpectedly Mazda6 SkyACTIV, neither a hybrid nor an electric vehicle. SkyACTIV technologies ranged from new engines, low-friction transmissions and lighter chassis, all in an effort to make its cars 30 percent more fuel efficient.
The 10 candidates came from eight carmakers, with Ford Motor Company taking three places with green technologies such as eco- boost, auto stop-start and Energi. Noticeably, Ford pumped its hybrid sales up in 2012 by nine percentage points and now have seven models with over 40 miles per gallon (mpg).
The swift development of green technologies were partly driven by the new U.S. fuel economy standard finalized late last year. The Obama Administration aimed to increase fuel economy to the 54. 5 mpg by model year 2025. The near-term goal is 35.5 mpg by 2016.
Although some automakers complained that new standard will make cars less affordable, they have strived hard to meet the requirement, which then have made many technologies that were exclusive to concept cars now available to economy cars.
New technologies can also be found in more than 700 new vehicles by over 42 carmakers displayed in the Washington Auto Show, which features in its policy advocacy. The show organizer hosted a policy summit in a Congress office building on Jan. 30 to caution the lawmakers that the relatively high cost of energy efficient cars is a significant deterrent.
After the special preview for media on Jan. 30 and 31, the show will be open to the public from Feb. 1 to 10.