14 August 2001

Automakers are not likely to meet the PNGV program goal to develop an affordable, 80 mpg (2.94 l/100 km) family sedan by 2004, concluded the National Research Council in its 7th annual review of the PNGV program.

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PNGV, or the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles, is a US government - industry partnership started in 1993 as a 10-year program with an objective to develop an 80 mpg (gasoline equivalent) family sedan without sacrificing its size, comfort, range, or speed. The government PNGV spending have totalled $814 million, while the industry - General Motors, Ford, and DaimlerChrysler - spent over $980 million.

In 2000, all three automakers produced PNGV concept cars. GM’s Precept met the 80 mpg target, while cars developed by the two other automakers were very close. The cars utilized diesel-electric powertrains - the most energy efficient technology identified by the PNGV research - in conjunction with light-weight materials. There are remaining obstacles, however, before a production prototypes can be demonstrated. The cars are too expensive to compete with conventional technologies and still cannot meet the Tier 2 emission standards.

Source: National Research Council