GM Has Big MPG Goals

GM MPGGeneral Motors Co. said it wants to have at least eight U.S. vehicles on the road that get 40 miles per gallon highway or better by 2017 as part of its efforts to boost fuel economy and reduce emissions.

The company, in its 2012 sustainability report, said it wants to have double the four vehicles it already has that hit the 40-mpg mark. The Detroit automaker’s 2013 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, 2013 Chevrolet Cruze Eco, 2013 Sonic hatchback with turbo and 2013 Sonic sedan with turbo get 40 mpg or better. GM is adding the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze diesel, 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV and 2014 Cadillac ELR, which will increase its total to seven that meet the goal.

Chrysler Group LLC’s 2013 Dodge Dart Aero and 2013 Fiat 500 electric vehicle also meet the 40-mpg criteria.

Ford Motor Co. has eight 2013 and 2014 models that achieve 40 mpg or more highway: C-Max Hybrid, C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid, Fusion Hybrid, Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid, Lincoln MKZ Hybrid and Focus Electric; and the Focus and Fiesta, equipped with specific packages. “We’re going to make every effort to increase that number and maintain our leadership position,” Ford spokesman Mark Schirmer said in a phone interview.

Automakers are under increasing pressure to meet U.S. corporate average fuel economy fleet standards of 35.5 mpg by model year 2016, and 54.5 mpg by model year 2025.

“We’re not saying we would lead the industry on (having the most vehicles with 40 mpg or higher highway), rather setting a commitment based on our projections and portfolio plans and willing to be transparent in how we get there and report our progress along the way,” GM spokeswoman Sharon K. Basel said in an email.

By 2016 GM wants to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 15 percent from emissions produced in 2011 vehicles. The automaker also wants to cut Opel/Vauxhall carbon dioxide emissions in Europe 27 percent by 2020.

In January 2012, GM rolled out its first sustainability report. It listed nine environmental goals, including reducing waste, energy, carbon and water use at manufacturing sites, and boosting the number of landfill-free facilities by 2020. GM says it made progress in seven areas during 2012, compared with 2011.

The moves are helping the automaker save money. GM says it has cut the energy required to build a vehicle by 7 percent since 2010, saving $66 million in energy costs.

The company also adds about $1 billion in revenue annually as it recycles and reuses 90 percent of manufacturing waste globally. GM said it has been able to cut total waste per vehicle by 55 pounds since 2010.

GM reiterated its goal to have 500,000 vehicles on the road in the U.S. by 2017 that would be powered in some way by electricity, including plug-ins, pure electrics and hybrids. The company said it had 179,801 electrified vehicles on the road in 2012, up from 48,108 in 2011.


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