Green cars had a lot of promotion before and during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, but there were only a handful of new all-electric or hybrid cars being shown. Conventional internal combustion engine vehicles appear to remains as the industry standard for the near future. A KMPG study found that while electric vehicle sales increased last year, it will take until at least 2025 for these powertrains to account for about 15% of total global new vehicle sales. That’s the time when US fuel economy standards will reach an average of 54.5 miles per gallon for automakers.
In the meantime, automakers are focusing on moving ahead with technologies such as Mazda’s “SkyActiv” taking out excess weight from vehicle frames, engines and transaxles to squeeze more mileage out of gasoline-powered cars without sacrificing performance. Ford’s EcoBoost engines are downsizing and turbocharging its engine offerings. About 25% of the global auto executives surveyed in the KPMG study said that improving gasoline and diesel engines would remain a major focus for investment in the next five years.