General Motors CEO Says Lighter Vehicles Will Cut Fuel Consumption

Dan Akerson, chairman and chief executive officer of General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), the largest car manufacturer in the United States by sales, said the company will produce lighter vehicles starting with its 2016 models. Its objective is to cut the fuel consumption of its vehicles by almost 10 percent, according to report from the Wall Street Journal.

General Motors CEO Says Lighter Vehicles Will Cut Fuel Consumption

Akerson projected that General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) will be able to produce approximately 500,000 cars and trucks. He expects the vehicles to be running on roads across the country by 2017.

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During the IHS CERAWeek energy conference, Akerson said General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) is developing the most technologically diverse range of fuel-efficient cars, trucks, and crossovers to meet the new fuel economy standards in the auto industry.

According to him, General Motors is developing clean diesel, battery-powered electric vehicles, extended range electric vehicles, natural gas, and a host of fuel saving technologies such as light electrification, cylinder deactivation, and turbo direct injection.

Akerson emphasized that General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) is committed to help save 12 billion gallons of fuel over the life of its vehicles produced between 2011 to 2017, which is equivalent to preventing the need for 675 million barrels of oil. The figure is almost similar to the oil imports of the United States from the Persian Gulf in 2011.

During the conference, Akerson said GM’s target is to reduce the weight of its vehicles by 15 percent by using advance materials such as carbon fibre and magnesium, as well as investments Nano steels and resistance spot welding for aluminium structure.  The company’s new Corvette Stingray coupe and convertible have an all-aluminium frame. The car’s weight is reduced by 99 lbs.

Akerson said, “A good rule of thumb is that a 10-percent reduction in curb weight will reduce fuel consumption by about 6.5 percent. Our target is to reduce weight by up to 15 percent by 2016.”

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) recognized GM’s energy and environmental efforts. The car manufacturers received the Energy Star Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award from the agency.

Since 2005 to 2010, General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) managed to reduce its energy intensity per vehicle produced by 28 percent. The company aims to reduce its global CO2 footprint by 20 percent by 2020.