Higher fuel economy standards take effect for 2012 models
The 2012 new car models are shipping already, lead by the 2012 Ford Focus scheduled to arrive at dealerships this month. These are the first new cars that have to comply with new, stricter fuel economy standards passed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2009. The changes are the first major increase in fuel economy standards for cars since the requirements originally took effect in the 1970s. Automakers are expected to adopt a wide range of technologies to meet the new targets, including direct injection, continuously variable transmissions, hybrid systems, and plug-in electric cars.
Under the new system, each automaker has an independent fuel economy target to meet, based on the types and sizes of vehicles it plans to produce. But on average, the new standards are supposed to increase overall fuel economy by 16 percent this year and by a third by 2016. (Congress has called for a 40-percent increase overall by 2020.)
http://blogs.consumerreports.org/cars/2 ... odels.html