General Motors is planning to double the number of models that return 40 mpg highway or better by 2017, as outlined in a June letter by chief executive Dan Akerson that was included in the carmaker's 2012 Sustainability Report. Among the models that already return 40 mpg highway or better are the Chevrolet Volt, Sonic, Cruze Eco Clean Turbo Diesel.
The 2014 Cadillac ELR and Spark EV are expected to comply with the requirement when released. Akerson said in a statement that sustainability is not only "a+ key part of how GM is shifting from a good to great company," it is also about the leadership and innovation that "can transform the auto industry."
He said that GM's long-term approach to sustainability allows the carmaker to increase efficiency and re-imagine personal mobility to be able to meet needs and lifestyles of their customers. Akerson wrote in the letter that GM is making its models more environmentally friendly by cutting vehicle mass and enhancing the thermodynamic efficiency of its petrol engines.
He also remarked that the national CAFE program that will require new cars to return an average fuel economy of 54.5 mpg by 2025 sets "realistic targets" for carmakers. He said that although the concept of electrification is gradually becoming a reality in the auto industry, GM is placing more resources to use electricity to help enhance performance as well as fuel economy.
The carmaker plans to have around 500,000 vehicles "with some form of electrification" plying on roads in the United States by 2017. GM also plans to cut average fleet carbon dioxide emissions by 15 percent in the US by 2016. GM hopes to cut fleet emissions for its Opel and Vauxhall units in Europe 27 percent by the end of the decade. [souce: automotive news - sub. required]