GM’s Akerson Calls for Consumer-Driven National Energy Policy

Speaking at an energy conference in Houston, GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson said his company is developing the industry’s most technologically diverse range of fuel-efficient cars, trucks and crossovers to meet new fuel economy standards.

These include 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.

GM is committed to saving 12 billion gallons of fuel over the life of the vehicles it builds between 2011 and 2017, the equivalent of averting the need for 675 million barrels of oil – a figure nearly equal to U.S. oil imports from the Persian Gulf in 2011. 

Mass reduction through the use of advanced materials, such as carbon fibre and magnesium as well as investments in nano steels and resistance spot welding for aluminium structures, holds great promise.

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