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With recent debates, one frequently hears that it's currently not possible for car manufacturers to meet the 55 MPG energy efficiency rating required by 2025.

So, is there something physically impossible about meeting this standard? Is it achievable within the next 5 years? If not, what is preventing it?

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    $\begingroup$ Why not? My current car (now 10 years old) already does 50+ miles to the UK gallon in normal driving. For diesel engines, "60 MPG at 60 MPH" has been more or less standard in Europe for a long time. Of course US gallons are smaller than UK gallons. $\endgroup$ – alephzero Apr 1 '20 at 1:32
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    $\begingroup$ "one frequently hears" from whom? Randos on the internet? Car manufacturers who don't want to do it? I could be done today, but not for the types of vehicles Americans want to buy (fast SUV's). $\endgroup$ – Tiger Guy Apr 1 '20 at 3:12
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    $\begingroup$ As has been pointed out there have been cars doing "60 for 60" in Europe for a decade of more, however they are not anywhere the size of some of the cars sold in the USA so have not been popular at all there... $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Apr 1 '20 at 6:11
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    $\begingroup$ My '89 Honda Civic hatchback, bone stock with a four speed manual, averaged right at 60 mpg real world driving for it's first 200,000 miles, and I had roof racks and a trailer hitch on it. I did change the wheels and tires, but that didn't change the mileage. The only "mod" was that I ran Slick 50 in the oil, and that added about one mpg. $\endgroup$ – Phil Sweet Apr 1 '20 at 21:52
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    $\begingroup$ The usual excuses today are - 1) that the fuel is crap, and you can't get the efficiency needed out of the engine using regular grade gas, 2) that the emissions requirements require engine operating points that can not be efficient enough, and 3) Vehicle safety standards add too much weight to today's vehicles. All are true to some degree, but they aren't prohibitive. $\endgroup$ – Phil Sweet Apr 1 '20 at 22:00
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It's more than possible. The 2020 Toyota Prius already claims it with 58 on the highway and 56 combined highway and city.

The limit is higher. Here is an article that covers a lot of details

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  • $\begingroup$ I really should have specified non-Hybrids. Thank you, though. $\endgroup$ – Beliod Apr 1 '20 at 3:12
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure why as a hybrid just recaptures energy, the car still runs on gas. However, the article I linked still gives you the answers you are after, check it out $\endgroup$ – Ack Apr 1 '20 at 3:17
  • $\begingroup$ Really appreciate it. I'll give it a read. $\endgroup$ – Beliod Apr 1 '20 at 3:27
  • $\begingroup$ by the way, there is an annual fuel mileage competition for motorcycles; the record is now in excess of 400 MPG for a highly modified and slow-moving Honda 250 scooter with an aerodynamic fairing. $\endgroup$ – niels nielsen May 1 '20 at 6:48

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