Muscling into energy efficiency

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Whenever you see a Mustang or Corvette or some other muscle car, you may not think of fuel efficiency. Now, some motorheads are shattering the image of muscle cars as gas guzzlers, including Duke's Garage in Denver.

Muscle cars like these can become energy savers? Its possible.
  • Muscle cars like these can become energy savers? It's possible.

A Mustang belonging to Duke Altschuler, co-founder of Duke's Garage, is 100 percent electric and proves such vehicles can make the switch to be cleaner and greener.

Duke's is being spotlighted by Environment Colorado, part of a nationwide network of groups encouraging the Obama administration to increase fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks to at least 60 miles per gallon by 2025. They're also pushing to strengthen global warming pollution standards to no more than 143 grams of pollution per mile by that year, and to reduce fuel consumption in tractor trailers by 35 percent in 2017 (20 percent for all other trucks).

Environment Colorado said in a press release:

Last Friday, October 1st, the Obama administration announced plans to up new fuel efficiency and clean air standards for cars and light trucks. Duke's Garage joined environmental advocates and local officials calling on the EPA to set new standards of 60 miles per gallon for cars and light trucks by 2025.

"Cleaner cars like Duke's just make sense," said Scott Wozencraft, field organizer with Environment Colorado. "Moving cleaner and more fuel-efficient cars into the fast lane is a triple win for Colorado's economy, our energy security and our environment."

The fuel efficiency and global warming pollution standards for cars and light trucks could save Colorado residents $1.64 billion at the gas pump and cut oil use in the state by 724 million gallons per year in 2030, according to new analysis by a Union of Concerned Scientists and Natural Resources Defense Council report.

Nationwide, the new analysis found that Americans would save over $100 billion at the gas pump in 2030 and cut oil use nationwide by nearly 44 billion gallons per year, if the average fuel efficiency standard for cars and light trucks was raised to 60 miles per gallon by 2025. These standards are also estimated to cut annual global warming emissions by 465 million metric tons in 2030, or as much global warming pollution as is produced by 120 coal-fired power plants.

The analysis was released on the heels of a national poll that found that 74 percent of likely voters favor increasing the average fuel efficiency standard for cars and light trucks to 60 miles per gallon by 2025.

Westminster City Councilor Faith Winter drove home the point of why there was so much support for the new standards. "We have the technology and public support. Waiting for another shock at the pump like we saw in 2008 would have a devastating impact on our local economies," she said.

A variety of existing technologies could be used by automakers to increase the fuel efficiency of new cars and decrease their global warming pollution. Conventional internal combustion engine vehicles can be made much more efficient by applying technologies like high-strength lightweight materials and six- and seven-speed transmissions, while strong standards will also help to bring more hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles onto Colorado roads.

Heres Duke giving an interview.
  • Here's Duke giving an interview.

Check out what the Union of Concerned Scientists has to say about energy efficiency.

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