Hyundai Not Afraid to Lead in Fuel Economy—And Fuel Economy Reporting
“More data is always better,” said Hyundai Motor America’s President and CEO John Krafcik when asked by HybridCars.com about his company’s new practice of issuing monthly fuel economy reports for its lineup. Krafcik said he is aware of competitor complaints that Hyundai’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy reporting would just confuse the public and that Hyundai’s numbers aren’t comparable to other companies because it isn’t a “full-line manufacturer” (i.e., they don’t sell full-size pickup trucks or SUVs.) But he said he firmly believes that “if everyone reported these numbers, it would change the industry” and help move it toward greater fuel economy. “What gets measured, gets done,” he added.
For January, Hyundai’s reported numbers for a sales-weighted average were 34.7 mpg overall (36.4 for cars and 29.8 for trucks), which Krafcik said showed the company was well on its way to its 35 mpg corporate goal for 2015. Hyundai already has two 40 mpg (highway) models—the compact Sonata hybrid and Elantra—and plans to introduce two more this year: the Veloster and Accent. In January, the carmaker sold 4,792 40 mpg cars.
Krafcik indicated Hyundai was carving out a separate path from some other automakers, saying his company was comfortable with the EPA and CARB’s proposed 2025 fuel economy standards in the 47-62 mpg territory. “Now is not the time to lose our resolve,” he added. He said he felt tough standards would drive the industry to follow Hyundai’s pursuit of “democratizing fuel economy,” by adding technology like direct injection and lightweighting across vehicle lines to maximize CO2 reduction.
On the other hand, he did have a concern with government “mandated technologies” and subsidies. “Government should say where they want us to go on CO2 and let us figure out the most efficient way of getting there.”