Report: Hyundai Most Fuel Efficient Automaker in the U.S.

Colum Wood
by Colum Wood

Several years ago Hyundai announced its plan to be the most fuel-efficient automaker in the U.S. The news was met with much skepticism. But not that long afterward and an impressive new lineup of award-winning vehicles and the Korean automaker has already met its goal and is well on the way to achieving the 2016 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard of 35.5 mpg early.

The news comes as the EPA releases its Light-Duty Automotive Technology and Fuel Economy Trends Report for 2009, which rates Hyundai first at an average of 30.1 mpg. This also makes Hyundai the only automaker with an average of 30 mpg or higher. In second place is Honda at 29.7 mpg, third belongs to Volkswagen at 29.6 mpg, Toyota is fourth at 29.4 mpg and Kia (also owned by Hyundai) is fifth at 28.0 mpg.

Possibly even more impressive is that Hyundai has done all this without having a single diesel or hybrid in its lineup. Hyundai does, however, plan to introduce its first hybrid based on the all-new 2011 Sonata, next year. New turbochared engines and direct-injection engines are also planned.

“Our thoughtful application of cost-effective, fuel-efficient technologies has helped us achieve our goal of leading the industry in fuel economy ahead of schedule,” said Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik. “Now we hope to extend that leadership with the launch of our new direct injection, turbocharging and lithium-polymer hybrid technologies, all of which will be a part of the 2011 Sonata lineup launching early next year.”

Official release after the jump:

PRESS RELEASE

Hyundai Takes the Lead as the Most Fuel-Efficient Automaker in America

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., Dec. 1 /PRNewswire/ — One year after promising to become the leading manufacturer in fuel economy, Hyundai delivered by topping the latest U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy report. Hyundai passed all major manufacturers in Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) including traditional leaders like Honda and Toyota. The report demonstrates the effectiveness of Hyundai’s value-driven fuel-efficiency strategy, which focuses on the intelligent application of cost-effective technologies. The report also substantiates Hyundai’s leadership in the race to achieve the government-mandated 2016 CAFE standard of 35.5 miles per gallon.

The EPA 2009 Light-Duty Automotive Technology and Fuel Economy Trends Report indicates that Hyundai has the highest MY 2009 laboratory 55/45 fuel economy with 30.1 miles per gallon (mpg). Hyundai is also the only automaker(1) to top 30 mpg in the report.

Environmental Protection Agency Fuel Economy Reports (2)
——————————————————–
Group Fuel Economy (mpg)
—– ——————
MY 2009 EPA Lab 55/45* (projected)
———————————-
Manufacturer** Overall (Cars/Trucks)
————– ———————
Hyundai 30.1
——- —-
Honda 29.7
—– —-
Volkswagen 29.6
———- —-
Toyota 29.4
—— —-
Kia 28.0
— —-
Nissan 27.2
—— —-
BMW 26.9
— —-
Ford 25.7
—- —-
General Motors 24.5
————– —-
Chrysler 23.2
——– —-

* from EPA Table 28 (http://www.epa.gov/otaq/cert/mpg/fetrends/fullreport-tables-nov2009.xls) – MY 2009 EPA Laboratory 55/45 Fuel Economy by Manufacturer (55% city 45% highway weighted metric)

**Include ten highest-volume manufacturers

“Our thoughtful application of cost-effective, fuel-efficient technologies has helped us achieve our goal of leading the industry in fuel economy ahead of schedule,” said John Krafcik, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America. “Now we hope to extend that leadership with the launch of our new direct injection, turbocharging and lithium-polymer hybrid technologies, all of which will be a part of the 2011 Sonata lineup launching early next year.”

Hyundai is aligning global R&D resources at its engineering centers in California, Michigan, Korea, India and Germany to develop the Blue Drive technologies needed to achieve fuel efficiency goals. Under the Hyundai Blue Drive strategy, technologies such as direct injection, turbo-charging, hybrid drive systems and a number of others will all play larger roles in powering future models to offer consumers lower emissions, enhanced performance and more miles per gallon.

Colum Wood
Colum Wood

With AutoGuide from its launch, Colum previously acted as Editor-in-Chief of Modified Luxury & Exotics magazine where he became a certifiable car snob driving supercars like the Koenigsegg CCX and racing down the autobahn in anything over 500 hp. He has won numerous automotive journalism awards including the Best Video Journalism Award in 2014 and 2015 from the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). Colum founded Geared Content Studios, VerticalScope's in-house branded content division and works to find ways to integrate brands organically into content.

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  • Kerri Toloczko Kerri Toloczko on Dec 08, 2009

    Its great that Hyundai went through with its promise to raise fuel efficiecny, but at what cost to the US? The EPAs report denoting left out the Hyundai parent company back story. Behind Hyundai USA lies a South Korean company mired in scandal, corruption, embezzlement and a robust economic relationship with North Korea. Four of its high level executives have been found guilty of everything from bribing government officials to funneling over $100 million to Kim Jong Il. South Korea won't let American carmakers sell into their country either. With tariffs and consumer taxes making our cars out of reach economically, they put up a huge barrier to entry for USA-based manufacturers. Good for Hyundai's MPG, but consumers should make sure they know exactly where their money is ultimately going before making a final choice in a high MPG car.

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