How Good Old Car Engines Got So Efficient

An automobile engine at a Volvo plant in Torslanda, Sweden Photograph by Kristian Helgesen/Bloomberg

It’s official: Cars in the U.S. are more efficient than they’ve ever been. The average vehicle bought last year covered 23.6 miles on a gallon, up from 22.4 miles the year earlier, according to a new report (PDF) from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Automakers are on track to hit a fleetwide average of almost 55 miles per gallon by 2025.

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