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Future of cars still gas: Chrysler CEO

Carmakers will squeeze more miles out of gasoline and diesel engines tomeet the tougher fuel-economy standards announced by the government lastweek, the CEO of Chrysler said yesterday.

Carmakers will squeeze more miles out of gasoline and diesel engines to meet the tougher fuel-economy standards announced by the government last week, the CEO of Chrysler said yesterday.

Sergio Marchionne, also head of Italy’s Fiat SpA, said changes to the internal combustion engine, and not electric or hydrogen fuel-cell technology, will be the answer to meeting the new standards.

The U.S. new-car fleet must reach an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, double the current standard.

“You will see incredible results even out of what I consider to be absolutely plain-vanilla technology,” Marchionne told reporters at an auto industry conference in Traverse City, Mich.

Marchionne’s companies are behind General Motors, Nissan Motor Co. and others in rolling out rechargeable electric vehicles, although Fiat is planning an all-electric sub- ­compact next year.

Most auto companies agreed to the higher government standards, and executives appeared on stage alongside U.S. President Barack Obama to announce them last week.

As an example of mileage improvements from existing technology, Marchionne pointed to changes in the engine and transmission of a large Chrysler luxury sedan.

The Chrysler 300 will get 31 mpg on the highway when equipped with a V-6 engine and a new eight-speed automatic transmission. The 300 it replaced got 27.5 mpg when equipped with a V-8.

 
 
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