Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


Audio Spot: UT-Battelle corporate fellow suggests fuel savings to Congress

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., July 24, 2008 — UT-Battelle Corporate Fellow David Greene told a U.S. Senate committee drivers can determine a more accurate fuel mileage by the way they drive while not relying so much on Environmental Protection Agency numbers assigned their particular model.

"There's a variance according to driving style, local driving conditions, temperature and the kinds of trips people make," Greene says. "What we need is not an unbiased predictor of people's fuel economy, but, rather, we need a more accurate one that predicts for any given individual accurately what that person will get and will take into account his driving style."

Greene says more efficient heating and cooling systems in vehicles could significantly increase their miles per gallon.

"If the test procedures were changed to include air conditioning, then the EPA already has a test cycle for doing this," Greene says. "Then the manufacturers could have an incentive to make air conditioners more efficient to help them meet the fuel economy standards and to reduce the heating and cooling loads in the car. If this and other modifications to the test procedure were made, it's likely the fuel economy could be raised by about 10 percent."

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.