10 Feb
The Detroit Auto Show is underway at the moment.

What did we learn about fuel efficiency at the Detroit Auto Show?

With the Detroit Auto Show well underway, it's time to review some of the biggest stories to emerge from the exhibition and what they mean for fuel card users around New Zealand

Naturally, the prevailing trend was one of fuel efficiency and green cars, with most manufacturers debuting cars that seek to reduce the quantity of fuel businesses and their drivers use. This trend was spread across a range of different cars and technologies, revealing that drivers will have access to a range of different options when looking to embrace more efficient vehicles. 

Hybrids steal the show

Many manufacturers have come to the same conclusion when it comes to creating fuel-efficient cars, namely that complimenting internal combustion engines (ICE) with an electric motor is the best way to achieve these goals. 

Essentially, these systems use an electric motor to take some of the strain off the ICE, consequently burning less fuel. While the technology isn't new to the industry, it's broadening out into a range of different cars, ensuring fleet managers aren't limited when it comes to choosing a new hybrid for their business. 

Kia proved just how far the technology's influence will reach over the next 12 months with its new Niro SUV which will sport a hybrid powerplant. While the Korean marque didn't have a display model or concept at the Detroit Auto Show, it revealed the first images of the vehicle ahead of its debut at next month's Chicago Auto Show. 

At the other end of the price spectrum, Volvo proved that hybrid engines are suitable for premium vehicles as well. The company announced its top of the line S90 executive sedan will be a hybrid, ensuring the already futuristic vehicle represents the peak of Volvo's powers in every possible way. 

ICEs still have a role to play

Hybrids aren't the only answer for more fuel efficient vehicles. Although they will almost undoubtedly be the future of the industry, for now there is still plenty of work to be done on the humble ICE as well. 

Ford's EcoBoost range is a key example of this, representing a commitment to making the ICE an efficient feature of its vehicles. In fact, Ford has chosen the EcoBoost powerplant as the engine for its next flagship model, the GT. 

The supercar will be powered by the 3.5-litre V6 that is supported by turbochargers for a more efficient use of power. While it's unlikely to find a place in the country's fleets, it's still an exciting piece of automotive development.