The two largest United States automakers — General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Ford (NYSE:F) — have agreed to develop together a new line of nine- and ten-speed automatic transmissions in order to increase the fuel efficiency and performance of their vehicles, the companies announced Monday.
The agreement marks the third time in the last ten years that the two companies have joined forces on transmissions, noted Reuters. The collaboration will enable GM and Ford to bring the new transmissions to market more quickly and cheaply than if they worked separately. Engineering teams from both companies have already begun the initial design work on both front- and rear-wheel drive transmissions.
By 2025, the U.S. government standards will began to mandate that automakers show a corporate average fuel economy — or CAFE — of 54.5 miles per gallon, or 23.3 kilometers per liter, so the automobile industry is working hard to find new methods to boost fuel economy by the deadline. The new standards translate to approximately 39 miles per gallon in real world driving, a figure nearly two thirds higher than the fuel efficiency for 2012 model year vehicles, reported the publication. The Environmental Protection Agency projects that, on average, 2012 vehicles got around 23.8 miles per gallon.