. Gasoline and diesel direct injection uses sophisticated electronic fuel-flow and air-flow controls, and precision injectors which inject the fuel directly into the cylinder and optimize the ideal mixture of air and fuel during combustion.
. Continuously Variable Transmission or CVT's don't have a gearbox with a set number of gears, instead they typically operate on a pulley configuration that allows an infinite number of engine/wheel speed ratios. This technology results in better engine speed matching, ideal "gear" selection and improved fuel efficiency.
. Hybrid Technology: by combining an internal combustion engine with an electrical motor and battery pack, most hybrids today achieve improvements in fuel efficiency by using the electric motor to supplement engine power.
Some hybrids can also operate exclusively using the electric motor at low speeds. Batteries do not require plugging in and are recharged by harnessing the energy from coasting, braking and from the engine.
. Electronic throttle control responds to changing engine conditions and precisely controls fuel combustion. Decreased amounts of unburned fuel result in improved fuel efficiency.
Natural Resources Canada has produced a myriad of helpful tips on fuel efficiency at ecoaction.gc.ca/vehicles.