[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]
Univ. of Oklahoma study suggests that biocorrosion associated with ULSD not related to level of sulfur in the fuel
May 22, 2013
Findings from a study by a team at the University of Oklahoma suggest that the stability of diesel fuel—i.e., either the biodegradation of diesel hydrocarbons or, by inference, the degree of biocorrosion—is independent of the concentration of organosulfur species in the fuel. In other words, accelerated biocorrosion associated with the use of ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) likely does not result from the lower level of sulfur in the fuel.
The study is published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.
Mercedes-Benz launches new S-Class with hybrid, diesel, gasoline models; 59 mpg PHEV model to come
May 16, 2013
|New S 400 HYBRID. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz’s new generation flagship S-Class, introduced at an elaborate event at Airbus in Finkenwerder, marks a number of technology firsts in numerous areas from comfort, to driver control, to efficiency. As one example of the last, the new S-Class is the first car in the world to completely dispense with conventional electric bulbs, making exclusive use of energy-saving LED technology both inside and outside.
On a larger efficiency scale, the new S-Class in its first year will offer two hybrid versions, a gasoline model and a diesel variant: the S 400 HYBRID, S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, S 500, and S 350 BlueTEC. The models offer up to 20% lower fuel consumption than the outgoing model series. These soon will be followed by the S 500 Plug-In HYBRID—the first S-Class with a fuel consumption lower than 4l/100 km (59 mpg US). All the engines already meet the requirements of the Euro-6 emissions standard.
Volvo Car Group begins production of new VEA 4-cylinder engine family
May 13, 2013
Volvo Car Group is now starting production of the first engine variants in the new, high-efficiency four-cylinder Volvo Engine Architecture (VEA) family. (Earlier post.) The development and production take place in-house at Volvo Car Group.
VEA consists of four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines. Together with driveline electrification, VEA replaces the previous eight engine architectures on three different platforms. The new engines will be introduced between 2013 and 2015. Almost 20,000 engines will be produced in 2013, and by the end of the year the production pace will be 2000 units a week.
Cummins progressing toward ATLAS Tier 2 Bin 2 fuel-efficient diesel for light-duty pickups
May 10, 2013
In a US Department of Energy (DOE)-sponsored project, engineers at Cummins are developing a Tier 2 Bin 2 emissions compliant diesel for application in a light duty pickup (ATLAS, Advanced Technology Light Automotive Systems, earlier post). Tier 2 Bin 2 requirements are only slightly less stringent than the CARB LEVIII-SULEV20 requirements. (Earlier post.) Fuel economy targets for the vehicle are 22.4 mpg US (10.5 l/100km) city and 34.3 mpg US (6.9 l/100 km) highway.
At the recent 2103 SAE World Congress, Cummins discussed key engine technology enablers—including air-handling, fuel system, and base engine design— and development of the combustion system that will help in achieving the target emission levels and fuel economy.
2014 Sprinter van for US standard with new 2.1L diesel; new driver assistance features
May 06, 2013
|2014 Sprinter. Click to enlarge.|
The new MY2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van for the US now features a 2.1L, 4-cylinder diesel with a t-speed automatic transmission as standard. The familiar V6 diesel is available as an option.
Since 2010, all Sprinters in the US have been powered by BlueTEC diesel engines, marking the first use of BlueTEC technology, with its selective catalytic reduction (SCR) exhaust aftertreatment system, in the commercial van market here. The 2.1-liter four-cylinder diesel engine produces 161 hp (120 kW) and 265 lb-ft (359 N·m) of torque at 1,400-2,400 rpm.
UPM and VTT begin fleet tests of BioVerno wood-based renewable diesel in Golf 1.6 TDIs
April 29, 2013
Finland-based forestry-industry company UPM, VTT and VV-Auto Group will start fleet tests of renewable diesel produced mainly from crude tall oil, which is a residue of chemical pulp production, UPM BioVerno. (Earlier post.) The biofuel will be produced by UPM, fleet tests will be coordinated by VTT, and cars will be supplied by VV-Auto Group, an importer and marketer of Volkswagen Group cars in Finland. Fleet tests with UPM BioVerno will start in May, lasting several months.
UPM BioVerno diesel has previously been studied in engine and vehicle tests conducted by VTT and others. The fleet tests will focus on investigating UPM renewable diesel in terms of fuel functionality in engine, emissions and fuel consumption.
Winterkorn says Volkswagen developing 10-speed DCT and high-performance diesel; plug-in hybrids offer great potential
April 26, 2013
|Volkswagen’s view of powertrain technologies to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. Source: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Leohold, Executive Director Volkswagen Group Research. Click to enlarge.|
At the International Vienna Motor Symposium Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, gave a forecast of future drive system technologies. Areas of work being focused on by Volkswagen include the development of a high-performance diesel engine delivering 100 kW (134 hp) per liter of displacement and a new 10-speed dual clutch gearbox that reduces fuel consumption.
The high performance diesel engine features a variable valve-train assembly, a high-pressure injection system at up to 3,000 bar and combined charging with an innovative e-booster. Among alternative drive systems, plug-in hybrids in particular offer great potential, Winterkorn said. (The Volkswagen Group intends to launch at least 6 new plug-in hybrid models starting in 2014 and beyond. Earlier post.)
US DOE to award nearly $18M to 4 biorefinery projects for mil-spec renewable hydrocarbon fuels
April 22, 2013
The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award nearly $18 million to four innovative pilot-scale biorefineries in California, Iowa and Washington that will produce and test drop-in renewable biofuels that meet military specifications for jet fuel and shipboard diesel.
The pilot-scale biorefinery projects selected today will use a variety of non-food biomass feedstocks, waste-based materials, and algae in innovative conversion processes. The projects will demonstrate technologies to cost-effectively convert biomass into advanced drop-in biofuels and assist these organizations to scale up the processes to commercial levels. Recipients are required to contribute a minimum of 50% matching funds for these projects.
Achates Power developing light-duty two-stroke opposed-piston diesel engine: the OP4
April 17, 2013
|The OP4 light-duty opposed-piston diesel. Click to enlarge.|
Achates Power, which is developing a family of two-stroke, compression-ignition (CI) opposed-piston (OP) engines, has designed and is developing a light-duty diesel concept engine, the OP4. The OP4 is a two-stroke, inline two-cylinder, four-piston diesel with a swept volume of 1.5 liters.
With nominal power of 96 kW (129 hp) @ 4000 rpm and maximum torque of 325 N·m (240 lb-ft) @ 1750-2250 rpm (achieved at 14 bar BMEP), the engine will meet Euro 6 and LEV 3 emissions requirements and shows modeled best point fuel consumption of 189 g/kWh. Benchmarked against the Mercedes-Benz 1.8-liter OM651 Euro 5 engine, said Fabien Redon VP, Technology Development at Achates Power, the OP4 design shows a modeled 13.5% cycle-average fuel consumption advantage. Redon presented the basics of the OP4 engine concept at the SAE High Efficiency IC Engine Symposium in Detroit.
Zhongding Power to invest more than $200M to build EcoMotors opoc plant in China
April 09, 2013
p> Zhongding Power and EcoMotors have entered an agreement for the production of the opoc (opposed-piston, opposed cylinder) engine (earlier post). One of the largest automotive component conglomerates in China, Zhongding will finance and construct the first opoc plant in the Anhui Province.
The plant represents an investment by Zhongding of more than US $200 million and will have a capacity of about 150,000 engines per year—or more than US $1 billion in revenue potential. High-volume production is expected to begin in 2014.
Volvo Car Group’s new VEA diesels will use i-ART injection systems for improved fuel consumption
April 08, 2013
Volvo Car Group’s new engine family VEA (Volvo Engine Architecture) (earlier post) will be launched this autumn with i-ART injection technology that helps to cut fuel consumption in the new diesel engines. i-ART (intelligent-Accuracy Refinement Technology) was developed by Denso and introduced at the IAA 2011. (Toyota is also using i-ART systems in upcoming 3.0L commercial diesel engines. Earlier post.)
i-ART features a closed-loop control system—the system autonomously adjusts the fuel injection quantity and timing to their optimal targets based on feedback from injectors. To do this, each injector is equipped with a pressure sensor that communicates its fuel pressure to the engine ECU.
Audi introduces 2015 Audi A3 and S3 sedans; A3 Sportback e-tron PHEV confirmed for US
March 27, 2013
|A3 Sedan. Click to enlarge.|
Audi of America, Inc. announced that the all-new 2015 Audi A3 sedan will arrive in US showrooms in the first quarter of 2014. Audi of America also confirmed that it will offer the A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in gasoline electric hybrid (PHEV) model in the US market later in 2014. Audi recently revealed the A3 Sportback e-tron at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. (Earlier post.)
At launch, the engine line-up will consist of four four-cylinder engines: 170 hp (127 kW) 1.8 TFSI; low- and high-output versions of the 2.0 TFSI; and 150 hp (112 kW) 2.0 TDI clean diesel. Completely redesigned, the engines bring together direct fuel injection, turbocharging, innovative thermal management and the start-stop-system. The line-up of engines and transmissions will grow further, and will include two new basic engines.
Tsinghua study compares two diesel-gasoline combustion modes; both deliver high efficiencies and low emissions
March 18, 2013
|The effects of gasoline ratio on indicated thermal efficiency of HCII and GDBF modes. Yu et al. Click to enlarge.|
Researchers at Tsinghua University have compared the combustion and emissions characteristics of two dual-fuel (diesel-gasoline) modes intended to integrate the advantages of both fuels to achieve high thermal efficiency and low emission targets. A paper on their results is published in the journal Fuel.
Gasoline Homogeneous Charge Induced Ignition (HCII) by diesel combines the port fuel injection of gasoline to form a homogeneous charge with the direct injection of diesel fuel as an ignition source. (E.g., RCCI, earlier post.) Gasoline/Diesel Blend Fuels (GDBFs) use a premixed blend of diesel and gasoline which is directly injected into the cylinder for combustion. (E.g., dieseline, earlier post.)
Cummins/Peterbilt SuperTruck shows 54% improvement in fuel economy, 61% improvement in freight efficiency
March 14, 2013
|The new SuperTruck achieved a 54% increase in fuel economy. Click to enlarge.|
Cummins Inc. and Peterbilt Motors Company, a division of PACCAR, released test results showing their demonstration SuperTruck tractor-trailer achieved a 54% increase in fuel economy, averaging nearly 10 mpg US (23.5 l/100 km) under real world driving conditions. In addition, the truck also demonstrated a 61% improvement in freight efficiency during testing compared to a baseline truck driving the same route. Freight efficiency is based on payload weight and fuel efficiency expressed in ton-miles per gallon.
Cummins is a prime contractor leading one of four vertical teams under the Department of Energy’s SuperTruck project, one of several initiatives under the 21st Century Truck Partnership. (Earlier post.) Objectives for the program, which runs from April 2010 through April 2014, include:
Petrobras joining DIBANET biofuels consortium; diesel miscible biofuels from biomass
March 12, 2013
|DIBANET aimes to advance the art in several key areas in diesel miscible diesel production. Source: DIBANET. Click to enlarge.|
Petrobras is joining the DIBANET (Development of Integrated Biomass Approaches Network) consortium—a 45-month, €3.73-million (US$4.9-million) research project that is funded by the EU’s Seventh Framework Program. (Earlier post.) DIBANET is coordinated by the Carbolea Research Group at the University of Limerick in Ireland.
DIBANET focuses on the conversion, by non-biological means, of the lignocellulosic biomass residues and wastes of Europe and Latin America to platform chemicals, such as levulinic acid and furfural, and biofuels. More specifically, DIBANET is advancing the art in the production of ethyl-levulinate from organic wastes and residues. Ethyl levulinate (EL) is a novel diesel miscible biofuel (DMB) produced by esterifying ethanol with levulinic acid.
ExxonMobil: diesel will surpass gasoline as the number one global transportation fuel by 2020
March 09, 2013
|Transportation fuel mix in millions of oil-equivalent barrels through 2020. Source: ExxonMobil Outlook. Click to enlarge.|
Diesel will surpass gasoline as the number one transportation fuel worldwide by 2020 and continue to increase its share through 2040, according to ExxonMobil’s recently published Outlook For Energy: A View To 2040. The relative shift away from motor gasoline to diesel is driven by improving light-duty vehicle fuel economy and the growth in commercial transportation activity. Diesel demand accounts for 70% of the growth in demand for all transportation fuels through the forecast period to 2040.
Fuel demand for heavy-duty vehicles, the largest subsector, sees the greatest growth, up 65%, and accounts for 40% of all transportation demand by 2040. About 80% of the growth in commercial transport demand will come from developing nations, according to the forecast. Fuel for aviation and marine will increase about 75% and 90%, respectively, over the Outlook period, with their combined share growing from about 20% today to more than 25% by 2040.
Peugeot 2008 crossover delivers CO2 emissions as low as 99g/km for gasoline, 98 g/km for diesel
March 06, 2013
|The 2008 on display in Geneva. Click to enlarge.|
Peugeot’s new 2008 B-Segment urban crossover, introduced at the Geneva Motor Show, leverages its light-weight design, aerodynamic silhouette and a wide range of gasoline and diesel engines equipped with Stop&Start—including a new generation of 3-cylinder gasoline engines—to offer fuel consumption and CO2 emissions as low as 3.8 l/100km (62 mpg US) and 98g/km for diesel, and 99g/km for gasoline.
New generation of 3-cylinder gasoline engines. The PSA Peugeot Citroën Group designed the new generation of 3-cylinder gasoline engines, which, while maintaining comparable output to 4-cylinder engines, are more compact and lightweight (a 21 kg reduction of the 1.2-liter VTi over a 4-cylinder counterpart). (Earlier post.)
Mitsubishi reveals diesel-electric hybrid and battery-electric concepts at Geneva: GR-HEV and CA-MiEV
March 05, 2013
|Concept GR-HEV. Click to enlarge.|
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) unveiled the MITSUBISHI Concept GR-HEV (Grand Runner-HEV) diesel-electric hybrid pickup truck and the MITSUBISHI Concept CA-MiEV (Compact and Advanced-MiEV) concept models at the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show. The company also showcased the production Outlander PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle), which is scheduled for release starting this July.
The Concept GR-HEV is a Sport Utility Truck (SUT) concept is equipped with an FR (front-engine, rear-wheel drive)-based diesel-hybrid system comprising a 2.5-liter diesel, automatic gearbox, electric motor and battery (which is located and protected within the ladder frame). The GR-HEV delivers CO2 emissions levels of 149 g/km or below. The drivetrain is a next-generation 4WD system that combines the Super Select 4WD (SS4) system and the S-AWC system.
Axion Power and ePower Engine Systems enter 5-year agreement for use of PbC batteries in diesel-electric drivetrains for Class 8 trucks; tests suggest up to 35% improvement in fuel economy
March 04, 2013
Axion Power International, Inc, the developer of advanced lead-carbon PbC batteries and energy storage systems (earlier post), has entered a strategic relationship with ePower Engine Systems LLC. ePower Engine Systems specializes in the retrofit and conversion of diesel-powered Class 8 trucks into series hybrid-powered units inspired by the diesel-electric drives in locomotives—i.e., the diesel engine powers a generator that in turn provides power directly to the traction motors.
ePower Engine Systems has consented to a five-year initial term with Axion Power that includes the exclusive use of Axion’s PbC batteries, and battery management systems in all ePower retrofits and conversions.
Volkswagen to produce XL1 diesel plug-in hybrid at Osnabrück; 261 mpg US
February 21, 2013
|The XL1. Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen has confirmed that its XL1 Super Efficient Vehicle, featuring fuel consumption of 0.9 l/100 km (approx. 261 mpg US), will go into limited production at the company’s Osnabrück factory in Germany. The plug-in diesel-electric hybrid, which Volkswagen will showcase at the Geneva show, can cover a distance of up to 50 km (31 miles) in all-electric mode.
The XL1 is low weight (795 kg), aerodynamic (Cd 0.189) and with a low center of gravity (1,153 mm high). This gives it the ability to cruise on the road at a constant speed of 100 km/h (61 mph) using just 6.2 kW / 8.3 hp, Volkswagen says. In all-electric mode, the XL1 requires less than 0.1 kWh to cover a driving distance of more than one kilometer.
Opel to introduce new Euro 6 1.6 CDTI diesel in Geneva; 57 mpg US in the Zafira Tourer
February 14, 2013
|The new 1.6 CDTI diesel delivers 100 kW/136 hp and 320 N·m of torque for fuel consumption in the Zafira Tourer of 4.1 l/100 km and 109 g/km CO2. Click to enlarge.|
At the Geneva Motorshow (7-17 March, 2013) Opel will introduce a new generation diesel engine, the 1.6 CDTI ECOTEC—its cleanest diesel yet—in the seven-seater Zafira Tourer. Equipped with Opel’s “BlueInjection” SCR (selective catalytic reduction) technology, the engine already meets Euro 6 emissions limits. (The coming Euro 6 specs target 0.08 g/km NOx for passenger car diesels, compared to 0.18 g/km for Euro 5. Euro 6 levels are still higher than the US Tier 2 Bin 5 NOx standard.)
The new generation 1.6 CDTI ECOTEC unit delivers 100 kW/136 hp and 320 N·m (236 lb-ft) of torque, with fuel consumption of 4.1 l/100 km (57 mpg US) and 109 g/km CO2 in the Zafira Tourer. The new advanced Opel four-cylinder 1.6-liter diesel engine not only sets benchmarks for performance with its high power and torque density but also for refinement with an very low level of noise, vibration and harshness, Opel says.
Mitsubishi Motors to showcase “electro-mobility engineering palette” at Geneva show: diesel hybrid pickup and new EV concepts, European spec Outlander PHEV
February 13, 2013
At the upcoming 83rd Geneva International Motor Show in March, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will showcase its full electro-mobility engineering palette—Pure Electric (EV), Hybrid Electric (HEV), and Plug-in Hybrid Electric (PHEV)—through two world-premiere concept cars next to the New Outlander PHEV. MMC has set an objective of 20% of EV-based cars by 2020.
The Concept GR (Grand Runner)-HEV Concept and the CA (Compact and Advanced technology)-MiEV models will share the stand with the European spec Outlander PHEV (earlier post), which recently went on sale in Japan.
Chevrolet debuts 2014 Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel for US and Canada
February 07, 2013
|2014 Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel engine. Click to enlarge.|
Chevrolet is entering the US and Canadian diesel car markets this summer with a 2.0L turbo-diesel version of the Cruze. Assembled in Lordstown, Ohio, the 2014 Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel has demonstrated an estimated 42 mpg (5.6 l/100km) on the highway. Final fuel economy ratings and power specs will be released closer to the on-sale date.
The compact sedan’s new Tier 2 Bin 5 2.0L turbo-diesel engine is based on a proven 2.0L architecture already used in European models, where approximately 40% of all Cruze models sold feature a diesel engine. The GM engineering team—comprising engineers from the US, Germany and Italy—altered the base engine to address four main areas: emissions; on-board diagnostics; operation in more difficult environmental conditions; and operation at higher altitudes. The engine is manufactured in Kaiserslautern in Germany.
Achates Power opposed-piston diesel for TARDEC will demonstrate multi-cylinder configuration
February 04, 2013
|Achates Power says that its 2-stroke OP engine offers higher best point brake thermal efficiency than diesel or gasoline engines. Source: Achates Power. Click to enlarge.|
In December 2012, the US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) awarded Achates Power, Inc., developer of a two-stroke, compression-ignition (CI) opposed-piston (OP) engine, and AVL Powertrain Engineering, Inc. a $4.9-million contract for design and construction of the Next-Generation Combat Engine. (Earlier post.)
TARDEC, commented David Johnson, Achates President & CEO, in general has used COTS (Commercial Off-The-Shelf) engines, but is now looking for better fuel efficiency and is funding its own development activity; the solicitation won by Achates and AVL is a big departure for them, Johnson said. “We won on our data. The proposal we submitted with AVL had a substantial set of data [for the engine].” Achates Power has accumulated more than 3,600 hours of dynamometer testing and achieved 47.5% brake thermal efficiency with its OP engine. (The Achates/AVL project was the sole award from the solicitation.)
Volkswagen introduces new 4WD Golf 4MOTION with 5th generation Haldex coupling; 15% reduction in fuel consumption over current model
January 29, 2013
|Fifth-generation Haldex coupling in the Golf 4MOTION. Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen is expanding the new Golf range with versions with 4MOTION all-wheel drive. In this latest version of the Golf 4MOTION, Volkswagen is using a four-wheel drive system with an enhanced, fifth-generation Haldex coupling.
Volkswagen is offering the new Golf 4MOTION in Europe in three levels (Trendline, Comfortline, Highline) and with two turbo diesel engines. The Golf 1.6 TDI 4MOTION BlueMotion Technology delivers 77 kW/105 PS and consumes 4.5 liters per 100km (52.3 mpg US). The Golf 2.0 TDI 4MOTION BlueMotion Technology delivers 110 kW / 150 PS with fuel consumption of 4.7 liters per 100km (50 mpg US). The new model consumes 0.8 liters or 15% less fuel than the current Golf 4MOTION delivering 150 PS.
Cox Powertrain and Ricardo receive MoD development contract for advanced engine concept; supercharged, opposed-piston diesel
January 28, 2013
|Single-module Cox powerhead unit. Click to enlarge.|
The UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) has confirmed its order for the next prototype stage of development of a new high-performance, lightweight diesel engine intended for marine outboard applications on the fast, rigid inflatable boats used by the Royal Navy. The Cox Powertrain engine concept—with many patents pending—is based on a supercharged, two-stroke diesel opposed piston architecture with Scotch Yoke crankshaft and a central injector position.
This engine topology promises a power to weight ratio comparable with high performance gasoline engines, whilst delivering diesel fuel consumption and a package volume around half that of a state-of-the-art diesel engine. The engine is being developed towards the demanding operating conditions of a military application in which extreme diesel performance, light weight and small package size are critical to mission performance, and must be delivered alongside robustness and high reliability of operation.
Opel introducing new 1.6L diesel engine family; fuel consumption reduced by up to 10%, Euro 6 compliant
January 16, 2013
|The 1.6-liter CDTI Ecotec diesels will replace existing 1.7-liter engines and certain lower powered versions of the 2.0-liter range. Click to enlarge.|
Opel is introducing a new four-cylinder, 1.6-liter turbo-diesel engine as part of the fundamental renewal of its powertrain portfolio. The second family of new downsized power units to be introduced after the gasoline 1.6-liter SIDI Ecotec (earlier post), the 1.6-liter CDTI Ecotec diesels will replace existing 1.7-liter engines and certain lower powered versions of the 2.0-liter range.
Featuring closed-loop combustion control and an aluminum block, the new 1.6 CDTI Ecotec is the first diesel from Opel to comply with future Euro 6 emissions requirements. The engine will be available in a variety of power outputs across several carlines.
ETI, Loughborough University, Johnson Matthey & Caterpillar launch £4.5M project to improve effectiveness of SCR aftertreatment systems for heavy-duty vehicles
January 15, 2013
The UK public-private partnership Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), Loughborough University, Johnson Matthey and Caterpillar have launched a new £4.5-million (US$7.2-million) technology project to improve the effectiveness of Selective Catalytic Reaction (SCR) aftertreatment systems for NOx reduction in heavy duty vehicles (HDVs).
The project aims to help HDV fuel efficiency by developing a more efficient exhaust aftertreatment system. Often diesel engine fuel efficiency is reduced by having to comply with exhaust emission standards. It is hoped that the new exhaust system developed by this project will effectively remove this constraint. The project aims to deliver fuel efficiency and CO2 benefits of between 3%-4%.
Volkswagen unveils mid-size SUV plug-in diesel-electric hybrid concept at Detroit Show
January 14, 2013
|Powertrain of the CrossBlue SUV PHEV concept. Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen unveiled the CrossBlue SUV concept at the North American International Auto Show. Developed specifically for US and Canada, the six- to seven-seat midsize crossover CrossBlue is targeted at the rapidly growing mid-size SUV segment, and would sit in the Volkswagen SUV lineup above the Tiguan and below the premium Touareg.
Built off of the MQB Modular Transverse Matrix components set (earlier post), the CrossBlue offers a manufacturer-estimated 35 mpg (6.72 l/100km) combined (37 mpg highway and 33 mpg city), 89 mpge (2.64 l/100km equivalent) in electric mode, and an all-electric range of up to 14 miles (22.5 km).
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee offers new 3.0L EcoDiesel V-6 and 8-speed for 30 mpg highway
|3.0L EcoDiesel. Click to enlarge.|
Among the many features of the new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee—introduced at the Detroit Auto Show—two in particular contribute to significantly improved fuel economy and driving performance: an optional new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine and a new eight-speed automatic transmission. That powertrain delivers 30 mpg (7.8 L/100km) highway for the SUV (4x2) and a range of more than 730 miles (1,175 km).
The new eight-speed transmission also is paired with Grand Cherokee’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine—now achieving up to 25 mpg highway and more than 600-miles driving range—and its 5.7-liter V-8, now achieving up to 21 mpg highway.
New Ford Fiesta ECOnetic van offers 71 mpg US
December 27, 2012
|New Fiesta Van. Click to enlarge.|
Ford is introducing a new version of its Fiesta Van in Europe. All diesel engines in the new Fiesta Van achieve sub-100 g/km CO2 emissions and 3.7 l/100 km (63.6 mpg US) or better (measured according to the technical requirements and specifications of the European Regulation (EC) 715/2007 as last amended).
The 1.6L diesel Fiesta ECOnetic Van variant, featuring enhanced fuel-saving technologies, delivers fuel consumption of 3.3 l/100 km (71 mpg US), equivalent to 87 gCO2/km.
2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class in the US will offer new 4-cylinder diesel; new 4-cylinder gasoline direct injection engine in other markets
December 17, 2012
Mercedes-Benz has introduced the updated 2014 E-Class Sedan and Wagon, featuring an array of new driver assistance systems in addition to new fuel efficient engines. Eleven new or optimized assistance systems from the future S-Class make their world premiere in both the sedan and wagon models. (Earlier post.)
Both the E-Class sedan and wagon offer a range of gasoline and diesel engines, all coming with the ECO start/stop system as standard equipment. The gasoline engines offered in the MY14 E-Class in the US are the V6 and V8 units in the E350 and E550, which will go on sale in Spring 2013. New in the MY14 E-Class sedan is the 2.1-liter, four-cylinder diesel engine powering the E250 BlueTEC with 4MATIC all-wheel drive, available Fall 2013. The E250 BlueTEC, emissions compliant in all 50 states, generates 190 hp (142 kW) and 369 lb-ft (500 N·m) of torque, replacing the V6-powered E350 BlueTEC engine that only was available with rear-wheel drive.
German automotive companies launch “clean-diesel” marketing campaign in US
December 12, 2012
Six German automotive companies—passenger car manufacturers Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche and Volkswagen, and the supplier Bosch—launched their first joint campaign for diesels in the US. Under the slogan “Clean Diesel. Clearly Better.” they will argue for the advantages of modern diesel passenger car technology over gasoline engines in terms of cleanliness, consumption and performance.
The new vehicle market share of light-duty diesels in the US is quite low (2.6%) compared with a diesel share of 55% in Western Europe. However, sales of diesel passenger cars by German manufacturers—representing 100% of the market in diesel passenger cars in the US—have more than doubled over the last three years. In the first nine months of the current year, around 69,600 diesel cars were sold in the USA, compared to 30,600 for the same period in 2009.
SpeedSource used ANSYS simulation software to speed design of motorsports version of Mazda SKYACTIV-D engine
December 11, 2012
|Static pressure. In-cylinder pressure contour after injection. Credit: SpeedSource Race Engineering. Click to enlarge.|
Earlier this year, Mazda Motorsports announced it would supply racing versions of the new SKYACTIV-D diesel engines (earlier post) to customer teams competing in GRAND-AM’s newly announced GX Class for advanced/clean technologies, beginning with the 2013 season. (Earlier post.) The racing SKYACTIV-D will make its official racing debut in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona on 28 January.
The motorsports version of the engine was designed by motorsports research and development company SpeedSource Race Engineering using ANSYS simulation software quickly to design the engine—in about one-third the time of the industry average—without compromising essential reliability standards for the engine’s use in a competitive racing environment. The motorsports SKYACTIV-D clean-diesel engine is the first production-based, four-cylinder racing diesel engine to be used in a major racing series.
Ford to offer new 5-cylinder 3.2L diesel in Transit van in North America next year
December 10, 2012
|Ford’s 5-cylinder, 3.2-liter Power Stroke diesel will be Ford’s second in North America. Click to enlarge.|
Ford’s all-new 2014 Transit full-size van, which goes on sale late next year, will be offered with a new 3.2-liter Power Stroke five-cylinder diesel. The new diesel engine, Ford’s second in North America, has already been applied in the global Ford Ranger truck sold in world markets (3.2 Duratorq TDCi 200). The new Power Stroke Diesel will be the only five-cylinder diesel engine available in a commercial van in North America.
While power has not been certified for North America, the new diesel engine is rated in Europe at 197 hp (147 kW) and 347 lb-ft (470 N·m) of torque.
Mazda to offer diesel Mazda6 in North America in second half of 2013; i-ELOOP and SCBS
November 29, 2012
|System components of i-ELOOP, which makes its first production appearance on the Mazda6. Click to enlarge.|
The 2014 Mazda6 sedan made its North American debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The first version, equipped with a SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter gasoline engine, goes on sale in January. The SKYACTIV-D-equipped diesel version will follow in the second half of the year, making Mazda the first Asian manufacturer to offer a modern-technology clean-diesel engine in a non-commercial vehicle in North America.
The 2014 Mazda6 also will be the first production vehicle to feature Mazda’s capacitor-based brake energy regeneration system called i-ELOOP, featuring a new 25V variable voltage alternator.
Audi takes aggressive stance with diesel in the US; four new models and new 3.0L diesel engine; challenge to policymakers
Audi of America is taking a more aggressive stance with diesel in the US, both in terms of product offerings and in policy. In his press presentation at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Scott Keogh, the president of Audi of America, officially announced the addition of A8, A7, A6, and Q5 TDI diesel models to the Q7 and A3 TDI already on sale in the US. (Earlier post.) The new models, as well as the 2013 Q7 TDI, will feature an all-new 3.0L diesel engine, more details of which will emerge closer to launch.
During his talk, in which he referenced the “bold bet” Audi of America made three years ago with the introduction of the first A3 and Q7 TDI models, Keogh also strongly emphasized the fuel savings benefits of current diesels; touched briefly on the sustainable potential of the combination of more advanced engine technology and cleaner—including bioengineered—fuels; and challenged state and federal policymakers to open HOV lanes to diesel, rethink how the miles per gallon metric is calculated, ratchet up diesel research, and make the tax on diesel equal to gas.
NREL/Chevron team characterizes chemical composition and properties of renewable diesels derived from FT, hydrotreating, and fermentation of sugar
November 21, 2012
A team from the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Chevron Corporation has examined the chemical composition and properties of several diesel fuels and blendstocks derived from Fischer−Tropsch (FT) synthesis, hydroisomerization of lipids, and fermentation of sugar via the terpenoid metabolic pathway.
In a paper published in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels, they report that the fuels consisted almost entirely of normal and iso-paraffins, with very low levels of residual oxygen impurities (below 0.1 mass %). All of the renewable and synthetic diesel fuels have significantly lower density than typical for a petroleum-derived diesel fuel. As a result, they have slightly higher net heat of combustion on a mass basis (2%−3% higher), but lower heat of combustion on a volume basis (3%−7% lower). Two critical diesel performance properties—cetane number and cloud point—were correlated with iso-paraffin content and chain length.
Additional details on Honda’s new 1.6L diesel
November 16, 2012
|Honda’s 1.6L i-DTEC engine. Click to enlarge.|
The new 1.6-liter i-DTEC diesel engine to be applied first in the Civic is the first engine from Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology series to be launched in Europe. This new engine offers 88 kW (120 PS, 118 hp) of power and 300 N·m (221 lb-ft) of torque at 2000 rpm with CO2 emissions of 94 g/km (equivalent to 65 mpg US, 3.6 l/100 km). (Earlier post.)
Reduced weight. Honda’s new 1.6-liter i-DTEC features an aluminium cylinder head joined to an open deck aluminium block. It is the lightest diesel engine in its class, weighing 47 kg (104 lbs) less than Honda’s 2.2-liter i-DTEC engine. All the individual components were redesigned to minimize their weight and size; advanced production techniques have helped reduce weight even further.
Berkeley study identifies diesel as main source of vehicular secondary organic aerosols
October 23, 2012
A study led by researchers at UC Berkeley has found that diesel exhaust forms about seven times more secondary organic aerosols (SOA) than gasoline exhaust for the same mass of unburned fuel emissions and, given emission factors, can be expected to form 15 times more SOA than gasoline per liter of fuel burned. The study determined that, depending on a region’s fuel use, diesel exhaust is responsible for 65% to 90% of vehicular-derived SOA, with substantial contributions from aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons.
The new findings contradict previous research focused on the LA Basin which concluded that gasoline vehicles contributed more to the production of secondary organic aerosols (SOA) than exhaust from diesel vehicles. (Earlier post.)
Comparative study finds that B20 increases emission rates of a number of pollutants in both light- and medium-duty diesel engines at idle
October 20, 2012
|Emission rates for the 1.7 and 6.4 L engines at idle. Panels show (a) PM2.5, (b) elemental carbon (EC), (c) NOx, (d) CO, (e) formaldehyde, and (f) sum of target VOCs. Credit: ACS, Chin et al. Click to enlarge.|
A new study led by researchers at the University of Michigan compared regulated and unregulated emissions from both light-duty passenger car (1.7 L) and medium-duty (6.4 L) diesel engines at idle and load, using a biodiesel blend (B20) and conventional ultralow sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel. Their paper appears in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels.
They found that the level of emissions of regulated and unregulated pollutants in diesel exhaust depends on fuel, load, engine calibration, and exhaust aftertreatment technology. Among the findings were that at idle, B20 increased engine-out and DOC-out emission rates of CO, NMHC, PM2.5, elemental carbon (EC), formaldehyde, benzene, and other VOCs (volatile organic compounds) for both the 1.7 L/2002 calibration and 6.4 L/2004 calibration engines.
Aemetis expands license agreement with Chevron Lummus Global for renewable jet and diesel fuel technology
October 19, 2012
Aemetis, Inc., an advanced fuels and renewable chemical company, signed an expanded, global license agreement with Chevron Lummus Global (CLG) for the production of renewable jet and diesel fuel by the conversion of existing biofuels and petroleum refineries. (Earlier post.)
The expanded license agreement grants Aemetis Advanced Fuels, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aemetis, the use of the Biofuels ISOCONVERSION process to produce fuels that meet the necessary ASTM requirements for 100% replacement, renewable jet fuel and diesel in Aemetis biorefineries and joint ventures throughout the world. (Earlier post.)
Pike ranks Volkswagen Group as the global leader in clean diesel vehicles
October 17, 2012
|Pike Pulse Grid for clean diesels. Click to enlarge.|
The new Pike Pulse Report: Clean Diesel Vehicles from Pike Research ranks the Volkswagen Group as the leader in this market, due to the efforts of the Volkswagen and Audi brands. The company has long been a leader in selling diesel vehicles and is making a strong push for emerging clean diesel markets, Pike notes.
Pike’s Contenders category includes BMW; PSA Peugeot Citroën (PSA); General Motors (GM); Mazda; Mercedes; Mitsubishi; Ford; Honda; the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group; Fiat-Chrysler; and the automotive partnership of RenaultNissan. Pike’s third grouping consists of the Challengers; Toyota is relegated to this category. None of the 13 major OEMs evaluated for the report fall into the Followers category.
New Opel 88 g/km CO2 (71 mpg US) diesel Corsa ecoFLEX model; 26% reduction in fuel consumption and CO2, 26% boost in performance over 5 years
October 15, 2012
|Corsa 1.3 CDTI ecoFLEX. Click to enlarge.|
GM’s Opel has introduced a diesel Corsa 1.3 CDTI ecoFlex model with stop-start technology which consumes 3.3 l/100 km (71.3 mpg US)—equivalent to 88 g CO2/km in its three-door version, and 3.4 l/100 km (69 mpg US) and 89 g/km CO2) in its five-door version.
Over the last five years from the first Corsa ecoFLEX (earlier post) to this latest model, says Mike Ableson, Opel Vice President Engineering, Opel engineers have been able to reduce consumption and CO2 emissions by about 26% (from about 4.4 l/100km and 119 g/km), while at the same time increasing performance by more than 26%. The last generation Corsa 1.3 CDTI ecoFLEX, introduced in 2011, offered fuel consumption of 3.5 liters diesel per 100 km (67 mpg US) and emissions of 94 g/km CO2. Enhancements to the latest model include:
Army Research Lab team working to design piston engines optimized for JP-8
October 13, 2012
Researchers at the US Army Research Laboratory’s (ARL) Combustion Research Laboratory are working to develop engines optimized to run on JP-8 for use in military ground vehicles, stationary power generators, and small unmanned aerial vehicles. JP-8 is a kerosene-base jet fuel, similar to Jet-A for commercial aviation.
In the late 1980s, the DOD issued a “Single Fuel Forward” policy calling for use of JP-8 fuel to reduce the significant logistic burden associated with managing and transporting multiple fuels on the battlefield—albeit with Commercial Off-The Shelf (COTS) internal combustion piston engines originally designed for Diesel Fuel (DF-2) operating with reduced performance with JP-8. There are three challenges to using JP-8 in these COTS engines, according to Dr. Chol-Bum “Mike” Kweon, acting team lead of the Engines Team of ARL’s Vehicle Technology Directorate at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.:
Mazda6 diesel sedan offers up to 60 mpg US
September 27, 2012
|Mazda6 Sedan & Wagon (European Specification). Click to enlarge.|
Both the wagon and sedan versions of the new Mazda6 made their collective debut at the Paris Motor Show. The Mazda6— now in its third generation— is also the company’s first mass-production model equipped with i-ELOOP, its brake energy regeneration system.
i-ELOOP joins the i-stop idle-stop system and SKYACTIV powertrains, chassis and body (introduced on the CX-5) to deliver fuel consumption as low as 3.9 l/100 km (60 mpg US) and CO2 emissions of 104 g/km (European combined cycle with standard diesel SKYACTIV-D 2.2 and SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual), in the CD-segment without sacrificing performance.
Third-generation Golf BlueMotion concept lowers fuel consumption to 3.2 l/100 km (73.5 mpg US); on sale in summer 2013
September 26, 2012
|The latest Golf BlueMotion. Click to enlarge.|
At the Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris, Volkswagen is unveiling a new Golf BlueMotion concept car. This Golf concept, powered by another new 1.6-liter TDI (turbodiesel) consumes 3.2 l/100 km (73.5 mpg US), equivalent to 85 gCO2/km. The 81 kW / 108 hp Golf BlueMotion is a five-seater that is capable of 202 km/h (125 mph). This third generation Golf BlueMotion will be launched into the market in summer 2013.
The first generation of the Golf BlueMotion made its debut five years ago at the Geneva Motor Show; the car was launched into the market at the end of 2007. At that time, the Golf BlueMotion offered fuel consumption 4.5 l/100 km (52.3 mpg US). In 2009, Volkswagen showed the second generation Golf BlueMotion, also in Geneva; its fuel consumption had been reduced to 3.8 l/100 km (62 mpg US) (earlier post); first deliveries of the production version of this Golf BlueMotion were made in October of the same year.
Direct injection of both fuels in RCCI may offer a way to decrease HC and CO emissions without sacrificing efficiency and NOx/PM benefits
September 25, 2012
|Diagram of direct injector placement used in the study; future work will use a more parallel alignment of the injectors. Wissink et al. Click to enlarge.|
By using a new strategy entailing the direct, separate injection of both low- and high-reactivity fuels, researchers at the University of Wisconsin have found another method for combustion phasing control of RCCI (reactivity controlled compression ignition) that offers the potential of decreasing the emissions of unburned hydrocarbons (UHC) and CO without sacrificing the benefits of RCCI: high efficiency and near zero levels of NOx and soot. (Earlier post.) Martin Wissink from the team presented a paper on the work at the ASME 2012 Internal Combustion Engine Division Fall Technical Conference in Vancouver, BC, this week.
RCCI is a promising dual-fuel, compression-ignition engine low-temperature combustion (LTC) strategy that uses in-cylinder fuel blending with at least two fuels of different reactivity and multiple injections to control in-cylinder fuel reactivity to optimize combustion phasing, duration and magnitude.
Toyota provides update on status of green car technology, future plans; 21 new hybrid models, new gasoline and diesel engines, transmissions, EV and fuel cell stack
|The new EQ EV offers power consumption of 104 Wh/km. Li-ion batteries are from Panasonic. Click to enlarge.|
In Japan, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) outlined the progress of development of its green technologies as well as its vehicle deployment plans through 2015. Overall, the company says, it intends to continue to work to conserve energy by improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions, and by diversifying fuel sources by encouraging the use of electricity, hydrogen and other alternative energies.
TMC plans to launch 21 new hybrid vehicles models—consisting of additional (new) models and fully redesigned existing models—from now until the end of 2015. In the area of energy conservation, TMC has developed a new gasoline engine that achieves a maximum 38.5% thermal efficiency for application in hybrids; a high-performance clean diesel engine and a high efficiency transmission. Toyota’s EQ EV will deliver electric power consumption of 104 Wh/km.
Audi developing electric biturbo for enhanced performance at lower engine speeds
September 23, 2012
|Components of the electric biturbo system on the 3.0L V6 TDI diesel. Click to enlarge.|
Among the technologies it is developing to improve the fuel consumption of gasoline and diesel engines, Audi is working on an electric biturbo system in which a secondary compressor boosts the main turbocharger at lower engine speeds.
Turbochargers are typically driven by energy from the exhaust—i.e., starting from very low revs, the rise in boost pressure and therefore torque becomes gradually greater only as the exhaust energy increases. The electric biturbo makes it possible—independently of the exhaust energy available—to build up charge pressure quickly and achieve high levels of torque even at very low revs.
New Audi A3 Sportback cuts fuel consumption around 10% compared with prior models; up to 62 mpg US with entry diesel model; plug-in hybrid e-tron model in 2014
September 21, 2012
|Audi A3 Sportback. Click to enlarge.|
Audi’s new A3 Sportback features a lightweight design and an initial choice of one diesel (TDI) and two gasoline (TFSI) engines, with two additional diesel engines and one gasoline unit to follow. They combine multiple efficiency technologies – direct injection, turbocharging, thermal management and the start-stop system. Fuel consumption has been reduced on average by around 10% compared with the previous models.
The 1.6 TDI is the most efficient engine in the model lineup. The compact diesel, which is characterized by minimal internal friction, consumes on average 3.8 l/100 km (61.9 mpg US) when paired with the manual transmission. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of 99 g/km (159 g/mile). The 1.6-liter engine accelerates the Audi A3 Sportback from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 10.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 194 km/h (120.55 mph).
Toyota reduces fuel consumption and emissions across the new Auris range; 13% average reduction in CO2 compared to predecessors; gasoline, diesel and hybrid
September 19, 2012
Toyota is unveiling its new Auris for the European market (earlier post), representing its first step in a product offensive in the European C-Segment. Aerodynamic improvements, weight savings and engine enhancements have reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions across the range. Toyota anticipates a 1/3 full hybrid, 1/3 gasoline, 1/3 diesel engine mix.
Average emissions for Auris—which is designed for the European market—have fallen steadily over the last years. When the first generation Auris was launched in 2007, the average emissions were 152 g/km. This fell to 142 g/km in 2009, and then down to 125 g/km in 2011 after the pioneering full hybrid version was introduced. With the launch of the new Auris, the average CO2 emissions level will drop to 109 g/km, a further 13% reduction on average compared to the previous generation.
New Federal-Mogul coated diesel piston reduces friction up to 13%; reduced fuel consumption and CO2
|Scanning electron microscope picture of EcoTough skirt coating. Click to enlarge.|
Federal-Mogul Corporation has developed a new coated diesel piston that reduces frictional losses in both light and heavy-duty engine applications. This improves fuel economy, CO2 emissions, noise and refinement. Currently undergoing development with two leading engine manufacturers, the EcoTough Diesel piston skirt coating is expected to enter production in 2013.
Building on its work with leading vehicle makers who are currently using EcoTough for gasoline applications (earlier post), Federal-Mogul has optimized the coating’s components to meet the requirements of highly loaded diesel engines.
BMW introducing new EfficientDynamics engine family; 3-, 4- and 6-cylinder, gasoline and diesel; first member a 1.5L, 3-cylinder TwinPower Turbo gasoline engine
September 14, 2012
While BMW is pushing toward the electrification of its vehicles in the long term, it still sees great potential for conventional engines. The company says, therefore, that in the medium term, the internal combustion engine will remain the BMW Group’s underlying technology and will thus power both existing and future series of volume production vehicles as the standard drive unit.
At the BMW Group Innovation Day 2012: Efficient Dynamics, BMW introduced a completely new engine family—gasoline and diesel—to take advantage more effectively of its current TwinPower Turbo technology and to create what it called an “unprecedented” degree of commonality across the platforms. The first member of this new generation of internal combustion engines will be an advanced three-cylinder TwinPower Turbo gasoline unit—an example of which is being applied in the Concept Advanced Tourer plug-in hybrid to be shown in Paris. (Earlier post.)
KAIST team explores mode transition between low-temperature and conventional combustion in a light-duty diesel
September 12, 2012
A team at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) reports on the effect of operating parameters such as rate of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) change, residual gas, EGR path length, fuel injection pressure and engine speed on the mode transition between low-temperature combustion (LTC) and conventional combustion in a light-duty diesel engine.
The researchers also developed injection control strategies for a smooth combustion mode transition. A paper on their work, which was supported by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) of Korea, appears in the International Journal of Engine Research.
CPT launching water-cooled electric supercharger for commercial diesel engines
|Cobra electric supercharger. Click to enlarge.|
At the 17th Supercharging conference this week in Dresden, Controlled Power Technologies (CPT) will launch what it says is the first water-cooled electric supercharger developed for “quasi-continuous” boosting of commercial diesel engines, including those developed for off highway applications. The fully integrated electric supercharger includes all control and power electronics.
The Cobra (Controlled Boosting for Rapid Response Applications) technology is aimed at off-road vehicles and on-road heavy goods and passenger vehicles exceeding 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight. Below this GVW the technology has already been acquired by Valeo as a supercharger for cars and light commercial vehicle applications. (Earlier post.) Cobra is particularly relevant to Tier 4 Interim legislation that comes into effect this year for off-road vehicles, according to the company.
New Range Rover features all-aluminum body 39% lighter than the outgoing steel body; up to 22% reduction in fuel consumption; diesel hybrid version in 2013
September 07, 2012
|New Range Rover at the reveal event. Click to enlarge.|
In an event held at The Royal Ballet School in London, Land Rover introduced the new Range Rover, the fourth generation of the SUV. The new Range Rover features an all-aluminium monocoque body structure which is 39% lighter than the steel body in the outgoing model. The all-aluminium body enables the new vehicle to significantly enhance both performance and efficiency.
Combined with weight savings throughout the chassis and driveline, the lightweight structure contributes to a model-for-model weight saving of up to 350 kg (772 lbs) compared to the outgoing vehicle. The new Range Rover offers a choice of three engines (one gasoline and two diesel); a high-efficiency diesel hybrid model will be coming in 2013, with target CO2 emissions of 169 g/km.
Delphi starts production of new heavy-duty common rail systems for EURO VI; 2700 bar injection pressure with 3000 bar capability
September 06, 2012
|Delphi F2e ultra high pressure heavy duty diesel common rail injector. Click to enlarge.|
Delphi Automotive has begun production of its advanced common rail technologies for heavy-duty diesel fuel injection equipment (FIE) that will meet the requirements of Euro VI and other demanding global emissions standards.
The systems were previewed as a development project at the IAA in 2008. Since then, the company has secured three contracts for these systems for a lifetime value expected to exceed €3.7 billion (US$4.7 billion), according to David Friday, Delphi Diesel Heavy-Duty managing director.
Ford launching major new product push in Europe; fuel economy and 1.0L EcoBoost engine; first Ford full hybrid car for Europe
|The new Mondeo Hybrid is Ford’s first full hybrid car in Europe. Click to enlarge.|
At a “Go Further with Ford” event in Amsterdam, Ford Motor Company detailed plans for an aggressive product acceleration in Europe, targeting opportunities for growth in the large car, SUV and commercial vehicle segments while emphasizing fuel economy and enabling technologies such as the EcoBoost engines. Ford projects that two-thirds of all the company’s vehicles in Europe will be leaders, or among the very best, in terms of fuel efficiency by 2013.
The plans include launches of a new Fiesta, Europe’s best-selling small car and including the Fiesta ST performance car; the New Mondeo CD-segment car equipped with a segment-first 3-cylinder, 1.0-liter EcoBoost gasoline engine (earlier post) as well as a hybrid version of the vehicle—Ford’s first full hybrid car in Europe; new SUVs including the Kuga, EcoSport small SUV and Edge; a full redesign of the commercial vehicle range including new Transit, Transit Custom, Transit Connect and Transit Courier, plus a family of new Tourneo people carriers; and the entry of the Ford Mustang into Europe.
MQB-based 7th gen VW Golf up to 100 kg lighter and 23% more fuel efficient than predecessor; Golf BlueMotion delivers 3.2 l/100km (73.5 mpg US) and 85g/km CO2
September 05, 2012
|World premiere of the new Golf in the New National Gallery in Berlin. Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen staged the world premiere of the new Golf in Berlin. The new Golf—the seventh generation of a vehicle that has been on sale since 1974 with sales totaling 29.13 million cars—is based on the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB, modularen Querbaukasten). (Earlier post.)
Basing the new Golf on the MQB had far-reaching consequences; this Golf was completely redesigned in practically every area—the vehicle body, the interior, the engines, all of the information and entertainment systems and the numerous new driver assistance systems. Weight was reduced by 100 kg (220 lb). Elements carried forward were in the main technical features that were already future-proof in the previous model—the six- and seven-speed direct shift gearbox (DSG), for example.
BMW upgrading 1 and 3 Series models with focus on fuel economy and emissions; BMW 114d to debut with 1.6L diesel
September 03, 2012
|BMW 114d. Click to enlarge.|
BMW is making a number of enhancements to its 1 and 3 Series in fall 2012. The economical BMW 114d will make its debut, and for the first time, the intelligent four-wheel drive system BMW xDrive will be available for the BMW 1 Series.
Too, the BMW 320i EfficientDynamics Edition Sedan will be available as the first gasoline-driven model with additionally enhanced technology for reducing fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. In future, there will be a choice of four diesel and two gasoline engines for the new BMW 3 Series Touring. Latest additions to the vehicle range are the models BMW 320i Touring, BMW 318d Touring and the BMW 316d Touring.
New mixed-oxide catalysts shown as viable substitute for platinum catalysts for diesel exhaust aftertreatment
August 17, 2012
|NO conversion versus ramp-up and ramp-down temperatures for MnCe-7:1 (●), SmMn2O5 (□), GdSrCeMn7O14.83 (■), and Pt (○). Credit: Science, Wang et al. Click to enlarge.|
Researchers at nano-material catalysts startup Nanostellar and colleagues at the University of Kentucky and Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China have shown that mixed-phase oxide materials based on Mn-mullite (Sm, Gd)Mn2O5 are an efficient substitute for the current commercial platinum (Pt)-based catalysts for the aftertreatment of diesel exhaust.
Under laboratory-simulated diesel exhaust conditions, this mixed-phase oxide material was superior to Pt in terms of cost, thermal durability, and catalytic activity for NO oxidation. The new material is active at temperatures as low as 120 °C with conversion maxima of ~45% higher than that achieved with Pt. A paper on their work is published in the journal Science.
Harris Poll: 23% of US car owners say more interested in purchasing a hybrid than one year ago
August 09, 2012
Twenty-three percent of US car owners say that their interest in purchasing a hybrid vehicle has increased from a year ago, according to a new Harris Poll. 32% say they are interested and that their interest has not changed over the past year. However, even as new car buyers look more deeply into alternative fuel options, traditional combustion engine vehicles still get the nod by more than half (59%) of consumers as a vehicle choice they will consider for their next purchase.
The adoption curve for hybrid vehicles appears to wane with age. While nearly one-third (32%) of those under 35 years of age are more interested in alternative vehicle choices—including hybrids, diesels and electrics—than they were a year ago, the same can be said for only 15% of those over the age of 67; 11% of those 67 and older report that they are less interested compared to one year ago.
Bosch increases commercial vehicle diesel injection pressure to 2,500 bar
August 06, 2012
|Bosch’s CRSN3-25 offers injection pressure of up to 2,500 bar. Click to enlarge.|
As it outlined in 2010, Bosch has increased the maximum injection pressure of its CRSN3-25 injection system for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles to 2,500 bar. The aim is to help meet more stringent emissions standards such as US 10 and Euro VI; higher injection pressures help lower fuel consumption and emissions.
With the CRSN3-25, up to seven individual injections are possible. This increases flexibility in terms of engine design, promotes lower exhaust and fuel consumption levels, and results in even quieter operation. Due to a software learning feature, the amount of fuel injected can be adjusted. This makes it possible to meet strict emission standards over the entire vehicle life cycle, even when annual mileage is high.
UOP looking to biomass catalytic pyrolysis to expand volumes of renewable hydrocarbon fuels
July 21, 2012
Honeywell’s UOP—a major international supplier and licensor of technology for petroleum refining, gas processing, petrochemical production and major manufacturing industries—has also been an early leader in developing technologies for the production of renewable drop-in hydrocarbon fuels.
The company currently has three major initiatives in that area: the commercialization of the hydrotreating UOP/Eni Ecofining process to convert fats, greases and non-edible, second-generation natural oils to Honeywell Green Diesel (earlier post); Green Jet Fuel (earlier post); and its joint venture with Ensyn Corporation, Envergent Technologies, for the pyrolytic conversion of forest and agricultural waste residues to a liquid renewable oil and subsequent upgrading (earlier post). It’s the last initiative that UOP currently believes has a good opportunity for delivering high volumes of renewable liquid hydrocarbon fuels, according to Jim Rekoske, vice president and general manager of Honeywell’s UOP Renewable Energy and Chemicals business unit.
Reports: Toyota and BMW to expand partnership on fuel-efficient vehicles, with Toyota providing hybrid and fuel cell technology to BMW
June 25, 2012
The Nikkei reported that Toyota Motor Corp. and BMW will expand their partnership, one aspect of which will be Toyota providing hybrid systems and fuel cell technology to BMW. Kyodo News also reported the same, attributing it to “Toyota sources”. The Nikkei report followed a story in German newsmagazine Der Spiegel on the likelihood of an expanded partnership between the two companies.
The Nikkei reported that Toyota President Akio Toyoda and BMW Chief Executive Officer Norbert Reithofer will make an announcement this week. In December 2011, the two companies had agreed to a mid-to-long-term collaboration on next-generation environment-friendly technologies including Li-ion batteries. (Earlier post.) In March 2012, the two signed an agreement on collaborative research in the field of next-generation lithium-ion battery cells and begun the work. (Earlier post.)
Pike Research forecasts clean diesels to represent more than 12% of global light-duty vehicle sales by 2018; outpacing hybrids in North America
June 20, 2012
|Annual clean diesel ldv sales by region, world markets: 2012-2018. Source: Pike Research. Click to enlarge.|
A new report from Pike Research finds that rising fuel prices and stronger fuel economy regulations will stimulate increasing demand for clean diesel vehicles in markets around the world, and forecasts sales of these vehicles will increase from 9.1 million in 2012 to 12.1 million annually by 2018, representing 12.4% of all LDV sales by the end of that period.
With rising gas prices and stronger fuel economy regulations coming into effect, the United States should see rising demand for diesel cars and trucks, Pike suggests. North America has been a weak market for diesel for 20 years, due to the low price of gasoline as well as diesel’s reputation for being smelly, dirty and unreliable. Additionally, US LDV emissions regulations do not treat gasoline and diesel cars separately, and US NOx levels for LDVs are very low and challenging for diesel vehicles to meet.
Federal Mogul develops advanced aluminum piston for high-performance light-duty diesel engines
June 19, 2012
|Federal-Mogul’s DuraBowl technology strengthens the crown of a piston, improving the aluminum’s strength where it is most needed. Click to enlarge.|
Federal-Mogul Corporation has developed an aluminium piston that meets the higher strength and thermal performance demands of very high-power diesel engines. BMW is the first to use the piston in its triple-turbo 3.0-liter diesel (N57D30S1) engine applied in the M550d xDrive, with a specific power output of 93 kW/liter (124 bhp/liter).
The aluminium piston’s design uses the company’s DuraBowl process (earlier post) to create a reinforced combustion bowl rim to withstand the high mechanical and thermal loads. The thermal performance comes from a raised cooling gallery, made possible by Federal-Mogul’s development of a two-dimensional (2D) ultrasonic inspection process.
WHO IARC classifies diesel exhaust as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1)
June 13, 2012
After a week-long meeting of an expert working group, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization (WHO), classified diesel engine exhaust (DEE) as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1), based on sufficient evidence that exposure is associated with an increased risk for lung cancer. The summary of the evaluation will appear in The Lancet Oncology as an online publication ahead of print on 15 June 2012.
The working group also concluded that gasoline exhaust was possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), a finding unchanged from a previous evaluation in 1989. In 1988, IARC classified diesel exhaust as probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A). An Advisory Group which reviews and recommends future priorities for the IARC Monographs Program had recommended diesel exhaust as a high priority for re-evaluation since 1998.
China team optimizes catalytic hydrogenation process to convert coal tar to gasoline and diesel
June 09, 2012
|Flow diagram of coal tar hydrogenation process. Credit: ACS, Kan et al. Click to enlarge.|
Researchers in China report the production of gasoline and diesel from coal tar via an optimized catalytic hydrogenation using two serial fixed beds, the first with a hydrofining catalyst of MoNi/γ-Al2O3 and the second with a hydrocracking catalyst of WNiP/γ-Al2O3-USY. Their paper was published in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels.
Coal tars—highly viscous liquids—are byproduct of the carbonization of coal to produce metallurgical coke and/or natural gas. In 2010, China’s coke output reached 387.571 million tons, accounting for 61.6% of the world’s total, according to a 2011 market research report; 9.94 million tons of coal tar was further processed. The current downstream markets of coal tar mainly include coal tar deep-processing (phenol, anthracene, industrial naphthalin, and coal tar pitch), carbon black, substitutes for heavy oil and exportation. Among these applications in China, deep processing ranked first with 66.4% of the total consumption volume in 2009, followed by carbon black raw oil sharing 28.1% of the total.
Mazda Motorsports announces Skyactiv-D diesel racing engine program for new GRAND-AM GX series
June 02, 2012
|SKYACTIV-D racing engine. Click to enlarge.|
Mazda Motorsports will supply racing versions of the new SKYACTIV-D diesel engines (earlier post) to customer teams competing in GRAND-AM’s newly announced GX Class for advanced/clean technologies, beginning with the 2013 season.
The engines—stock-block Mazda SKYACTIV-D 2.2-liter diesel four-cylinder, dual-stage turbocharged powerplants—are being developed jointly by Mazda Motor Corporation, Mazda North American Operations and SpeedSource Engineering. Dyno testing has already begun and on-track testing begins in late 2012. Engine pricing and terms will be announced at a later date.
Neste Oil sues Dynamic Fuels, LLC, Syntroleum Corporation, and Tyson Foods for infringement on NExBTL-related patent
May 30, 2012
Neste Oil Corporation has filed a patent infringement action against Dynamic Fuels, LLC, Syntroleum Corporation, and Tyson Foods, Inc in the US District Court for the District of Delaware. Neste Oil asserts that one of its patents is being infringed by Dynamic Fuels, Syntroleum and Tyson Foods in the production of renewable diesel at Dynamic Fuels’ plant in Geismar, Louisiana. (Earlier post.)
The action asserts infringement of Neste Oil’s US Patent—Nº 8,187,344, covering the composition of a diesel fuel—which protects aspects of Neste Oil’s renewable diesel technology, and was issued on 29 May 2012 and expires in 2025.
Study finds diesel oxidation catalyst eliminates mutagenicity of diesel exhaust in gas phase
May 27, 2012
A team of researchers in Germany has found that the mutagenicity of diesel engine exhaust (DEE) is eliminated in the gas phase by a Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC), but only slightly reduced in the particle phase. In a study published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, they investigated the influence of different diesel fuels and the exhaust after-treatment with a DOC on the genotoxicity of DEE using the bacterial reverse mutation assay (Ames test) and a detailed characterization of the emitted particles.
Further benefits of the DOC they found include a reduction of total hydrocarbons of up to 90%; and of carbon monoxide of up to 98%. Total particle mass (TPM) was reduced by 50% with the DOC in common diesel fuel and by 30% in the other fuels.
Neste Oil to launch the first diesel complying with Category 4 WWFC diesel specification; reduces fuel consumption by 5% and emissions
May 22, 2012
Neste Oil will launch a completely new grade of diesel fuel in Finland this fall: Neste Pro Diesel. The new fuel is the first to comply with the most stringent diesel specification (Category 4) drawn up as part of the Worldwide Fuel Charter (WWFC) by automotive manufacturers in Europe, the US, and Asia.
WWFC specifications for gasoline and diesel are based on extensive R&D work and experience gathered from fuels used worldwide, and comprise four categories for each fuel type, with increasing stringency. The highest WWFC specification diesel category is designed for markets with very advanced requirements for emission control to enable sophisticated NOx and PM after-treatment technologies.