[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.]
Subaru shows VIZIV-2 diesel plug-in hybrid concept; independent rear-motor driven Symmetrical AWD
March 05, 2014
|VIZIV-2. Click to enlarge.|
Subaru returned to the Geneva Motor Show with the VIZIV-2 plug-in hybrid concept. The automaker unveiled the first version of the VIZIV concept at the 2013 Geneva show (earlier post), followed by the VIZIV Evolution Concept at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show.
The plug-in hybrid system combines a 1.6-liter diesel Horizontally-Opposed direct injection turbo (DIT) Boxer engine; high-torque-compatible Lineartronic (CVT) automatic transmission; one front electric motor; and two rear electric motors with vectoring. Subaru’s new independent rear motor-driven Symmetrical AWD system developed for VIZIV-2 points to a future generation of Subaru AWD technology.
Maxwell Technologies introduces ultracapacitor-based engine start module for medium-duty diesel trucks
|New medium-duty ESM. The third terminal connects to the starter solenoid. Click to enlarge.|
Maxwell Technologies, Inc. is expanding its ultracapacitor-based Engine Start Module (ESM) product line (earlier post) to provide the same benefits to class 3 through 6 medium-duty trucks that it has been offering previously to class 7 and 8 heavy-duty diesel trucks.
Maxwell’s ESM ULTRA 31/900 assumes the starting responsibility for the truck and effectively eliminates cranking problems that come from weak or discharged batteries. Consistent with Maxwell’s current award-winning ESM product, the ESM ULTRA 31/900 delivers the quick-burst power trucks need to crank their engines in extreme cold, down to -40°F.
Mazda introduces HAZUMI concept along with new 1.5-liter SKYACTIV-D diesel
|HAZUMI. Click to enlarge.|
Mazda unveiled the HAZUMI next-generation subcompact at the Geneva Motor Show. Mazda is focusing on four key areas with its new generation models: KODO—Soul of Motion design language; SKYACTIV technology; Mazda Proactive Safety; and a new car connectivity system called Mazda Connect. (The name Mazda Connect is used in Japan, US, Canada and Mexico. The system is referred to as MZD Connect in other markets.) The MAZDA HAZUMI brings together all four of these elements and foreshadows Mazda upcoming next-generation subcompact car.
The MAZDA HAZUMI marks the world premiere of the SKYACTIV-D 1.5. This compact and lightweight clean diesel engine is designed for combustion efficiency, just like the larger displacement SKYACTIV-D 2.2. (Earlier post.) It offers ample torque and dynamic performance which is linear right up to the top of the revolution range, and below 90 g/km CO2 with the Mazda HAZUMI. It will also fulfill stringent Euro 6 requirements without aftertreatment systems such as a NOx trap or selective catalytic reduction.
Ford 2015 F-Series Super Duty lineup features 2nd-gen 6.7L Power Stroke V8 diesel; also on MY 2016 F-650/F-750 medium-duty trucks
Ford’s MY 2015 F-Series Super Duty heavy-duty pickup trucks feature engine and chassis upgrades that together deliver best-in-class horsepower, torque and towing capacity. Ford’s second-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel now offers 440 horsepower (328 kW), up from 400 horsepower (298 kW), and 860 lb-ft (1,166 N·m) of torque, up from 800 lb-ft (1,085 N·m), across all Super Duty models from F-250 to F-450.
The new engine will also be featured on the MY 2016 F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks, available in spring 2015. The current F-650/F-750 models offer the Cummins ISB 6.7L turbo diesel in addition to Ford’s 6.8L V-10 gasoline engine. “The 6.7-liter Power Stroke was already a stout engine. The improvements we’ve made essentially give Super Duty customers an engine designed for our larger F-650 and F-750 trucks, said Robert Fascetti, Ford vice president powertrain engineering.
Jeep introduces new Renegade small SUV; segment-first 9-speed transmission
March 04, 2014
|2015 Jeep Renegade. Click to enlarge.|
Jeep unveiled the new 2015 Jeep Renegade small SUV at the Geneva Motor Show. Designed for global markets, the Renegade offers 16 powertrain combinations globally and the segment’s first nine-speed automatic transmission.
Leveraging 4x4 technology from the new Jeep Cherokee, the Renegade offers a full-time 4x4 system (Jeep Active Drive) and a full-time 4x4 system with 20:1 crawl ratio (Jeep Active Drive Low) The Renegade is also the first small SUV to feature a disconnecting rear axle and power take-off unit (PTU) (earlier post) to provide Jeep Renegade 4x4 models with enhanced fuel economy. The system instantly engages when 4x4 traction is needed.
New 3rd generation Audi TT diesel offers fuel economy of 56 mpg
March 03, 2014
|3rd generation Audi TT. Click to enlarge.|
Audi is unveiling the third-generation of its TT compact sports car at the Geneva Motor Show. (The first generation arrived on the market in 1998.) The new TT and TTS models will be available with three different four-cylinder engines with turbocharging and direct injection. A start-stop system is a standard feature.
For the launch of the TT, the 2.0 TDI diesel will be available with manual shift and front-wheel drive. It delivers 135 kW (184 hp) and torque of 380 N·m (280 lb-ft). The new sports car can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.2 seconds and reaches a top speed of 235 km/h (146 mph). Standard fuel consumption is 4.2 liters per 100 km (56 mpg US), which translates into CO2 emissions of 110 g/km (177 g/mile).
Fleet testing shows UPM renewable diesel from wood biomass performs as well as petroleum diesel
The first fleet tests of UPM’s BioVerno renewable diesel have shown that the fuel works in cars just as well as any conventional petroleum diesel. The fleet tests, conducted by the VTT Technical Research Center of Finland, were started in May last year and ran until early 2014. (Earlier post.)
The UPM BioVerno diesel fleet tests focused on investigating UPM’s renewable diesel in terms of fuel functionality in engine and fuel consumption. The tests were conducted with a fuel blend including 20% UPM BioVerno and 80% fossil diesel. With this blend fuel consumption matched the consumption of fossil diesel.
Neste Oil and DONG Energy partner on renewable diesel and jet fuels from ag residues via microbial oil
February 28, 2014
Neste Oil, the world’s largest producer of premium-quality renewable fuels, is working with DONG Energy, one of the leading energy groups in Northern Europe, to develop an integrated process to produce renewable diesel and aviation fuel derived from agricultural residues.
DONG Energy’s Inbicon technology will be used in the first part of the process to pre-treat biomass and produce cellulosic sugars that can then be converted into microbial oil with Neste Oil’s technology (earlier post). Microbial oil can be used as a feedstock for Neste’s NExBTL process for premium-quality renewable fuels such as renewable diesel and renewable aviation fuel.
VW unveiling MQB-based T-ROC diesel 4WD SUV concept at Geneva show
|Sketch of the T-ROC. Click to enlarge.|
At the Geneva Motor Show, Volkswagen will introduce the 4WD T-ROC SUV concept. Equipped with the 2.0L diesel featured in the sporty GTD (earlier post), the T-ROC design is based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB) platform, and fits into the Volkswagen line-up one vehicle down from the Tiguan in the Golf format. (The “T” in T-ROC is a reference to the nomenclature of current and future Volkswagen SUVs such as the Taigun, Tiguan and Touareg.)
Volkswagen has two of the most successful SUVs of European origin in its range with the Tiguan and the Touareg; the automaker intends to extend this range “significantly” with new models in a wide variety of classes. In 2013, Volkswagen showed how a large SUV for the USA or China might look with the CrossBlue and CrossBlue Coupé concept vehicles (earlier post, earlier post); development of the production vehicle is ongoing.
KSPG awarded $342M in contracts for new compact EGR valve
February 26, 2014
|Compact EGR valve. Click to enlarge.|
Pierburg GmbH, a member of the KSPG Group, has been awarded contracts worth a lifetime total of €250 million (US$342 million) for a newly developed compact exhaust-gas recirculation valve. (Earlier post.) Ordered by European and North American automakers, the valve will be installed in engines designed to comply with the Euro 6 emission norm.
The valve recently became a standard feature from a German premium carmaker. The other valves ordered will be installed in 2014 and 2015 when certain new engines go into production at the European and US plants of further manufacturers. With its comparatively compact footprint, the valve takes into account the continuous shrinkage of engine space on present car ranges.
DOE soliciting projects in advanced coal gasification for high carbon-capture power production and/or liquid fuels
The US DOE is soliciting (DE-FOA-0001051) projects for up to $10 million in awards to target technological advancements to lower the cost of producing hydrogen and/or high-hydrogen syngas from coal for use in 90% carbon capture power generation and/or gasification-based liquid (transportation) fuel production: methanol or diesel. Liquid fuel production must be GHG equivalent to conventional petroleum-based processes.
The work is also designed to assure significant reduction in the cost of coal conversion and environmental impacts, enabling coal resources to both improve US economic competitiveness and provide environmental benefits over the globe, according to the DOE.
Renault introduces 1.6-liter Twin Turbo diesel engine; leveraging F1 learnings
February 20, 2014
|Energy dCi 160 Twin Turbo will be applied in D- and E- segment models. Click to enlarge.|
Leveraging work done for its F1 engine program (earlier post), Renault has introduced the Energy dCi 160 Twin Turbo, its first 1.6-liter diesel engine with twin-turbocharging. The 1,598cc block delivers 160 hp (119 kW) and 380 N·m (280 lb-ft) of torque, putting it into the realm of 2-liter engines in terms of performance; fuel consumption and CO2 emissions savings are approximately 25%.
The use of Twin Turbo technology enables a blend of low-end torque and high power at higher revs. The system comprises two sequential turbo-compressors:
Peugeot showing new 108, new engines, new HYbrid Air implementation at Geneva Show
February 17, 2014
Peugeot will unveil two all-new models—the 108, successor to the popular 107; and the 308 SW—and two new engine technologies—the 1.2-liter PureTech e-THP three-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engines and new BlueHDi diesel emissions technology, to appear on several versions of PEUGEOT 308, 308 SW and 508—at the forthcoming Geneva Motor Show.
The company will also showcase a 2008 HYbrid Air crossover—an implementation of Peugeot’s HYbrid Air hybrid system (earlier post) in a 2008 Crossover. HYbrid Air is a full-hybrid solution combining compressed air and hydraulic power, with no battery required for energy storage. Hybrid Air combines a PureTech gasoline engine, a compressed air energy storage unit, a hydraulic pump/motor unit and an automatic transmission with an epicyclic gear train.
BMW introducing 2 Series Active Tourer at Geneva; new 3- and 4-cylinder engines, front-wheel drive
February 14, 2014
|The new compact 2 Series Active Tourer. Click to enlarge.|
The new compact BMW 2 Series Active Tourer will celebrate its world premiere at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. The 2 Series Active Tourer follows the Coupe as the second member of the new BMW 2 Series line-up and features new 3- and 4-cylinder gasoline and diesel turbocharged engines, front-wheel drive (BMW’s first), EfficientDynamics technology and ConnectedDrive.
The new engines are mounted transversely and feature a compact design along with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, at the same time as complying with the EU6 emissions standard. Fuel consumption (provisional) for the 2 Series Active Tourer will range from 6.0–4.1 liters per 100 km (39–57.4 mpg US) on the European combined cycle, with CO2 emissions ranging from 139–109 g/km.
Study finds diesel derived by pyrolysis of plastic grocery bags suitable for blending with petroleum diesel
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) grocery bags can be successfully pyrolyzed to alternative diesel fuel, according to a new study by a team from the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service ARS.
Pyrolysis of the waste plastic grocery bags followed by distillation resulted in a liquid hydrocarbon mixture with an average structure consisting mostly of saturated aliphatic paraffinic hydrogens (96.8%), followed by aliphatic olefinic hydrogens (2.6%) and aromatic hydrogens (0.6%) that corresponded to the boiling range of conventional petroleum diesel fuel (#1 diesel 190–290 °C and #2 diesel 290–340 °C). Nearly all fuel properties—with the exception of density—were within ASTM D975 and EN 590 diesel specifications, according to the study published in the journal Fuel Processing Technology.
Tata and Westport introduce new 5L engine with GEMDi dual-fuel technology, new 3.8L SI gas engine
February 12, 2014
|Tata 5L engine with GEMdi. Click to enlarge.|
Westport Innovations Inc. unveiled its newest proprietary dual-fuel technology: Westport gas enhanced methane diesel (Westport GEMDi), applied to Tata Motors’ new 5-liter dual-fuel methane-diesel engine. Westport GEMDi technology enables engine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to offer a fully integrated, high performance engine optimized for dual fuel operation.
Westport co-developed GEMDi technology with Tata Motors on the next-generation 5L engine, targeting medium-duty trucks and buses in India. This technology provides fuel flexibility, beneficial in regions where natural gas infrastructure is emerging, such as India, and is designed to meet Euro IV and V emissions standards.
Fiat updates 500L range for 2014 with new 120 hp diesel and gasoline engines, LPG version
February 11, 2014
Fiat is updating its 500L range for 2014 with two new turbocharged 120 hp (88 kW) engine options—the 1.6 MultiJet II turbodiesel and the 1.4 T-Jet gasoline—and a dual fuel LPG/gasoline variant of the 1.4 T-Jet.
120 HP 1.6 MultiJet II. The adoption of a small variable geometry turbocharger developed by Honeywell enables high torque delivery at low rpm— 320 N·m (236 lb-ft) at 1,750 rpm—and maximum running flexibility. A third-generation Common Rail injection system uses new injectors to manage up to eight injections per cycle. This enables actuating increasingly advanced strategies focused on optimizing the combustion— such as the Injection Rate Shaping (IRS) system which involves two consecutive injections so close together in time as to generate a continuous and modulated fuel supply into the cylinders.
Mercedes brings lean-burn, stratified BlueDirect to CLA-Class for 7% boost in fuel economy; new all-wheel A-Class diesels
February 07, 2014
|BlueDIRECT 2.0L, 4-cylinder direct injection engine operates in stratified lean-burn or homogeneous modes. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz announced that seven new versions of the Mercedes-Benz A-, B- and CLA-Class now offer enhanced fuel savings compared with their respective predecessors. Additionally, the A 200 CDI 4MATIC and A 220 CDI 4MATIC represent the first all-wheel-drive diesel models forming part of the new generation of compact cars from Mercedes-Benz.
The 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine of the new CLA 250 is a member of the BlueDIRECT family of gasoline engines, and was first applied in combination with exhaust-gas turbocharging and external high-pressure exhaust gas recirculation in the E 250 Coupé introduced last year (earlier post). (It is also being applied in the new C Class, as highlighted at the North American International Auto Show.) The engine—which operates in lean-burn stratified or homogeneous mode, depending on the operating state—contributes to the CLA 250’s combined cycle fuel consumption of 5.4 l/100 km (43.6 mpg US)—7% less compared to its predecessor.
Nissan reveals Frontier Diesel Runner with 2.8L Cummins turbo diesel; leveraging ATLAS engine program
February 06, 2014
|Nissan Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins. Click to enlarge.|
At the Chicago Auto Show, Nissan debuted a concept diesel-powered mid-size pickup: the Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins. Based on a Frontier Desert Runner 4x2 model, was created to gauge the market reaction to a Nissan mid-size pickup with a diesel engine and plot a potential future direction for the Frontier.
The Frontier Diesel Runner arrives six months after the announcement of a partnership with Cummins Inc. to provide a 5.0-liter turbo diesel V8 in the next-generation Titan full-size pickup, which will arrive in calendar year 2015. (Earlier post.)
2014 Toyota Verso offering new 1.6L diesel from BMW, first stop/start system
|The new 1.6 D-4D for the Verso. Click to enlarge.|
Toyota first introduced the Verso in 2002, and in 2013, launched the current Verso MPV, developed exclusively for the European market. Verso has sold more than 700,000 units cumulatively.
The 2014 Verso now features an expanded powertrain line-up of 4 diesel and 2 gasoline engines which introduces a new 1.6 D-4D (Direct injection – 4-stroke Diesel) engine—sourced from the BMW Group and mated to a Toyota 6-speed gearbox—to the range for the first time.
Opel Astra with 1.6 CDTI diesel drops fuel consumption as low as 64 mpg US
|With the 81 kW/110 hp turbo diesel version, the Opel Astra Sports Tourer consumes only 3.7 l/100 km (63.6 mpg US) with 97 g/km CO2 in the NEDC combined cycle. Click to enlarge.|
Opel will present the new Astra 1.6 CDTI at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show in March. To be available in the high-volume Astra hatchback, Astra notchback and Astra Sports Tourer models, the 1.6 CDTI diesel engine made its debut last year in the Zafira Tourer. (Earlier post.)
The new diesel delivers 100 kW/136 hp and 320 N·m (236 lb-ft) maximum torque (as in the Zafira), with fuel consumption of 3.9 liters diesel per 100 km (60 mpg US) in the NEDC test procedure (New European Driving Cycle)—up to up to 8% less than the 1.7-liter engine it is replacing. An 81 kW/110 hp version of the new turbo diesel is even cleaner and more economical: 3.7 l/100 km (63.6 mpg US) with CO2 emissions of 97 g/km. The 81 kW unit delivers 300 N·m (221 lb-ft) maximum torque (7% more than the 1.7-liter predecessor with the same hp).
BMW premieres new 2.0-liter diesel on new X3; up to 7.1% lower fuel consumption than predecessor
BMW has unveiled its second-generation X3 mid-size Sport Activity Vehicle (SAV), first launched in 2010. The new BMW X3 is available from launch, depending on market, with a choice of four diesel and three gasoline engines, with outputs ranging from 110 kW/150 hp to 230 kW/313 hp. Among the X3 engine range, a new 2.0-liter diesel unit producing 140 kW/190 hp is making its world premier in the X3 xDrive 20d.
The new generation of all-aluminium 2.0-liter diesel engines uses common rail direct injection with solenoid valve injectors and works with increased injection pressure of 2,000 bar. This pushes the output of the X3 xDrive20d from 135 kW/184 hp up to 140 kW/190 hp, with the maximum torque available also rising from 380 to 400 N·m (280–295 lb-ft).
2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel earns 28 mpg highway; best in segment
February 04, 2014
|2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. Click to enlarge.|
The 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel-powered 2014 Ram 1500 pickup (earlier post) has earned a 28-mpg (8.4 l/100 km) rating from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—the best highway-cycle test result achieved yet by a full-size, half-ton pickup. It also exceeds the EPA highway rating for the top-ranked small pickup. The combined city/highway rating is 23 mpg (10.2 l/100 km.)
On the gasoline side, the 2013 Ram 1500 equipped with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 gasoline engine earned 25 mpg (9.4 l/100 km) highway, a rating that stands for model-year 2014. The Ram 1500 now owns the half-ton pickup segment’s top two spots in the EPA’s 2014 highway fuel-economy rankings.
Audi introducing new “ultra” A4, A5, A6 models; diesels with up to 60 mpg
Audi is expanding its “ultra” strategy with 11 new models: especially efficient diesel engine versions in the A4, A5 and A6 model lines will be launched in Europe in early 2014. A new 2.0-liter TDI will provide the drive at 100 kW (136 hp), 120 kW (163 hp) or 140 kW (190 hp); the engine emits just 104 to 119 grams of CO2 per kilometer (167.37 to 191.51 g/mile) depending on the model.
“Ultra” is Audi’s designation for more efficient mobility that is fully available for everyday use. With a combined fuel consumption rate of 3.9 to 4.6 liters per 100 kilometers (60 to 51 mpg) and CO2 emissions of 104 to 119 grams per kilometer (167 to 192 g/mile), the new ultra models from Audi are among the most efficient cars of their segment.
New Jeep Cherokee debuting at Geneva show with new 2.0L Multijet II turbo diesel, start/stop and 9-speed transmission
February 03, 2014
The new Jeep Cherokee (earlier post) will make its European debut at the 84th Geneva International Motor Show this year. The new Jeep Cherokee will be introduced in Jeep dealerships throughout Europe beginning the second quarter of 2014, with four engine choices: the efficient 2.0-liter Multijet II turbo diesel delivering 170 hp matched witha new 9-speed automatic; a 140 hp version of the 2.0-liter diesel engine combined with a 6-speed manual; the 3.2-liter V-6 Pentastar gasoline engine paired to the 9-speed; and in Russia and the Middle East, the new 9-speed is offered in combination with the 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir I-4.
The new generation Jeep Cherokee is available in both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations, and is also the first mid-size SUV to feature rear-axle disconnect, resulting in reduced energy loss when 4x4 capability isn’t needed and ensuring improved fuel efficiency.
Audi testing finds e-ethanol and e-diesel produced by Joule often perform better than conventional counterparts
|Audi investigating its e-fuels in an optical research engine using laser-induced fluorescence. Click to enlarge.|
Audi testing of synthetic ethanol (Audi e-ethanol = Joule Sunflow-E) and synthetic diesel (Audi e-diesel = Joule Sunflow-D), produced in partnership with Joule (earlier post) in a pressure chamber and optical research engine has shown that the Audi e-fuels often perform better than their conventional counterparts.
Joule’s Helioculture platform uses engineered microorganisms directly and continuously to convert sunlight and waste CO2 into infrastructure-ready fuels, including ethanol and hydrocarbons (n-alkanes) that serve as the essential chemical building blocks for diesel.
Study finds butanol-gasoline blends effective to control soot from CI engines under Low Temperature Combustion
January 31, 2014
|(Left) Thermal efficiency and (right) soot from different gasoline-butanol blends at different EGR rates. Yang et al. Click to enlarge.|
A study by a team at Tianjin University found that the addition of n-butanol to gasoline for use in a compression ignition engine (CI) under Low Temperature Combustion (LTC) conditions has a significant effect on soot reduction. The peak soot value of a 30% butanol blend (B30) was 85% lower than that of pure gasoline; the EGR rate that corresponds to the peak value of soot is also decreased with the higher n-butanol fraction. Their study is published in the journal Fuel.
Partially Premixed Combustion involving the injection of gasoline fuel into CI engines is being explored by other researchers as a means to reducing simultaneously NOxand soot emissions. High octane fuels such as gasoline are preferred for high-efficiency and clean combustion at high engine loads, the Tianjin researchers note.
Mercedes-Benz unveils the new V-Class MPVs; full-size luxury diesel MPV with fuel economy up to 41.3 mpg
January 30, 2014
|Launch of the V-Class. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz unveiled the new V-Class full-size MPVs at an event in Munich. The V-Class, the successor to the Viano, is the newest and largest member of the Mercedes-Benz passenger car family. The new V-Class is equipped with four-cylinder diesel engines, offering fuel consumption as low as 5.7 l/100 km (41.3 mpgUS), or 149 g CO2/km, in the V220 CDI model.
The 2.1-liter turbodiesel engine for the V-Class offers three power output levels: 100 kW (136 hp), 120 kW (163 hp) and 140 kW (190 hp). Internally designated OM 651, the engine, which has proven itself in almost all car models of the brand from the A-Class to the S-Class, has been further developed specifically for use in the V-Class. The focus of these efforts was to combine the performance of a six-cylinder engine with the efficiency of a four-cylinder.
New generation VW Polo features more fuel-efficient engines and advanced driver assistance; Polo TDI BlueMotion with 73.5 mpg
January 28, 2014
|The new Volkswagen Polo. Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen is introducing its next generation of the supermini (B segment) Polo, featuring a range of new EU6 engines that are up to 21% more fuel-efficient and new driver assistance technologies. All versions are available with a stop-start system and a regenerative braking mode.
The new Polo TDI BlueMotion takes the efficiency lead with combined fuel consumption of 3.2 l/100 km (73.5 mpgUS), or 82 g/km CO2. The Polo TSI BlueMotion, available starting this autumn, also marks the first time that a Volkswagen with a gasoline engine is being marketed as an independent BlueMotion model. The Polo TSI BlueMotion, equipped with a 1-liter, three-cylinder turbocharged direct-injection gasoline engine, delivers 4.1 l/100 km (57.4 mpgUS) and 94 g/km CO2.
China Yuchai introduces 8 new diesel engines for on-road and off-road applications; plug-in hybrid model
January 27, 2014
China Yuchai International Limited’s main operating subsidiary, Guangxi Yuchai Machinery Company Limited (GYMCL), unveiled 8 new engine models for truck, construction and marine applications.
To better meet the needs of the truck and bus markets in China, several new engine models were introduced, all meeting the National IV emission standards (comparable to Euro IV). The new YC4E-48 is a light-truck diesel engine for urban logistical uses, special purpose vehicles and other vehicles focused on short- to mid-range transportation. This model uses a two-valve cylinder head combined with a Bosch common rail system paired with EGR, DOC and POC technologies. Its power range covers 103-118 kW (138-158 hp).
BMW introducing a 7 Series diesel model in US
January 24, 2014
|BMW 7 Series Long Wheel Base. Click to enlarge.|
BMW will introduce the diesel-engined BMW 740Ld xDrive Sedan in the US. The new model will feature BMW’s 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo diesel engine in the long-wheelbase 7 Series body and will include xDrive, BMW’s intelligent all-wheel drive system. The 2014 BMW 740Ld xDrive Sedan will have a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $83,425, including $925 destination and handling. It will make its US auto show debut at the Chicago Auto Show in February 2014 and arrive in US showrooms in Spring 2014.
The 3.0-liter inline-6 BMW Advanced Diesel engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology makes 255 hp (190 kW) at 4,000 rpm and 413 lb-ft (560 N·m) of torque from 1,500 – 3,000 rpm. It is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The BMW 740Ld xDrive will accelerate from 0-60 mph in 6.1 seconds.
KSPG showcases numerous system and components for fuel efficiency at NAIAS; new steel pistons
January 20, 2014
|The new steel pistons are due to go into series production with an OEM this year and can consume of to 4% less fuel. Produced with a single cast, the piston has integral cooling galleries. Click to enlarge.|
At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, tier one supplier KSPG is showcasing systems for cars, light and medium-duty commercial vehicles and components for efficient fuel and emission reduction for both gasoline and diesel vehicles. KSPG AG is the parent and flagship company of the Automotive sector of the Rheinmetall Group, Germany.
For the new, high-performance generation of diesels, KSPG is exhibiting components for the exhaust gas system, steel pistons, and ultramodern high-duty plain bearings. Also being displayed are oil, coolant and vacuum pumps addressing growing cooling requirements and stiffer challenges posed by today’s generations of engines.
Boeing proposing direct blending of renewable diesel in jet fuel; seeking approval this year
January 16, 2014
Boeing is working with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other stakeholders to gain approval for the direct blending of renewable “green” diesel into aviation fuel, thereby further reducing the aviation industry's carbon emissions.
Renewable diesel made using oils and fats is chemically similar to today’s aviation biofuels, according to Boeing analysis. If approved, the fuel would be blended directly with traditional jet fuel. A blend percentage would be established through the testing and review/approvals process, according to Jessica Kowal in Boeing’s Environmental Communications. The company’s internal goal is to see this approved this year.
GMC unveils the midsize 2015 Canyon pickup; diesel coming in 2016
January 13, 2014
|2015 GMC Canyon All Terrain SLE Extended Cab Short Bed Click to enlarge.|
GMC revealed the new 2015 Canyon midsize pickup on the eve of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Based on a proven global architecture, the new Canyon will initially offer two engines, with a Duramax 2.8L turbodiesel engine coming in the 2016 model year.
The standard 2.5L I-4 is estimated at 193 horsepower (146 kW) and 184 lb-ft of torque (253 N·m), with approximately 90% of the peak torque available from 2,000 rpm to 6,200 rpm. The 3.6L V-6 engine is estimated at 302 horsepower (224 kW) and 270 lb-ft of torque (366 N·m). SAE certification of the power ratings is pending. Both engines feature direct injection and variable valve timing.
MSU-Ford team evaluates 12 biofuel compounds for effects on cold flow properties of diesel and jet blends
January 02, 2014
|Cloud point temperatures of a high aromatic diesel (HAD) in mixtures with various biofuel compounds. Lown et al. Click to enlarge.|
Researchers from Michigan State University and Ford Motor Company's Research and Advanced Engineering Group recently tested 12 potential biofuel compounds containing oxygen in different functional groups in mixtures with three diesel fuels and one jet fuel to determine the effects of the functional groups on low-temperature fuel properties.
Groups evaluated included diesters, esters, ketones and ethers; alkanes were used for comparison. Fuels included a standard #2 US diesel (USD); a European standard diesel (ESD); and a high aromatic diesel (HAD), as well as JP-8 donated by the US Air Force.
New Mercedes-Benz C-Class drops weight, adds new engines, diesel hybrid, w/ plug-in to come; up to 20% cut in fuel consumption
December 16, 2013
|The new C-Class. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz has launched its new C-Class, featuring a lightweight design concept with weight savings of up to 100 kg (220 lbs); excellent aerodynamics; and new, economical engines along with a hybrid model. The C-Class is the top-selling model series from Mercedes-Benz; sales of the preceding model, which was launched in 2007, total more than 2.4 million.
Ordering for the C-Class sedan have begun in Europe, with the model range initially comprising the C180, the C200; and the diesel C220 BlueTEC. All are equipped with the ECO start/stop function and comply with the Euro 6 emissions standard. They also cut fuel consumption by up to 20% compared with the preceding model. The US market launches with two C-Class models: C300 4MATIC and C400 4MATIC.
New Audi R18 e-tron quattro LMP1 racer integrates two hybrid systems, kinetic and thermal
December 12, 2013
|Audi R18 e-tron quattro 2014. Click to enlarge.|
Audi has released initial details on its new 2014-generation Audi R18 e-tron quattro LMP1 Le Mans prototype racer. Although the new diesel hybrid sports car appears like a continuous further development of the World Championship winning car and Le Mans winner of the past two years, due to the new LMP1 regulations that will come into effect in 2014, Audi Sport redeveloped every component.
In the new Technical Regulations, a large number of principal definitions, which concern the powertrain, body dimensions, safety and aerodynamics, were re-determined. With the new R18, Audi Sport has opted for a similar concept as in the past—albeit with new detailed solutions and an additional hybrid system. Powertrain elements include:
Westport unveils next-generation High Pressure Direct Injection (HPDI 2.0) natural gas system for HD trucks
December 10, 2013
Westport Innovations Inc. unveiled its next generation of high pressure direct injection natural gas technology platform, Westport HPDI 2.0. Westport is now working with seven OEM applications with engine sizes ranging from trucks to trains at various stages of development with the goal of vertically integrated Westport HPDI 2.0 OEM product lines. Westport anticipates first availability of customer products in late 2014 and 2015.
Westport HPDI uses natural gas as the primary fuel in a Diesel (compression ignition) cycle along with a small amount of diesel fuel as an ignition source. Core to the approach is a patented injector with a dual-concentric needle design. This allows small quantities of diesel fuel and large quantities of natural gas to be delivered at high pressure to the combustion chamber. (Earlier post.)
U Wisc.-Ford team develops more realistic multi-component surrogate diesel models for modeling of low temperature combustion
December 07, 2013
A team from the Engine Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ford Motor, and Ford Forschungszentrum Aachen have developed new multi-component surrogate models for three different diesel fuels, and then examined their fidelity in capturing the characteristics of a diesel engine operated under various conditions, including conventional and low-temperature combustion (LTC) modes.
Fuel and EGR effects were also explored in the two different combustion modes using the developed surrogate models. In a paper published in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels, they reported that the results showed that the combustion trends in conventional combustion are less affected by fuel or EGR changes, while LTC conditions exhibit a much higher sensitivity, thus demanding more realistic fuel models precisely to describe advanced combustion modes.
Amyris and Total form joint venture to produce and market renewable diesel and jet fuel
December 05, 2013
Amyris, Inc. and Total have formed Total Amyris BioSolutions B.V., a 50-50 joint venture that now holds exclusive rights and a license under Amyris’s intellectual property to produce and market renewable diesel and jet fuel from Amyris’s renewable farnesene. (Earlier post.) Total is Amyris’ largest investor, holding approximately 18% of its outstanding common stock, and is committed to the development of next-generation renewable fuels from biomass.
Amyris’ synthetic biology platform enables the modification of the genetic pathways of microorganisms, primarily yeast, to turn them into living factories to produce target molecules via fermentation. The primary biological pathway within the microbe Amyris currently uses to produce target molecules is the isoprenoid pathway.
CRC ACES Phase 2 report finds emissions from modern heavy-duty diesels well below required levels
December 04, 2013
|2010 engines emissions reduction relative to 2010, 2007, and 2004 US emission standards. Source: CRC. Click to enlarge.|
A rigorous emissions testing of modern heavy-duty diesel engines in the US has demonstrated a greater than 94% reduction in the levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2 - an important contributor to ozone smog), and substantial reductions in all other pollutants, even when compared to engines first marketed to meet 2007 standards, according to a study released today by the Coordinating Research Council (CRC).
For a number of the most important pollutants, levels were substantially lower than required by regulations. The study, the Phase 2 Report of the comprehensive Advanced Collaborative Emissions Study (ACES) (earlier post), found that emissions of NO2 and other nitrogen oxides—which can have direct health effects and contribute to the formation of smog—were approximately 61% below the 2010 EPA standard and 99% lower than in 2004 engines. These reductions came while emissions of fine particles were also 92% lower than the 2010 standard 99% lower than 2004 emissions.
Study estimates 6% of lung cancer deaths in US and UK attributable to diesel exhaust
November 28, 2013
In 2012, 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). (Earlier post.)
Now, a study by researchers from the Netherlands, the US, and France estimates that approximately 6% of annual lung cancer deaths in the US and UK—combining both environmental and occupational exposures—may be due to DEE exposure. This translates to about 9,000 annual lung cancer deaths in the US and about 2,000 annual lung cancer deaths in the UK that may be attributable to DEE.
UC Berkeley study quantifies LD gasoline on-road emissions
November 27, 2013
Based on on-road measurements in their study, a team from the University of California Berkeley has estimated that, as of 2010, light-duty (LD) gasoline vehicles were responsible for 85% of CO; 18% of NOx; 18% of organic aerosol (OA); and 6% of black carbon (BC) emissions from on-road motor vehicles in the United States. Correspondingly, the study, reported in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, also concluded that, as of 2010, diesel engines were the dominant on-road source of BC, OA, and NOx.
The researchers measured vehicle emissions of NOx, CO, fine particulate matter (PM2.5), OA and BC in bore 2 of the Caldecott tunnel in the San Francisco Bay Area. In bore 2, light-duty (LD) vehicles accounted for more than 99% of total traffic; heavy-duty trucks were not allowed.
Audi of America officially introduces the new A3 family; plug-in hybrid version coming in 2015
November 20, 2013
|The A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
Audi of America officially announced plans today for the arrival in the US of the new A3 family of premium compact cars, with three body styles, five new engines and seven variants including its plug-in hybrid model. Audi first revealed the A3 Sportback e-tron at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. (Earlier post.)
This new A3 lineup begins with the A3 sedan, which goes on sale in the spring of 2014. The A3 sedan plays a pivotal role in the soon to be expanding Audi A3 family and will be priced from a base MSRP of $29,900. It will be joined later in the fall of 2014 by the Audi A3 Cabriolet; A3 TDI clean diesel sedan; the high-performance S3 sedan; and in early 2015, the A3 Sportback e-tron gasoline electric plug-in hybrid (PHEV).
Volkswagen combines XL1 powertrain with up! for the twin up! concept plug-in diesel hybrid; 214 mpg
|Introducing the twin up! Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen presented the twin up! concept car at the Tokyo Motor Show. Equipped with a plug-in hybrid system from the super-efficient XL1 (earlier post), the four-seater based on the up! city car achieves combined fuel consumption of 1.1 liters per 100 km (214 mpgUS) (NEDC), with corresponding CO2 emissions of 27 g/km.
All new Volkswagen vehicles are configured to accept alternative drive systems as well as conventional ones, making installation of the compact XL1 plug-in hybrid system in the twin up! relatively easy. The only modification made in the production version was to lengthen the up!’s extremely short front overhang by 30 mm. The drive unit of the twin up! (system power: 55 kW) is mounted at the front of the car. It comprises a two-cylinder 0.8L TDI (35 kW); electric motor (35 kW); a 7-speed DSG (DQ200E) and the power electronics.
The new MINI makes its debut; new architecture, new fuel-efficient engines, including 3-cylinder diesel
November 18, 2013
|New MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S. Click to enlarge.|
The BMW Group’s new MINI made its worldwide debut at MINI’s UK production plant in Oxford. The new MINI features an all-new vehicle architecture, an evolutionary design and a range of new fuel-efficient engines. The new MINI will make its auto show premiere in Los Angeles this week.
The biggest efficiency advance comes in the MINI Cooper with automatic transmission: the new model accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h 2.6 seconds faster, while average fuel consumption is 27% lower. The lowest fuel consumption and CO2 levels comes in the MINI Cooper D with a 3-cylinder diesel: 3.5 – 3.6 liters/100 km (67.2 to 65.3 mpgUS) and 92 – 95 g CO2/km (EU test cycle figures, dependent on tire format selected).
Researchers explore ethanol-diesel dual-fuel combustion for reduction in engine-out emissions
November 14, 2013
|Effect of ethanol energy fraction and PFI position on CO, NOx, HC, and opacity emissions. Credit: ACS, Padala et al. Click to enlarge.|
Researchers at the University of New South Wales (Australia) have demonstrated the potential for ethanol use in diesel engines with dual-fuel combustion, in which ethanol is injected into the intake manifold and diesel is directly injected into the engine cylinder. A paper on their work is published in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels.
The goal of such an approach is effectively to address some of the drawbacks of conventional diesel combustion, such as higher in-cylinder soot formation associated with locally rich mixtures and high flame temperatures and engine-out emissions of NOx.
Canada awards $30M to 10 automotive R&D projects; from electrified powertrains to hot stamping
October 28, 2013
The Government of Canada has awarded C$30 million (US$29 million) through the Automotive Partnership Canada (APC) initiative to 10 university-industry partnerships to advance innovative automotive technologies. With a total project value of more than C$52 million (US$50 million), the funding includes some $22 million from industry and other partners.
The largest award from APC is $8,928,200 to the McMaster University-Chrysler partnership (earlier post) for the development of next generation electrified powertrains. (Earlier post.) However, the selected projects include a range of technologies from hot stamping of parts to hydrogen fuel cell stacks.
Volvo Drive-E engines delivering NEDC fuel consumption in S60 sedan as low as 62 mpg US for diesel, 40 mpg for gasoline
October 25, 2013
|The new Drive-E diesel engine. Click to enlarge.|
Volvo is introducing the first engines—two gasoline and 1 diesel—in its new 2.0-liter, four-cylinder Drive-E powertrain family (earlier post) and has received official European NEDC certification on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions when applied in the S60 sedan.
Leading with the lowest fuel consumption is the Volvo S60 D4 diesel with 181 hp (135 kW) and manual gearbox, delivering class-leading CO2 emissions at 99 g/km, which translates into fuel consumption of 3.8 l/100 km (62 mpgUS). A Volvo V60 D4 with up to 17-inch tires also breaks the 100-gram barrier according to the NEDC certification with CO2 emissions at 99 g/km.
BMW introduces the 2 Series; power up, fuel consumption down by up to 21% over 1 Series, depending upon model
|New BMW 2 Series Coupe. Click to enlarge.|
BMW has introduced an entirely new model series in the form of the BMW 2 Series Coupe. Offering both gasoline and diesel engines at launch (depending upon market), output is up by as much as 10 kW over the new car’s 1 Series predecessor, yet average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle has dropped by up to 21%, depending on the model.
One four-cylinder gasoline engine and one four-cylinder diesel unit are available from launch, putting 135 kW/184 hp at the disposal of the BMW 220i Coupe and BMW 220d Coupe. (The US will see the gasoline model as the 228i.) Also joining them, with a six-cylinder in-line engine developing 240 kW/326 hp, is the BMW M235i Coupe. Subsequently, BMW will introduce two more four-cylinder diesel models in the form of the BMW 218d Coupe (105 kW/143 hp) and BMW 225d Coupe (160 kW/218 hp).
Chevrolet introduces second-generation Duramax 4-cylinder diesels; global engine
October 11, 2013
|New Duramax 4-cylinder diesel. Click to enlarge.|
Chevrolet Sales Thailand introduced the new-generation MY14 Duramax four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine in 2.5- and 2.8-liter variants. The new Duramax engine was engineered in Europe and the US, with global application as one of its developmental objectives. Applications include powering the Colorado pickup truck and Trailblazer SUV for the Thailand and Southeast Asian markets.
The new Duramax 2.8-liter diesel delivers 11% more power and 6% more torque, while consuming 4.3% less fuel. The new Duramax engine is Euro-4 compliant and can be upgraded to meet Euro-5, -6 and US emission standards.
Study finds biodiesel blend reduces total particle mass in emissions but may have greater adverse health effect per mass than diesel
October 10, 2013
Findings from a study by researchers from the Department of Medicine and the School of Engineering at the University of Vermont suggest that the addition of biodiesel to diesel fuels will reduce the total particle mass of PM emissions—but that the biodiesel blend particles may contribute to greater biological effects per mass than B0, leading to potentially greater health risks.
As reported in a paper published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, the team first characterized exhaust particles produced by combustion of pure petrodiesel (B0) and B20 (20% soy biodiesel/ 80% B0) fuels using the same engine and running conditions, and then conducted experiments in two human cell lines representing bronchial epithelial cells and macrophages as well as in female mice. (Studies in cells alone do not necessarily reflect the integrated response of a whole animal, they noted.)
Opposed-piston engine company Achates Power raises $35.2M in Series C Financing; new industry advisory board
October 09, 2013
Achates Power, Inc., the developer of a family of two-stroke compression-ignition opposed-piston engines (earlier post), has finalized $35.2 million in Series C financing. The company also announced the formation of a new Industry Advisory Board, and its selection as a semi-finalist in the Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) Energy Security Prize.
All existing Achates Power investors participated in the fundraising round, including Sequoia Capital Partners, RockPort Capital Partners, Madrone Capital Partners, InterWest Partners and Triangle Peak Partners. The Series C financing follows a $19-million Series B round in 2009 and brings the total raised by Achates Power to nearly $90 million since its 2004 founding. Between the two funding rounds, Achates Power has also tripled its US patent portfolio and increased the number of issued and pending claims to more than 1,500 unique innovations.
Ricardo and Doosan DL06 diesel with TVCS achieves Tier 4f emissions without need for DPF
|Ricardo’sTwin Vortex Combustion System (TVCS) reduces soot by 45- 50% compared to a conventional approach. Source: Ricardo. Click to enlarge.|
The Doosan DL06 engine is a turbocharged and intercooled 5.9-liter, in-line 6-cylinder diesel engine used in both on-highway and off-highway applications. The new US Tier 4 Final (Tier 4f) version of the DL06 includes an ultra-low particulate combustion system featuring the Ricardo Twin Vortex Combustion System (TVCS) (earlier post); the engine achieves compliance with Tier 4 Final particulate emissions levels without requiring a DPF—thereby providing a cost-effective solution.
Pre-orders start for Mazda Axela in Japan; gasoline and hybrid models first, followed by diesel
|Axela Hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
Mazda Motor Corporation will begin taking pre-orders for the new Mazda Axela sports compact (known outside of Japan as Mazda3) on 10 October 10, 2013 at its dealers throughout Japan. (Earlier post.) The company expects to sell 3,000 units per month in Japan.
Sales will begin on 21 November, starting with the gasoline engine and a hybrid models, to be followed by a diesel version. This will make Mazda the first domestic automaker to offer gasoline, diesel and hybrid versions of a single model in Japan.
Exploring gasoline-range naphtha as a low-soot, low-NOx alternative compression ignition fuel
October 08, 2013
Dr. Gautam Kalghatgi and his colleagues at Saudi Aramco and other organization such as FEV, RWTH Aachen University, and Shell Global Solutions, have been investigating the potential use of naphtha as an alternative compression-ignition (CI) fuel that offers a number of benefits, including efficient combustion; low soot and NOx emissions resulting in a less complicated aftertreatment system to meet modern emissions standards; and a fuel that is simpler to make than current gasoline or diesel fuels.
A number of papers from Kalghatgi and his colleagues—and now other groups, including Tsinghua University in China and the Eindhoven University of Technology—have been published recently, exploring different aspects of this approach. At the SAE/KSAE 2013 International Powertrains, Fuels & Lubricants Meeting in Korea later this month, Kalghatgi and his colleagues will present two more, one exploring the fuel economy potential of partially premixed compression ignition (PPCI) combustion using naphtha, the other exploring the use of larger size nozzle holes and higher compression ratio in a diesel engine for combustion of such a “gasoline-type” fuel.
Fiat 500L Living diesels average about 70.6 mpg on Turin to Paris run
October 07, 2013
|Fiat 500L running in the Bosch Diesel Challenge. Click to enlarge.|
A small fleet of Fiat 500L Living models, equipped with the 1.6 MultiJet II 105 HP diesel with Start&Stop, covered the 800-kilometer (497-mile) route from Turin to Paris on an average of 27 liters (7.1 gallons US) of fuel, corresponding to approximately 30 km/l (70.6 mpgUS, 3.33 l/100km). The drive was part of a Bosch Diesel Challenge; the 500L features a Bosch common rail system.
Similar average results were registered by the teams who travelled back from Paris to Turin, again without stopping for fuel. A professional driver drove the same distance on only 20.9 liters (5.5 gallons US) of fuel, equal to more than 38 kilometers per liter (89 mpgUS, 2.6 l/100km).
Cummins introduces 5L V8 diesel for North American light- and medium-duty commercial vehicles
October 04, 2013
|The new ISV 5.0 diesel. Click to enlarge.|
Cummins Inc. introduced the ISV5.0, a new 5-liter V8 diesel engine designed to power pickup-and-delivery vehicles, other light- and medium-duty trucks, school buses and motorhomes. The ISV5.0 extends Cummins range of on-road diesel engines for North American vehicles. Like the new 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel to be used in the Nissan Titan pick-up truck (earlier post), the ISV5.0 will be manufactured at the Columbus Engine Plant, with production to start during the fourth quarter of 2014.
Cummins ISV5.0 will serve customers in the United States and Canada, and will be certified to US EPA 2013 NOx and PM emissions levels. At launch, it will also meet greenhouse gas (GHG) requirements through 2016, and 2015 California Air Resources Board (ARB) standards, including on-board diagnostics.
Ford introduces second-generation 6.7L Power Stroke V8 Diesel for F-Series Super Duty; Gen 1 hits 500,000 mark
September 27, 2013
|Second-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 diesel. Click to enlarge.|
Ford introduced the 2015 F-Series Super Duty lineup at State Fair of Texas, featuring a second-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel engine and increased towing capabilities.
Ford introduced the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel in 2011. (Earlier post.) A key Ford innovation on the original 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel was its reverse-flow layout. The advanced design places the exhaust inside the engine’s V-shape while the air intake is positioned on the outside of the V. This segment-exclusive design naturally improves a variety of attributes:
Georgia Tech study finds MD electric urban delivery trucks have cost advantages over diesel in some conditions; relative benefits depend on numerous factors
September 26, 2013
Researchers at Georgia Tech have compared medium-duty (MD) electric and diesel urban delivery trucks in terms of life-cycle energy consumption, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and total cost of ownership (TCO). One surprise among their findings was that the electric truck had cost advantages over the diesel vehicle under some conditions. The team had expected that electric truck costs would always be higher, especially since the purchase price of the electric truck studied was higher than that of the diesel truck.
In a paper published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, they report that the relative benefits of electric trucks depend heavily on vehicle efficiency associated with drive cycle; diesel fuel price; travel demand; electric drive battery replacement and price; electricity generation and transmission efficiency; electric truck recharging infrastructure; and purchase price.
ETH Zürich team developing light-duty natural gas-diesel hybrid electric powertrain; 43 g/km CO2
September 12, 2013
|Consumption measurements of the dual-fuel natural gas-diesel engine as a function of speed and load. Source: Ott et al. Click to enlarge.|
Researchers at ETH Zürich have developed a light-duty hybrid electric vehicle featuring a dual-fuel natural gas-diesel engine. In an open access paper in the journal Energies, they report that CO2 emissions can be reduced to as low as 43g/km in a subcompact car configuration using the dual-fuel hybrid electric powertrain on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). The dual-fuel engine can also serve in a non-hybrid application.
In the dual-fuel engine, the natural gas (usually a fuel for spark-ignited engines) is injected into the intake manifold of a compression-ignition diesel engine. Instead of using a spark plug for ignition, the premixed air-gas mixture is ignited with a small amount of directly injected diesel fuel. This approach—already being successfully commercialized in heavy-duty engines by Westport Innovations (e.g., earlier post) and Clean Air Power (e.g., earlier post)—delivers the high performance and efficiency of diesel with lower CO2 and tailpipe emissions.
PNNL team finds correlation between reaction mechanism for zeolite SCR catalyst for NOx aftertreatment and bacterial enzyme catalysis
September 11, 2013
|Computer model of Cu-SSZ-13 shows nitric oxide (ball-and-stick) interacting with a positively charged copper ion (copper ball) at an unexpected angle (red dotted lines). Photo courtesy of Kwak et al. Click to enlarge.|
A team of researchers in the Institute for Integrated Catalysis at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory led by chemist János Szanyi has proposed a reaction mechanism for a highly active zeolite catalyst (Cu-SSZ-13) used in selective catalytic reduction (SCR) NOx aftertreatment systems for diesel emissions. A paper on their work is published in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition.
Although the catalyst is in use, exactly how it converts NOx to nitrogen and water with the help of ammonia (urea) hasn’t been entirely clear. The new research finds that the catalyst works much the same way that similar bacterial enzymes do: by coming at the target from the side rather than head on. The finding provides insight into how to make better catalytic converters.
3.0L I-4 EcoDiesel to make North American debut in 2014 Ram ProMaster van
September 09, 2013
|Fred Diaz, President and CEO - Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico, introduces the 2014 Ram ProMaster at the Chicago Auto Show. Click to enlarge.|
The Chrysler Group’s 2014 Ram ProMaster van, developed from the Fiat Ducato, will mark the the North American introduction of the 174 hp (130 kW) 3.0-liter inline 4-cylinder EcoDiesel engine that generates peak torque of 295 lb-ft (400 N·m) as early as 1,400 rpm. The engine is paired with the new M40 electronically controlled six-speed automated manual transmission—exclusive to the EcoDiesel.
Designed by Fiat, which employs the engine in numerous applications including Class 2, 3 and 4 commercial vehicles, the 16-valve, dual-overhead cam I-4 has been adapted for the North American market with a wide range of modifications that enable regulatory compliance, while also enhancing performance. The 2014 Ram ProMaster also offers a 280 hp 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 gasoline engine option.
ADEPT project to apply gasoline engine HyBoost system to diesel; 48V architecture; full hybrid fuel economy at much lower cost
September 04, 2013
The developers of the successful gasoline-engine HyBoost project (earlier post)—Ricardo, Ford Motor Company, Control Power Technologies (CPT) and the European Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (EALABC)—will be joined by Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies UK Ltd and University of Nottingham to apply the intelligent electrification concept for the first time to a diesel vehicle (a Ford Focus).
The Ricardo-led Advanced Diesel Electric Powertrain (ADEPT) project will apply 48V “intelligent electrification” concepts, mild hybridization and waste heat recovery in a Ford Focus diesel demonstrator. The project aims to deliver full hybrid equivalent fuel economy and performance with less than 70 g/km CO2 emissions as measured over the European Drive Cycle, but at a significantly lower cost.
Ricardo advancing with two novel heavy-duty vehicle technologies: cryogenic split-cycle engine and microwave fuel reforming
|The concept of the Ricardo Split-Cycle engine. The recuperated engine uses isothermal compression via cryogenic injection to enable significant exhaust to compressed gas heat transfer. Source: Neville Jackson. Click to enlarge.|
Ricardo is advancing its work with two novel technologies to improve the efficiency of heavy-duty goods vehicles: a cryogenic split-cycle engine “CryoPower” (earlier post), and a low-carbon waste-heat powered microwave fuel reformer “HeatWave II”.
Heavy duty vehicles, such as long haul trucks, represent a significant challenge in terms of the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. An essential element of the transportation mix of modern industrialized society, they are inherently less amenable to the type of electrification and hybridization strategies that are already contributing to reduced carbon emissions and potential long-term sustainability for the light vehicle sector.
DSM and KACO develop crankshaft cover made in bio-based EcoPaXX polyamide 410 for next-gen VW diesels
September 02, 2013
|Crankshaft cover. Click to enlarge.|
Royal DSM, together with its automotive component specialist partner KACO, has developed a lightweight multi-functional crankshaft cover in EcoPaXX, DSM’s bio-based polyamide 410, for the latest generation of diesel engines developed by the Volkswagen Group. EcoPaXX, a bio-based, high-performance long-chain polyamide, is made mainly from tropical castor beans.
This EcoPaXX cover incorporates integral seals in PTFE and liquid silicon rubber (LSR), as well as various metal inserts. It will be used on Volkswagen’s new MDB modular diesel engine platform, implemented across its Audi, Seat, Škoda and VW brands.
New 300 hp 3.0L V6 diesel for Porsche Panamera boosts power by 20%, small improvement in fuel consumption
|New Panamera diesel. Click to enlarge.|
Porsche is introducing a new 300 bhp (221 kW) 3.0L diesel in its Panamera Diesel. The six-cylinder V-engine increases power output by 50 bhp—equivalent to a 20% increase in performance—compared to the predecessor model. The Gran Turismo with the new engine offers NEDC fuel consumption of 6.4 liters/100 km (36.8 mpgUS)—equivalent to 169 CO2/km—a small improvement on the 6.5 l/100 km (36 mpg US) of the standard earlier 250 hp model. That model delivered 6.3 l/100 km (37.3 mpgUS) with optional low rolling resistance tires. (Earlier post.)
Acceleration time for the new Panamera diesel has been reduced by eight-tenths of a second—the new model moves from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.0 seconds, while the top speed has increased to 259 km/h (161 mph) compared to the 244 km/h (152 mph) achieved by the previous model.
Neste Oil and Raisioagro to research the potential of straw as a renewable diesel feedstock via microbial oil
Neste Oil, developer of the NExBTL process for renewable diesel, and agritrader Raisioagro have launched a research project to investigate the potential of straw as a raw material for producing NExBTL renewable diesel via Neste’s microbial oil technology. (Earlier post.)
Large quantities of waste straw are produced as agricultural residue in Finland and elsewhere, and only a small proportion of this is currently used. The project will study whether a logistically effective and efficient, large-scale straw harvesting chain could be created in Finland. The researchers will also look at the storability of straw for use as an industrial input year-round. The project will be carried out by TTS, a research, development, and training organization.
VW introducing 1.8L EA888 Gen 3 engine in 2014 Jetta, Passat and Beetle; driving impressions
August 29, 2013
Volkswagen of America is introducing the Group’s third-generation EA888 1.8-liter TSI four-cylinder engine in the 2014 Jetta and Passat, followed by the 2014 Beetle. The 1.8-liter unit produces 170 hp (127 kW) and 184 lb-ft (250 N·m) of torque as early as 1,500 rpm. The horsepower is the same as the outgoing 5-cylinder 2.5-liter engine, but it delivers 7 lb-ft more torque at 2,750 fewer revs (see chart at right).
Mated to an automatic or a manual transmission, the new EA888 offers up to a 17% decrease in fuel consumption while providing even better acceleration. In a presentation at Volkswagen of America’s 2014 line drive in St. Helena, California, Hubertus Lemke, Head of Technical Project Management for Volkswagen AG, described the advances in the new third-generation engines. (The 2.0-liter version of this engine has already made its debut in the 2013 Beetle and Jetta GLI, delivering a 10 hp improvement.)
Audi banking on Gen 2 3.0L TDI diesel for US sales; calls for a “fair shot” for diesel (update w/ rally results)
August 23, 2013
|Audi's Gen 2 3.0L TDI. Click to enlarge.|
Audi of America introduced four new TDI clean diesel models for the US market this year—the Audi A8, A7, A6, Q5—along with an updated Q7 TDI, all equipped with a second-generation 3.0L V6 TDI diesel engine. (Earlier post.) This week in Washington, the company held a series of media drives (“TDI Efficiency Rally”) for the Q5, A6 and A7 diesel models to highlight their efficiency and performance, and also offered up its—as well as several other experts’—perspectives on the potential for diesel in the US market.
“If we are going to reward efficiency, and that’s the goal,” said Joe Jacuzzi, Chief Communications Officer, Audi of America in opening remarks, “then diesel really needs a fair shot. Not only is it more powerful and contains up to 30% better efficiency than traditional gasoline, etc. The fact of the matter is [it requires] very little infrastructure change and secondly, its a very simple driving behavior change. You move from one pump to the other.”
Land Rover launching diesel hybrids: Range Rover Hybrid and Range Rover Sport Hybrid
August 21, 2013
|Hybrid Range Rover. Click to enlarge.|
Land Rover is launching its first hybrid models—Range Rover Hybrid and Range Rover Sport Hybrid. The two all-aluminum diesel-electric hybrids are based on Land Rover’s Premium Lightweight Architecture and share an identical powertrain. First deliveries will be in early 2014.
The new Range Rover Hybrid powertrain features three driver-selectable modes and combines Land Rover’s popular 3-liter SDV6 diesel engine with a 35kW electric motor integrated with the 8-speed ZF automatic transmission. The hybrid system, including lithium ion battery pack, inverter and electric motor weighs less than 120 kg (282 lbs). Fuel consumption is 6.4 l/100 km (36.7 mpgUS) on the combined cycle, with CO2 emissions of 169 g/km.
Volvo Car to introduce first three Drive-E engines this fall
August 16, 2013
The first three engines from the Volvo Car Group’s new two-liter, four-cylinder Drive-E powertrain family will launch this fall. The diesel version features i-Art (intelligent-Accuracy Refinement Technology) injection technology (earlier post), and the most powerful gasoline version comes with a combination of a supercharger and a turbocharger.
The whole Drive-E engine range, which, during the development phase, was called Volvo Engine Architecture (VEA) (earlier post), basically consists of two four-cylinder engine architectures, one common rail diesel and one direct-injected gasoline. They replace eight engine architectures on three platforms. Drive-E diesels will range from 120 to 230 hp (89 to 172 kW). Gasoline versions will start at 140 hp (104 kW) and go all the way up to 300-plus hp (224-plus kW).
New Opel Insignia to debut with three new engine options; diesel as low as 99 gCO2/km
August 15, 2013
|The new 2.0-liter turbo diesel engine with 88 kW/120 hp or 103 kW/140 hp enables CO2 emissions as low as 99 g/km. Click to enlarge.|
The new Opel Insignia, which makes its public debut at the 65th Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA) next month, will offer two new turbo gasoline direct injection units and a new turbo diesel enabling 99 g/km CO2 in its powertrain lineup.
In four and five-door models with a six-speed manual gearbox and Start/Stop, both output variants of the diesel (88 kW/120 hp and 103 kW/140 hp) consume just 3.7 liters of fuel per 100 km (63.6 mpgUS) over the combined cycle (according to Regulation [EC] No 715/2007), while the Sports Tourer achieves 3.9 l/100 km (60.3 mpgUS). As a result, the Opel Insignia 2.0 CDTI is the most fuel efficient diesel car in its class which earns it the German A+ energy efficiency label.
Mercedes-Benz previews new GLA compact SUV; fuel economy as high as 54.7 mpg in diesel version
|2015 GLA-Class. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz previewed the new 2015 GLA-Class compact SUV prior to its global debut at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt next month. The GLA, which will go on sale in 2014, is Mercedes-Benz’ first entry into the fast-growing compact SUV segment. It is also the first Mercedes-Benz SUV to be optionally available with the new-generation permanent all-wheel drive system 4MATIC, with fully variable torque distribution. (Earlier post.) ECO stop/start is standard.
Initially the power range of the 1.6 and 2.0-liter gasoline engines will extend from 115 kW (156 hp) in the GLA 200 to 155 kW (211 hp) in the GLA 250. The GLA will also offer two 2.2-liter diesel variants. The GLA 200 CDI develops 100 kW (136 hp) and maximum torque of 300 N·m (221 lb-ft), with fuel consumption of 4.3 l/100 km (54.7 mpgUS) and 114 g CO2 per kilometer (provisional figure). The GLA 220 CDI develops 125 kW (170 hp) and 350 N·m (258 lb-ft).
Sandia team proposes models for partially premixed low-temperature direct-injection diesel combustion
August 14, 2013
|The Sandia team has proposed extensions to John Dec’s 1997 model for diesel combustion, represented above. Credit: Musculus et al.; Dec. Click to enlarge.|
A team at Sandia National Laboratories recently proposed conceptual models for a specific subset of low-temperature combustion regimes: low-load, single-injection, partially premixed compression ignition (PPCI LTC) conditions that are diluted by exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) to oxygen concentrations in the range of 10–15%.
Their paper, which provides a detailed review and synthesis of various current experimental and modeling studies—and which extends Sandia scientist John Dec’s seminal 1997 model for diesel combustion—is published in the journal Progress in Energy and Combustion Science.
Honda unveils new Civic Tourer with 1.6L i-DTEC diesel
August 12, 2013
|New Civic Tourer. Click to enlarge.|
Honda unveiled the new UK-built Civic Tourer wagon ahead of its official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. The Civic Tourer will be available with the choice of two engines: the new 1.6 i-DTEC diesel engine from the Earth Dreams Technology series (earlier post) and the 1.8 i-VTEC gasoline engine with manual or automatic transmission. Applied in the Honda Civic (available since January 2013), the i-DTEC engine delivers combined cycle fuel economy of 65.3 mpgUS (3.6 l/100 km).
The new Civic Tourer will be launched in Europe in early 2014. It will be built at Honda’s UK manufacturing facility in Swindon alongside the hatchback variant and the CR-V and Jazz.
Mercedes-Benz introduces latest E 200 Natural Gas Drive and E 220 BlueTEC BlueEFFICIENCY Edition
August 09, 2013
|E 200 Natural Gas Drive. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz is introducing the latest version of the bivalent drive E 200 Natural Gas Drive (NGD) variant to the E‑Class family in Europe. The E200 NGD can run on either gasoline or natural gas; benefits of running the car on natural gas include a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions compared with comparable operation using gasoline, and much lower fuel costs. Mercedes-Benz also introduced the new diesel E 220 BlueTEC BlueEFFICIENCY Edition, with CO2 emissions of 114 grams/km.
The E 200 Natural Gas Drive uses 4.3 kg of natural gas per 100 kilometers (NEDC combined), which corresponds to CO2 emissions of 116 g/km. If the new E 200 NGD automatically switches to running on gasoline because the gas tank is empty, the new four-cylinder engine needs requires 6.3 liters of unleaded gasoline (NEDC combined) for every 100 kilometers (37.3 mpg US), with CO2 emission of 147 g/km.
Volkswagen of America bringing new EA288 diesel to MY2015 Golf, Jetta, Passat and Beetle; debuts in 2H 2014
August 06, 2013
|Main modules of development for the EA288 diesel engine. Source: Volkswagen Group of America. Click to enlarge.|
Oliver Schmidt, General Manager, Energy and Environmental Office, Volkswagen Group of America confirmed that the new EA288 diesel engine will power the 2015 Golf, Beetle, Passat, Jetta, which are due in dealer showrooms in the second half of 2014. The new EA288 will eventually replace all the 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel engines fitted in Audi and Volkswagen TDI Clean Diesel models. Schmidt made the announcement during a speech delivered at the Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich.
The EA288 is part of Volkswagen’s MQB transverse assembly toolkit, and is also applied in the Golf GTD heading for the US (earlier post). In the MQB set, the new EA288 four-cylinder covers engine displacements ranging from 1.6 to 2.0 liters.
Audi unveils first “ultra” production model: fuel efficient A3 1.6 TDI ultra with 73.5 mpg US
August 05, 2013
|Audi A3 1.6 TDI ultra. Click to enlarge.|
Audi unveiled its most fuel-efficient production model, the A3 1.6 TDI ultra. With 81 kW (110 hp) of power output, the Audi A3 1.6 TDI ultra consumes 3.2 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers (73.50 US mpg). This equates to 85 grams of CO2 emissions per kilometer (137 g/mile).
This latest A3 is not only the most efficient Audi, it is also the brand’s first model designated as “ultra”. The ultra designation expresses Audi’s commitment to systematic sustainability concerning production and products. Along with Audi’s e-tron plug-in hybrid models and g-tron models powered by natural gas, ultra vehicles will constitute a third category in the brand’s portfolio of cars offering sustainable, everyday mobility.
U Wisc. study explores effects of biodiesel-gasoline blend in diesel engine
August 01, 2013
One high-efficiency combustion concept under investigation is gasoline compression ignition (GCI)—the use of gasoline-like fuels to deliver very low NOx and PM emissions as well as high efficiency in a diesel compression ignition engine. (Earlier post.) A challenge to be overcome with this approach is the higher resistance to autoignition of gasoline fuels.
A team from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Engine Research Center now reports in a paper in the journal Fuel on the effects of biodiesel-gasoline blends compared to neat gasoline using a partially premixed, split-injection GCI combustion strategy.
Neste Oil in renewable diesel blend demonstration project aimed at commercialization; Diesel R33
|Test bus for the Diesel R33 project. Click to enlarge.|
Neste Oil is part of a fleet demonstration program of a new blend of diesel fuel in Coburg, Germany. The aim of the program is to introduce to the market a fuel with a significantly higher proportion of renewable content than current diesel blends. The German Minister of Transport, Peter Ramsauer, kicked off the project today in Coburg.
The new blend—Diesel R33—contains 26% NExBTL renewable diesel, an hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO)-type renewable diesel fuel produced by Neste Oil; 7% conventional biodiesel (FAME) produced from used cooking oil; and 67% fossil diesel. With the 26% share of NExBTL, the new blend offers the highest biofuel content of any diesel blend that fulfills and exceeds the requirements for diesel fuels used in the European Union.
Chevy Cruze diesel’s variable-swirl mechanism
July 31, 2013
|The basic concept of GM’s variable swirl mechanism. Click to enlarge.|
The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel’s (earlier post) 2.0L engine uses a variable-swirl intake mechanism to enhance performance while reducing emissions. The variable-swirl intake manifold design optimizes air charge mixture motion in the cylinders for a more efficient combustion.
In Cruze’s variable-swirl intake manifold, each cylinder has two separate intake ports, with one of them controlled by a valve. During variable swirl, each throttle valve varies how much it opens to create mixture-motion of air and fuel within each cylinder. The effectiveness of any such variable mechanism is linked to the quality of its controls; GM’s engineering team spent a great deal of effort calibrating the actuator precisely to open and close the valves for optimal performance.
Study investigates impact of operating conditions and load on soot particle number distribution for diesel and biodiesel
July 27, 2013
A team led by researchers from Brunel University (UK) has investigated the exhaust soot particle number size distributions obtained from the combustion of diesel and biodiesel (rapeseed methyl ester, RME) in a high speed direct injection (HSDI) diesel engine under different engine operating conditions: fuel injection pressure, injection timing, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and engine load.
Among the findings they reported in their paper in the journal Fuel was that under most of the engine operating conditions examined, RME emitted lower soot particle concentration than diesel under both nucleation and accumulation modes. The presence of oxygen in the fuel has the potential to lower the exhaust particle number concentration in diesel engines, they concluded.
New diesel Volkswagen Golf GTD heading for the US; first driving impressions
July 16, 2013
|New Golf GTD. Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen has introduced a new version of the Golf GTD (“Gran Turismo Diesel”) in Europe, and plans to bring it to the US market, reportedly likely for the 2016 model year. The latest GTD is based on the seventh-generation Golf (earlier post), and thus, on the strategic MQB (modular transverse matrix) platform. (Earlier post.) It thus becomes the first GTD built off of the MQB components set.
With a new 2.0L diesel delivering 184 horsepower (137 kW), 280 lb-ft (380 N·m) of torque, CO2 emissions of 109 g/km, and a NEDC combined fuel economy figure of 56 mpg US (4.2 l/100 km) when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission), the new A7 GTD is improved all around, with 14 more horsepower; an additional 22 pound-feet of torque; a 25 g/km improvement in CO2 emissions, and 10 mpg better fuel economy than its predecessor.
Renault makes public its lifecycle study of Fluence ICE vs Fluence EV
July 11, 2013
|Renault’s comparison of the carbon footprint of EV and ICE vehicles over production, operation and end of life. The EV footprint (Fluence Z.E.) is shown with both UK and French grid mixes. Click to enlarge.|
Renault recently made public the findings of an internal study, published first in October 2011, detailing and comparing the lifecycle assessments (LCAs) of the battery-electric and two internal combustion engined versions (gasoline and diesel) of the Renault Fluence. The study used the series production versions launched in 2011, with the assumption of operation for 150,000 km (93,205 miles). (Since the BEV version has a shorter range, Renault noted, the way in which the miles are accumulated could differ from that of the ICE vehicles.)
The publication gives the opportunity for an “apples-to-apples” comparison between the environmental impacts of the two types of powertrains: same manufacturer, same model, same boundary conditions. Nevertheless, Renault noted, the study is contrasting a new technology (EVs) with a well-developed one; “environmental progresses are expected in a short term thank to key process improvement and massification of the production.”
ARB researchers evaluate in-use heavy-duty NOx aftertreatment systems, find elevated levels during certain lower-temperature operations
July 09, 2013
A team from the California Air Resources Board (ARB) reports on their evaluation of the in-use emissions performance of four different heavy-duty diesel engines certified to the MY 2010 or interim MY 2010 NOx standards over a wide range of driving conditions in California in a paper published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.
One of the trucks was equipped with exhaust gas recirculation (EGR); three were equipped with EGR and a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) device. The results indicated that brake-specific NOx emissions for the truck equipped only with an EGR were independent of the driving conditions—and exceeded the certification value over each segment of the entire test route. Results also showed that for typical highway driving conditions, the SCR technology is proving to be effective in controlling NOx emissions. However, they also found that under operations where the SCR systems do not reach minimum operating temperature—e.g., cold starts and some low-load/slow-speed driving conditions—NOx emissions are still elevated.
Georgia Tech life-cycle study finds TCO of medium-duty electric and diesel delivery trucks similar; electric life-cycle energy use and GHG lower than diesel
July 06, 2013
|Life-cycle energy use and GHG emissions normalized with NYCC diesel case (8.06 MJ/t·km and 0.63 kgCO2e/t·km) at 100%. Numbers in red are net total including recycling effect. Credit: ACS, Lee et al. Click to enlarge.|
Comparing life-cycle energy consumption, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and total cost of ownership (TCO) of medium-duty electric and diesel urban delivery trucks for a range of drive cycles and electricity generation scenarios, a team from Georgia Tech found that all in all, the life-cycle energy use and GHG emissions of the electric truck are lower than that of the diesel truck, particularly for the frequent stop and low average speed (NYCC- and OCTA-type) drive cycles.
They also found that the total costs of ownership (TCO) of the electric and diesel trucks are similar. Over an array of possible conditions, the median TCO of electric trucks is 22% less than that of diesel trucks on the NYCC. However, the cost-competitiveness of the electric truck diminishes in drive cycles with higher average speed. Battery replacement along with EVSE will also greatly affect the relative TCO of the electric truck. The study is published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.
Chrysler introducing 2014 Ram 1500 pickup with new 3.0L diesel
June 28, 2013
|3.0L EcoDiesel. Click to enlarge.|
Chrysler’s 2014 Ram 1500 will offer a new, 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine, mated with the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. Ram is now the only brand to offer a small-displacement diesel for its half-ton line of trucks.
Branded EcoDiesel, the new 3.0-liter powerplant is a turbocharged 60-degree, dual overhead camshaft (DOHC) 24-valve V-6 that produces 240 hp (179 kW) at 3600 rpm and 420 lb-ft (569 N·m) of torque at 2000 rpm. Equipped with a diesel oxidation catalyst, diesel particulate filter, and selective catalytic reduction, it will be emissions-compliant in all 50 states.
UMTRI study finds US diesel vehicles generally have lower total cost of ownership than gasoline vehicles
|TCO for selected gas and diesel vehicles over a 3 year timeframe. Source: UMTRI. Click to enlarge.|
Diesel vehicles generally saved owners between $2,000 to $6,000 in total ownership costs during a three to five year period when compared to similar gasoline vehicles, according to data compiled by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI). The study—Total Cost of Ownership: A Gas Versus Diesel Comparison—was conducted for Robert Bosch LLC; the results were released at the 2013 Alternative Clean Transportation Expo in Washington DC.
The report reviewed the role diesel vehicles play in the current vehicle fleet by analyzing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for clean diesel vehicles and comparing their TCO to their gas vehicle counterparts. The UMTRI researchers—Bruce M. Belzowski and Paul Green—built the TCO model by developing three and five year cost estimates of depreciation by modeling used vehicle auction data and fuel costs by modeling government data.
DENSO develops new 2500-bar diesel common rail system; reductions in fuel consumption and emissions
June 27, 2013
|Components of the new 2500-bar DCR system. Click to enlarge.|
Global automotive supplier DENSO Corporation has developed a new 2500-bar diesel common rail (DCR) fuel injection system; DENSO says this is the currently the world’s highest injection pressure for a diesel common rail fuel injection systems comprising injector, fuel pump and common rail.
Based on DENSO’s research, the new system can help increase fuel efficiency by up to 3% while also reducing particulate matter (PM) by up to 50% and NOx by up to 8%. This is compared to DENSO’s previous generation system. The new DCR system will launch later this year on passenger, commercial, agricultural and construction vehicles worldwide.
Volkswagen’s 3rd-gen Golf TDI BlueMotion rated at 73.5 mpg US; 15% better than predecessor
June 26, 2013
|New Golf TDI BlueMotion. Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen’s third-generation Golf TDI BlueMotion, introduced as a concept at the Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris last September(earlier post), is rated with fuel consumption of 3.2 l/100 km (73.5 mpg US) on the NEDC—equivalent to 85 g/km CO2. This represents a 15% improvement in fuel consumption compared to the previous model.
Volkswagen launched the first generation of the Golf BlueMotion in 2007.At that time, the Volkswagen set a new benchmark for sustainability with a fuel consumption value of 4.5 l/100 km (52.3 mpg US), or 119 g/km CO2. The second generation of the Golf BlueMotion—with fuel consumption of 3.8 l/100 km (61.9 mpg US), or 99 g/km CO2—made its debut in autumn 2009.
XL1 dive and drive: Volkswagen aggressively optimizes for efficiency in its sleek diesel plug-in hybrid
June 24, 2013
|XL1s ready to roll. Click to enlarge.|
During a media event in Wolfsburg, Germany, Volkswagen provided a medium dive into details of its two-seater XL1 Super Efficient Vehicle diesel plug-in hybrid (earlier post) as well as some driving time on local roads and highways.
The XL1 is aggressively optimized for efficiency in all areas of its design and technology—from materials (carbon fiber reinforced polymer monocoque); to powertrain (0.8L two-cylinder diesel, 20 kW electric motor and 5.5 kWh Li-ion pack with efficiency-optimized control and brake regeneration strategies); to lightweighting (little baffling to shield the driver from engine, chassis and road noises); to aerodynamics (with a Cd of 0.189, the XL1 bests the only other production vehicle that has come close, the GM EV1’s 0.19; the original Honda Insight hybrid had a Cd of 0.25). It reflects, the Volkswagen team members said, an effort by the company to deliver the most efficient vehicle they could—but one that could still be series-produced, homologated and sold—with current technologies.
Bosch sees future requiring multiple powertrain technologies; the larger the vehicle, the more the electrification
June 18, 2013
|Powertrain technologies outlook up to 2020. Click to enlarge.|
At the company’s 61st Automotive Press Briefing in Boxberg, Germany, Bosch senior executives outlined the company’s view on the general future of automotive technology—“efficient and increasingly electrical”, and provided a thumbnail of the way they see—and thus are developing products for—sector-specific technology trends.
In general, said Dr. Bernd Bohr, Chairman of the Bosch Automotive Group, the pace of development continues to pick up, in the form of powertrain electrification and the automation of driving. Bosch does not believe there is just one powertrain solution for the future; most of the cars on the world’s roads are still running on diesel and gasoline, and things will stay that way for the rest of the decade, Bohr noted. However, “slowly but surely”, the number of alternatives is growing.
Study finds that California clean diesel programs have slashed black carbon, a powerful short-term contributor to global warming
June 14, 2013
|California’s air quality programs have forced a reduction in black carbon despite a significant increase in diesel fuel consumption. Click to enlarge.|
In California, reductions in emissions of black carbon since the late 1980s—mostly from diesel engines as a result of air quality programs—have resulted in a measurable reduction of concentrations of global warming pollutants in the atmosphere, according to a study examining the impact of black carbon on California’s climate.
The study’s results support a growing body of scientific evidence that suggests it is possible relatively quickly to slow the pace of climate change regionally by reducing emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, like black carbon.
Nissan introduces new 1.5L diesel in Juke in Europe; 56 mpg US
June 11, 2013
|Nissan Juke n-tec. Click to enlarge.|
Nissan is introducing a new 1.5-liter dCi diesel engine in the Juke in Europe. The new 1.5L engine brings CO2 emissions down to 109 g/km from 124 g/km, with fuel consumption on the combined cycle of 4.2 l/100 km (56 mpg US)—an 11% reduction in consumption from the 4.72 l/100 km (49.8 mpg US) of the outgoing 1.5L unit.
The 108 hp (81 kW) diesel boosts maximum torque from 240 N·m to 260 N·m (192 lb-ft) at 1,750rpm, with 80% of this figure available from just 1,500 rpm to improve driveability. The new unit is now the most efficient engine in the Juke line-up, Nissan says.
Audi announces pricing and fuel economy for 2014 Audi A6, A7 and Q5 TDI diesels
June 10, 2013
At the 2012 Los Angeles Motor Show in December, Audi of America announced the significant expansion of its diesel model line-up with 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.)
Audi has now announced pricing and fuel economy figures for the 2014 A6, A7 and Q5 TDI models, expected to begin arriving at US dealers in late Summer 2013. The 2014 Audi A8 L was already recently introduced. EPA estimated fuel economy figures for the clean diesel introductions are as follows:
3rd generation BMW X5 to offer 5 diesel variants by end of year; more power, less fuel consumption
May 30, 2013
|BMW X5 xDrive30d. Click to enlarge.|
BMW’s newly introduced third-generation BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle will launch with two diesel engine model options, to be joined by three more in December. BMW has sold more than 1.3 million units of the X5 since the launch of the first generation model in 1999.
At launch, the diesel line-up will include the BMW X5 xDrive30d with revised six-cylinder in-line diesel unit (190 kW/258 hp) and the BMW X5 M50d M Performance Automobile with tri-turbo six-cylinder in-line diesel (280 kW/381 hp). (The xDrive30d will be badged as the X5 xDrive35d in the US, with a slightly different power rating but the same base engine.) By December 2013, these will be joined by the BMW X5 xDrive40d; the BMW X5 xDrive25d; and the BMW X5 sDrive25d.
Ricardo-led technology demonstrator delivers 72% improved fuel economy over regular Humvee
May 23, 2013
|Ricardo-TARDEC FED. Click to enlarge.|
Ricardo released an analysis of two years of on-the-ground testing of the Ricardo-engineered Fuel-Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator (FED) showing that, when compared to the US military’s regularly outfitted M1151 HMMWV (“Humvee”), the FED experienced a 72% improvement in fuel economy. (Earlier post.) The FED’s performance was assessed using a number of realistic duty cycles including highway, off-road and idle conditions.
The FED powertrain features include a supercharged Cummins I4 diesel engine; a high efficiency 28V permanent magnet integrated starter-generator from Kollmorgen that enables electric accessories and 20 kW of power for on-board equipment; a 6-speed automatic transmission from Aisin; and an accelerator feedback pedal and fuel economy display to inform drivers how to operate the vehicle to produce the best fuel economy.
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.