[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.]
2.5L engine for 2014 Chevy Impala features new Intake Valve Lift Control (IVLC)
May 24, 2013
|IVLC uses an all-new rocker arm that switches between low- and high-lift intake cam profiles. The mechanism is actuated by an oil control valve through a dual-feed stationary hydraulic lash adjuster. Click to enlarge.|
The new 2014 Chevrolet Impala offers as one of its three engine options a four-cylinder Ecotec 2.5L engine, featuring the debut of a new advanced variable valvetrain technology—Intake Valve Lift Control (IVLC, earlier post)—and improved fuel economy. The EPA estimated fuel economy for the 2014 Impala with the new 2.5L engine is 21 mpg city and 31 mpg highway (11.2 and 7.6 l/100 km, respectively).
The 2.5L engine, which delivers SAE-certified 196 horsepower (146 kW) and 186 lb-ft of torque (252 N·m), achieves variable valve lift using an all-new rocker arm that switches between low and high lift intake cam profiles.
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.
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.
FEV analysis of automotive-scale Pinnacle opposed-piston engine finds potential for significant increases in fuel economy
May 15, 2013
An analysis by FEV of a modeled automotive scale version of Pinnacle’s 4-stroke, spark-ignited (SI), opposed-piston, sleeve-valve architecture engine (earlier post) concluded that the engine has the potential to deliver significant additional fuel economy benefits of up to 42.6% with application of various advanced technologies over a baseline naturally aspirated (NA) 1.5L configuration of the engine.
Start-up Pinnacle initially has been targeting the Asian two-wheeler market with a small-displacement version of its technology (e.e., 110 cc) to gain some market traction rather than trying to push its way into the automotive market. Automotive, however, has always been a company target, notes founder Monty Cleeves. FEV is also supporting Pinnacle on those initial versions of the engine.
IFP Energies nouvelles leading ASTRIDE project on GDI transient mode operation; targeting low engine-out particulates
France’s IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) is coordinating a four-year project seeking to understand and to model the physical phenomena involved in transient modes of operation of gasoline direct injection (GDI) powertrains.
The specific objective of the ANR (French National Research Agency)-funded ASTRIDE (Aerodynamics and Sprays during TRansients of Gasoline Direct Injection Engines) project is to to develop and to validate new design tools that could contribute to the emergence of GDI engines with in-cylinder soot levels low enough to preclude the negative cost and efficiency impacts caused by the use of soot particle filters in the exhaust. ASTRIDE is run in partnership with two research institutes (CETHIL and Prisme) and three manufacturers (Continental, PSA Peugeot Citroën and Renault).
Volvo Car Group begins production of new VEA 4-cylinder engine family
May 13, 2013
Volvo Car Group is now starting production of the first engine variants in the new, high-efficiency four-cylinder Volvo Engine Architecture (VEA) family. (Earlier post.) The development and production take place in-house at Volvo Car Group.
VEA consists of four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines. Together with driveline electrification, VEA replaces the previous eight engine architectures on three different platforms. The new engines will be introduced between 2013 and 2015. Almost 20,000 engines will be produced in 2013, and by the end of the year the production pace will be 2000 units a week.
Cummins progressing toward ATLAS Tier 2 Bin 2 fuel-efficient diesel for light-duty pickups
May 10, 2013
In a US Department of Energy (DOE)-sponsored project, engineers at Cummins are developing a Tier 2 Bin 2 emissions compliant diesel for application in a light duty pickup (ATLAS, Advanced Technology Light Automotive Systems, earlier post). Tier 2 Bin 2 requirements are only slightly less stringent than the CARB LEVIII-SULEV20 requirements. (Earlier post.) Fuel economy targets for the vehicle are 22.4 mpg US (10.5 l/100km) city and 34.3 mpg US (6.9 l/100 km) highway.
At the recent 2103 SAE World Congress, Cummins discussed key engine technology enablers—including air-handling, fuel system, and base engine design— and development of the combustion system that will help in achieving the target emission levels and fuel economy.
Liquid Air Energy Network forms in UK; focus on transportation and energy storage
May 09, 2013
|Example power cycle of the cryogenic (e.g., liquid air) Dearman piston engine. Source: Dearman Engine Company. Click to enlarge.|
A new new forum for the advocacy and development of liquid air as an alternative technology to harness waste and surplus energy within power and transport—the Liquid Air Energy Network (LAEN)—has formed in the UK.
The UK Centre for Low Carbon Futures published a multi-partner research report—Liquid Air in the energy and transport systems: Opportunities for industry and innovation in the UK—and presented the results at a a conference at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London. The work was conducted by a collaboration including industrial partners Arup, Dearman Engine Company, E4 Tech, Highview, Messer Group and Ricardo, as well as academics from the Universities of Leeds, Birmingham, Strathclyde, Brighton and Imperial College London.
Update on the ACCESS fuel efficient engine project; simulations find up to 48.9% improvement in fuel economy over baseline
May 08, 2013
Robert Bosch LLC, AVL Powertrain Engineering and partners including the University of Michigan are working on a four-year, $24-million US Department of Energy (DOE)-supported project— Advanced Combustion Concepts—Enabling Systems and Solutions (ACCESS)—to achieve a 30% fuel economy improvement in a gasoline-fueled light-duty vehicle without compromising performance while also meeting SULEV emission standards. (Earlier post.)
At the recent 2013 SAE World Congress, engineers from Bosch and AVL presented papers on progress in the ACCESS project, describing the design, combustion development and controls development for a resulting 4-cylinder gasoline turbocharged direct injection (GTDI) engine with part-load HCCI capability.
New Porsche 911 Turbo improves fuel economy by 16%
May 03, 2013
The new generation Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S, equipped with new advanced engines, PDK transmission, new combined thermal management system for the turbo engine and the transmission, the new Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive system, and other fuel efficiency technologies such as start/stop and active aerodynamics, have reduced NEDC fuel consumption by up to 16% to 9.7 l/100 km (24.3 mpg US); these figures apply to both models. Final US EPA label values will be calculated closer to the time the car is on sale in the United States.
The bi-turbocharged 3.8-liter flat 6-cylinder engine with direct gasoline injection produces 520 hp (383 kW) in the 911 Turbo and 560 hp (412 kW) in the S model. Porsche continues to be the only carmaker to offer two turbochargers with variable turbine geometry for a gasoline engine. Power is transferred to the drivetrain via the seven-speed dual clutch transmission (PDK), which now enables an auto start/stop function with engine shutoff that now activates earlier during coasting to a stop as well as a coasting function.
Volkswagen boosts Beetle Turbo and Jetta GLI with EA888 Gen 3 engine; more power, improved fuel economy
|The EA888 for the US. Click to enlarge.|
The Volkswagen Beetle Turbo, Beetle Turbo Convertible, and the Jetta GLI receive a number of running changes to 2013 model year cars that go on sale this month. The most notable of these is fitment of a new version of the EA888 Gen 3 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injected TSI gasoline engine.
The new engine delivers a manufacturer-estimated improvement in fuel efficiency for the Beetle models of between 4-8% percent on the combined cycle and by up to 9% percent on the city cycle. The new engine produces 210 horsepower (157 kW), an increase of 10 hp over the previous Gen 2 TSI engine.
U. Wisconsin team reports gross indicated thermal efficiency of RCCI operation near 60%
April 29, 2013
In a paper presented at the 2013 SAE World Congress, a team from the University of Wisconsin reported a gross indicated thermal efficiency of Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) operation of near 60%, given optimized combustion management and thermodynamic conditions. That 60% gross engine efficiency provides a pathway to meet the DOE Super Truck 50% brake thermal efficiency (BTE) engine goal as well as a pathway for reaching 55% BTE, the researchers concluded.
The findings also showed that improvements to boosting system efficiencies for low exhaust temperatures and overall reductions in friction are required to capitalize on the high gross efficiences offered by RCCI.
Winterkorn says Volkswagen developing 10-speed DCT and high-performance diesel; plug-in hybrids offer great potential
April 26, 2013
|Volkswagen’s view of powertrain technologies to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. Source: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Leohold, Executive Director Volkswagen Group Research. Click to enlarge.|
At the International Vienna Motor Symposium Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, gave a forecast of future drive system technologies. Areas of work being focused on by Volkswagen include the development of a high-performance diesel engine delivering 100 kW (134 hp) per liter of displacement and a new 10-speed dual clutch gearbox that reduces fuel consumption.
The high performance diesel engine features a variable valve-train assembly, a high-pressure injection system at up to 3,000 bar and combined charging with an innovative e-booster. Among alternative drive systems, plug-in hybrids in particular offer great potential, Winterkorn said. (The Volkswagen Group intends to launch at least 6 new plug-in hybrid models starting in 2014 and beyond. Earlier post.)
FEV’s two-stage VCR system; 5-7% increase in fuel economy using variable length conrods
April 22, 2013
|Working principle of FEV’s two-stage VCR system. Click to enlarge.|
Use of a variable compression ratio (VCR) could be one technology approach to reducing fuel consumption in highly boosted (e.g., downsized, turbocharged) gasoline engine, as operating an engine with higher compression ratios at low load can increase fuel economy compared to operating an engine with fixed compression ratio.
At SAE World Congress 2013, engineers at FEV reported on their progress on a two-stage variable compression ratio (VCR) system based on a variable length conrod with eccentric piston pin suspension. The small end of the connecting rod in the FEV systemis equipped with an eccentric sleeve housing the wrist pin. By rotating the eccentric sleeve, the effective connecting rod length, and thus the compression ratio, can be varied. (Diagram at right.)
IEA: carbon intensity of global energy supply has barely changed in last 20 years; “window of opportunity in transport”
April 18, 2013
|The ESCII, along with projections for three scenarios. To meet 2DS targets, the index needs to decline by 5.7% by 2020, and 64% by 2050. Source: IEA. Click to enlarge.|
In a fairly bleak assessment of global progress towards low-carbon energy, the International Energy Agency (IEA) concluded that, despite a few bright spots such as the rapid expansion of renewable technologies and the growth of hybrid and EV sales, the progress is far below that required to achieve a 2 °C pathway—i.e., to hold warming to 2 °C as outlined in the IEA Energy Technology Perspectives 2012 (ETP) 2 °C Scenario (2DS). The assessment came in an annual report to the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM).
To illustrate this inertia, the report, Tracking Clean Energy Progress, introduced the Energy Sector Carbon Intensity Index (ESCII), which shows how much carbon dioxide is emitted, on average, to provide a given unit of energy. The global energy supply became 6% cleaner from 1971 to 1990,in response to the oil shocks of the 1970s. Since 1990, however, the ESCII (2010 = 100) has remained essentially static, changing by less than 1%. In 1990 the underlying carbon intensity of supply was 57.1 tCO2/TJ (2.39 tCO2/toe); in 2010 it was 56.7 tCO2/TJ (2.37 tCO2/toe).
Achates Power developing light-duty two-stroke opposed-piston diesel engine: the OP4
April 17, 2013
|The OP4 light-duty opposed-piston diesel. Click to enlarge.|
Achates Power, which is developing a family of two-stroke, compression-ignition (CI) opposed-piston (OP) engines, has designed and is developing a light-duty diesel concept engine, the OP4. The OP4 is a two-stroke, inline two-cylinder, four-piston diesel with a swept volume of 1.5 liters.
With nominal power of 96 kW (129 hp) @ 4000 rpm and maximum torque of 325 N·m (240 lb-ft) @ 1750-2250 rpm (achieved at 14 bar BMEP), the engine will meet Euro 6 and LEV 3 emissions requirements and shows modeled best point fuel consumption of 189 g/kWh. Benchmarked against the Mercedes-Benz 1.8-liter OM651 Euro 5 engine, said Fabien Redon VP, Technology Development at Achates Power, the OP4 design shows a modeled 13.5% cycle-average fuel consumption advantage. Redon presented the basics of the OP4 engine concept at the SAE High Efficiency IC Engine Symposium in Detroit.
Delphi advancing Gasoline Direct-Injection Compression-Ignition engine concept; new two-stage supercharger/turbocharger boost system
April 12, 2013
At SAE World Congress next week in Detroit, Delphi Automotive will present two technical papers describing its ongoing progress with the Gasoline Direct-Injection Compression-Ignition (GDCI) engine concept. (Earlier post.)
GDCI is an advanced low-temperature combustion concept that uses compression ignition under lean to near stoichiometric fueling conditions over the complete engine operating range. Previous studies of GDCI have shown good potential for very high efficiency, low NOx, and low PM over the full speed-load range. GDCI achieves low-temperature combustion using multiple-late injection (MLI), intake boost, and cooled EGR.
Alset dual-fuel Hybrid Hydrogen system to debut in Aston Martin Rapide S at the Nürburgring
|Alset’s dual-fuel Hybrid Hydrogen system. Click to enlarge.|
A prototype, twin-turbo, Aston Martin Rapide S at the 41st ADAC Zurich 24 Hours of Nürburgring (19-20 May 2013) will debut Alset Global’s dual fuel Hybrid Hydrogen system, which enables the turbocharged 6.0-liter V12 engine car to run on pure gasoline or hydrogen or a blend of both.
Austria-based Alset Global’s Hybrid Hydrogen system comprises a hydrogen fuel rail, storage tank and proprietary engine management system. The system can use either pure hydrogen, gasoline or a blend of both to deliver optimum power, acceleration and CO2 reduction.
Ford launches the 1.5L EcoBoost engine; first in Mondeo, Fusion following; computer-controlled clutch on water pump
|Ford’s 1.5L EcoBoost engine. Click to enlarge.|
Ford Motor Company officially launched the new 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine into its lineup. The new engine will be first introduced in China in the all-new Ford Mondeo, making its public debut later this month at Auto Shanghai 2013 (earlier post), with applications following in the Fusion sedan in North America this year, and later the new Mondeo in Europe.
The 1.5-liter EcoBoost is the first engine from Ford to incorporate a computer-controlled clutch on the belt-drive water pump, which further improves efficiencies by reducing warm-up time. A water-cooled charge air cooler is added to offer a more efficient feed of air into the engine.
President’s FY2014 Budget boosts DOE vehicle technology spending 75% to $575M; $282M for advanced biofuels
April 10, 2013
President Obama’s FY 2014 budget proposal submitted to Congress provides $28.4 billion in discretionary funds for the Department of Energy, an 8% increase above the 2012 enacted level. Among the direct transportation-related highlights of the department’s budget proposal are $575 million for advanced vehicle technologies research, an increase of 75% over the enacted 2012 level; $282 million for the next-generation of advanced biofuels research; and the $2 billion Energy Security Trust to transition cars and trucks off of oil. (Earlier post.)
Other highlights include more than $5 billion (+5.7% over the 2012 enacted level) for the Office of Science for basic research and research infrastructure; $615 million to increase the use and decrease the costs of clean power from solar, wind, geothermal, and water energy; $365 million in advanced manufacturing research and development; and $147 million in research and development of smart grid investments, cybersecurity for energy control systems, and permitting, sitting, and analysis activities.
Opel to launch 3 new engine families, 13 new engines by 2016
Opel is launching three new engine families and 13 new engines between 2012 and 2016, renewing 80% of its engine portfolio. In the same period the company will also launch a number of new transmissions.
Opel—in which GM has said it will invest €4 billion (US$5.3 billion) through 2016—is beginning the renewal of its powertrain portfolio now with the introduction of all-new 1.6-liter gasoline and diesel engines, together with next generation five- and six-speed gearboxes. They will be joined by the end of this year by a new small-displacement gasoline engine family.
LaunchPoint completing SBIR project on electromechanical valve actuator for fully variable valve system
April 09, 2013
|Concept of valve implementation on 4-cylinder head. Source: LaunchPoint. Click to enlarge.|
LaunchPoint Technologies, Inc. is completing Phase II of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant (IIP-1058556) from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to design and test a novel electromechanical valve actuator designed specifically to control a low-cost, high efficiency valve actuation system that achieves fully variable control over the duration and phase of an engine’s intake valve.
Phase I of the project (NSF SBIR Award No. IIP-0945595) demonstrated a compact, linear-motion actuator capable of driving a typical engine valve. LaunchPoint designed and tested a prototype actuator using the magnetic spring technology originally developed for a high-speed switching mechanism in a space application (US Patent 7,265,470).
Zhongding Power to invest more than $200M to build EcoMotors opoc plant in China
p> Zhongding Power and EcoMotors have entered an agreement for the production of the opoc (opposed-piston, opposed cylinder) engine (earlier post). One of the largest automotive component conglomerates in China, Zhongding will finance and construct the first opoc plant in the Anhui Province.
The plant represents an investment by Zhongding of more than US $200 million and will have a capacity of about 150,000 engines per year—or more than US $1 billion in revenue potential. High-volume production is expected to begin in 2014.
Volvo Car Group’s new VEA diesels will use i-ART injection systems for improved fuel consumption
April 08, 2013
Volvo Car Group’s new engine family VEA (Volvo Engine Architecture) (earlier post) will be launched this autumn with i-ART injection technology that helps to cut fuel consumption in the new diesel engines. i-ART (intelligent-Accuracy Refinement Technology) was developed by Denso and introduced at the IAA 2011. (Toyota is also using i-ART systems in upcoming 3.0L commercial diesel engines. Earlier post.)
i-ART features a closed-loop control system—the system autonomously adjusts the fuel injection quantity and timing to their optimal targets based on feedback from injectors. To do this, each injector is equipped with a pressure sensor that communicates its fuel pressure to the engine ECU.
GM investing $332M in 4 sites to produce new Ecotec small gasoline engine, 8-speed, V6
April 05, 2013
General Motors Co. will invest nearly $332 million in four manufacturing sites to produce more fuel-efficient engines and transmissions. The investments at GM plants in Flint and Bay City, Mich.; Toledo, Ohio; and Bedford, Ind. will support production of a new Ecotec small gasoline engine, a new V6 engine, 8-speed transmission, and tooling for an existing 6-speed transmission.
The new small Ecotec gasoline engine is part of a new global engine family that could top 2 million engines a year by the end of the decade, based on production in Flint and other locations around the world. The new family comprises a range of three- and four-cylinder engines in displacements from 1.0L to 1.5L and is the result of an engineering partnership between GM and the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (SAIC), Shanghai General Motors (SGM) and the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC). (Earlier post.)
Ford unveils 1.5L EcoBoost engine in new Mondeo in China (corrected)
April 04, 2013
Ford unveiled the new, fifth-generation global Mondeo in China, the first Ford to be equipped with the new 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine. The new
3 4-cylinder, 1.5L EcoBoost is the fifth and latest member to join Ford’s global family of EcoBoost engines, which includes a 1.0-liter three-cylinder, 1.6- and 2.0-liter four-cylinders, and two 3.5-liter V6 variants.
Ford’s EcoBoost technology combines direct fuel injection, turbocharging and variable valve timing to enable a downsized engine to gain fuel economy by up to 20% over larger engines with no loss of performance. The 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine is projected to produce 132 kW (177 hp) of power at 6,000 rpm and peak torque of 240 N·m (177 lb-ft) from 1,500 to 4,500 rpm.
US EPA proposing allowing high-octane, higher ethanol content fuels as part of Tier 3 regs; E30 as example
April 03, 2013
As part of the proposed Tier 3 rulemaking on vehicle emissions and gasoline sulfur content released last week (earlier post), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to allow vehicle manufacturers to request approval for an alternative certification fuel—such as a high-octane 30% ethanol by volume (E30) blend—for vehicles they might design or optimize for use on such a fuel.
Higher octane fuels can lead to higher compression ratios which in turn can lead to more efficient gasoline engines and reduced fuel consumption. With turbocharged gasoline engines, there is a double benefit: higher compression ratios and increased boost. (Earlier post.) Having approval for such a high octane certification fuel would, the EPA proposed in the Tier 3 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking:
GM: new Sierra 5.3L V-8 EcoTec3 highway fuel economy tops Ford EcoBoost V-6
April 01, 2013
|2014 5.3L V-8 EcoTec3 AFM VVT DI (L83) for Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. Click to enlarge.|
The 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 full-size pickup truck features a new 5.3L EcoTec3 V-8 engine (earlier post) equipped with direct injection, cylinder deactivation (AFM) and variable valve timing to achieve EPA estimates of 16 mpg city (14.7 l/100 km) and 23 highway (10.2 l/100 km) with two-wheel drive or 16/22 mpg (14.7/10.7 l/100 km) with four-wheel drive.
In addition to highway fuel economy estimates that are 2 mpg higher than a 2013 Ford V8 pickup equipped with a 5.0L Ti-VCT V-8 and 3 mpg higher than a Ram V8, Sierra’s new V-8 highway fuel economy estimates also measure higher than those of the 2013 Ford F-150 EcoBoost V-6 (23 mpg for the Sierra, 22 mpg for the Ford EcoBoost F-150), GM noted.
New 2014 Jeep Cherokee features up to 31 mpg highway, 9-speed transmission; driver assistance firsts
March 27, 2013
|2014 Jeep Cherokee. Click to enlarge.|
Chrysler introduced the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee mid-size SUV at the New York International Auto Show. The new Cherokee features a segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission, developed in partnership with ZF; fuel economy improvements of more than 45% versus the outgoing Liberty model; and more than 70 advanced safety and security features.
Powered by the choice of two new engines mated to the nine-speed, the Cherokee features expected highway fuel economy ratings of up to 31 mpg US (7.6 l/100 km) and a driving range on a tank of gasoline of nearly 500 miles (805 km).
California Energy Commission awards more than $5.5M for green transportation projects and $1.8M for 20 energy research projects
March 21, 2013
The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved $5,580,773 for clean-energy transportation projects including biodiesel production, power control electronics for medium-and heavy-duty battery electric vehicles, and buydowns for propane vehicles. The awards were made through the Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program.
In addition, CEC awarded $1,815,274 to fund 20 energy research projects in the areas of transportation, electricity, and natural gas. Funds for these projects—which span areas as diverse as a new crossover valve for the split-cycle Tour Engine (earlier post) to a new solar thermal storage device capable of integration with utility scale solar thermal power plants—come from Commission’s Energy Innovations Small Grant (EISG) program.
Study explores impact of alcohol-gasoline blends with early inlet valve closing at low and moderate loads on EGR tolerance
March 20, 2013
A team from Brunel University, MAHLE Powertrain and University College London studied the combined effects of different inlet valve operating strategies on combustion, performance and emissions with different ethanol and 1-butanol blends with gasoline in a single-cylinder spark-ignition research engine equipped with a fully variable valvetrain. Their paper is published in the journal Fuel.
The focus was to better quantify the effects of alcohol content and Early Inlet Valve Closing (EIVC) operation on EGR tolerance under the lowest speed-load conditions typically encountered (e.g., engine idle) while also quantifying the changes in optimum valvetrain settings at moderate speeds and loads where the effects of varying EGR tolerance were less dominant.
NRC report concludes US LDVs could cut oil consumption and GHGs by 80% by 2050; reliance on plug-ins, biofuels and hydrogen; strong policies mandatory
March 18, 2013
|Projected rates of fuel consumption improvement under different scenarios relative to past experience and the 2016 and 2025 CAFE standards. Source: NRC. Click to enlarge.|
Light-duty vehicles (LDVs) in the US may be able to reduce petroleum use by 50% by 2030, and by 80% by 2050; and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80% by 2050, according to the newly published results of a two-year study by a committee convened by the National Research Council.
Achieving those goals will will be difficult—but not impossible to meet—and will necessitate a combination of more efficient vehicles; the use of alternative fuels such as biofuels, electricity, and hydrogen; and strong government policies to overcome high costs and influence consumer choices. Given the importance of policy as a driver, the committee was also asked—somewhat unusually for a study of this kind—to explore policies, noted Douglas M. Chapin, principal of MPR Associates, and chair of the committee that wrote the report.
Cadillac twin-turbo V6 and 8-speed transmission debut in 2014 CTS sedan
|2014 3.6L V-6 VVT DI Twin Turbo (LF3) for Cadillac CTS. Click to enlarge.|
Cadillac announced details of a new Twin-Turbo V-6 engine and eight-speed transmission—firsts for the brand and signature features of the all-new 2014 Cadillac CTS midsize luxury sedan debuting next week at the New York Auto Show.
Rated at an SAE-certified 420 horsepower (313 kW) and 430 lb-ft of torque (583 N·m ), it is the most powerful V-6 ever from General Motors. It is also the most power-dense six-cylinder engine in the midsize luxury segment, with 118 hp/liter (88 kW/liter). GM estimated fuel economy for the CTS with Twin-Turbo is 17 mpg city (13.8 l/100 km) and 25 mpg highway (9.4 l/100 km).
EPA annual report on CO2, fuel economy and technology trends finds 2012 heading for all-time best; rapid adoption of new technologies
March 15, 2013
|Adjusted CO2 emissions and adjusted fuel economy, MY 1975-2011. Source: EPA. Click to enlarge.|
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its annual report summarizing key trends in carbon dioxide emissions, fuel economy, and CO2- and fuel economy-related technology for gasoline- and diesel-fueled personal vehicles sold in the United States, from model years (MY) 1975 through 2012.
Data for MY 2011 are final; data for MY 2012 are preliminary and based on projected vehicle production values provided to EPA by manufacturers. The report finds that CO2 emissions rates and fuel economy values reflect a very favorable multi-year trend beginning in MY 2005. The fleet-wide average real world MY 2011 personal vehicle CO2 emissions value is 398 g/mi and average fuel economy is 22.4 mpg (10.5 l/100 km), both slightly worse relative to MY 2010. Preliminary projections for MY 2012 are 374 g/mi CO2 emissions and 23.8 mpg (9.9 l/100 km), which, if realized, would be all-time records and amongst the largest annual improvements since 1975.
DOE TEF project finds US can eliminate petroleum and reduce GHG by more than 80% in transportation by 2050; less use, more biofuels, expansion of electricity and hydrogen
|TEF project points to deep cuts in petroleum and emissions in the transportation sector by focusing on modes, fuels, and demand. Source: DOE. Click to enlarge.|
The US Department of Energy (DOE) released findings from a new project—Transportation Energy Futures (TEF)—that concludes the United States has the potential to eliminate petroleum use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than 80% in the transportation sector by 2050. The project identifies possible paths to a low-carbon, low-petroleum future in the US transportation sector, and also looks beyond technology to examine the marketplace, consumer behavior, industry capabilities, and infrastructure.
TEF is organized into four research areas: light-duty vehicles; non-light-duty vehicles; fuels; and transportation demand. Findings are being detailed in a series of nine reports, six of which are now available.
ExxonMobil: diesel will surpass gasoline as the number one global transportation fuel by 2020
March 09, 2013
|Transportation fuel mix in millions of oil-equivalent barrels through 2020. Source: ExxonMobil Outlook. Click to enlarge.|
Diesel will surpass gasoline as the number one transportation fuel worldwide by 2020 and continue to increase its share through 2040, according to ExxonMobil’s recently published Outlook For Energy: A View To 2040. The relative shift away from motor gasoline to diesel is driven by improving light-duty vehicle fuel economy and the growth in commercial transportation activity. Diesel demand accounts for 70% of the growth in demand for all transportation fuels through the forecast period to 2040.
Fuel demand for heavy-duty vehicles, the largest subsector, sees the greatest growth, up 65%, and accounts for 40% of all transportation demand by 2040. About 80% of the growth in commercial transport demand will come from developing nations, according to the forecast. Fuel for aviation and marine will increase about 75% and 90%, respectively, over the Outlook period, with their combined share growing from about 20% today to more than 25% by 2040.
SwRI launches HEDGE-III; high-efficiency gasoline engine consortium targets LEV III, best efficiency of 43%
March 08, 2013
|HEDGE-III will investigate solutions to the primary barriers to high efficiency in gasoline engines. Source: SwRI. Click to enlarge.|
Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has launched its third cooperative research program aimed at developing a high-efficiency gasoline engine for the light-duty automotive and medium-duty engine markets. This four-year effort will expand on earlier efforts to improve gasoline engine technology for future emissions and fuel economy requirements. (Earlier post.)
The HEDGE-III (High-Efficiency Dilute Gasoline Engine) consortium incorporates new and more aggressive efficiency, performance and emissions goals that are in line with existing and potential future regulations and expectations.
GM CEO outlines highlights of fuel economy plan through MY2016: lightweighting; more efficient gasoline and clean diesel engines, electrification
March 07, 2013
Within his talk about the need for a US energy policy at the IHS CERAWeek 2013 energy conference in Houston, GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson outlined some highlights of the company’s fuel economy plan through the 2016 model year.
The auto industry should play a central role in the energy discussion, Akerson noted, because light-duty vehicles account for about 60% of total transportation energy usage in the United States. Automakers are currently deploying and developing technologies that will satisfy customers and make an enormous contribution to energy security at the same time, he added. The near-term elements of GM’s fuel economy efforts he adduced are:
Peugeot 2008 crossover delivers CO2 emissions as low as 99g/km for gasoline, 98 g/km for diesel
March 06, 2013
|The 2008 on display in Geneva. Click to enlarge.|
Peugeot’s new 2008 B-Segment urban crossover, introduced at the Geneva Motor Show, leverages its light-weight design, aerodynamic silhouette and a wide range of gasoline and diesel engines equipped with Stop&Start—including a new generation of 3-cylinder gasoline engines—to offer fuel consumption and CO2 emissions as low as 3.8 l/100km (62 mpg US) and 98g/km for diesel, and 99g/km for gasoline.
New generation of 3-cylinder gasoline engines. The PSA Peugeot Citroën Group designed the new generation of 3-cylinder gasoline engines, which, while maintaining comparable output to 4-cylinder engines, are more compact and lightweight (a 21 kg reduction of the 1.2-liter VTi over a 4-cylinder counterpart). (Earlier post.)
UTS study details efficiency benefits of combining ethanol direct injection with gasoline port injection
February 25, 2013
|Variation of indicated thermal efficiency with increased EER at 3500 rpm and light load. Zhuang and Hong, 2013. Click to enlarge.|
A new study by researchers at the University of Technology, Sydney (Australia) is contributing more detail on the leveraging effect of combining ethanol direct injection with gasoline port injection (EDI + GPI) to reduce gasoline consumption in a spark ignition engine while retaining performance. (The EDI + GPI concept was proposed by MIT researchers in 2005. Earlier post.)
Existing methods of using ethanol fuel—e.g., in blends with gasoline or neat—do not make the best use of ethanol’s potentials in improving engine performance, they noted in a paper on their work in the journal Fuel. Ethanol possesses a higher octane number and latent heat of vaporization, which allow the use of higher compression ratios and consequently can lead to the increased thermal efficiency. Ethanol fuel’s higher combustion velocity could also help increase the combustion efficiency and minimize the energy loss.
DLR team develops demonstrator of free-piston linear generator as range extender for EVs; technology transfer to Universal Motor Corp.
February 20, 2013
|35 kW free-piston linear generator module. Click to enlarge.|
Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) Institute of Vehicle Concepts in Stuttgart have developed a demonstrator multi-fuel free-piston linear generator (FPLG, or Freikolbenlineargenerator, FKLG in German) as a range extender for electric vehicles. The FPLG comprises an internal combustion component, a linear generator and a gas spring; the researchers have demonstrated the feasibility of the technology on a test bench specifically developed for this purpose.
The free-piston linear generator works in a similar manner to a conventional combustion engine, but instead of converting the linear movement of the piston into the rotational movement of the crankshaft, it generates electricity directly. A fuel-air mix is ignited in the combustion chamber. This expands and pushes the piston towards the gas springs. These springs decelerate the piston movement and push it back. The linear generator converts the kinetic energy of the piston into electricity and this in turn powers the electric motor.
Update on Nissan’s new front-engine, front-wheel drive hybrid system
At the SAE 2013 Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Technology Symposium in Anaheim this week, Owen Thunes, Senior Project Engineer, Zero Emissions Research Group at Nissan, provided an updated overview of the company’s development efforts on the upcoming FF (Front-engine, Front-wheel drive) hybrid system.
As background, in 2010, Nissan introduced the FR-Hybrid system, a front-engine, rear-wheel drive one-motor, two clutch powertrain offered in the Infiniti M. (Earlier post.) The FF-Hybrid is the front-wheel drive successor to FR-Hybrid. Like the FR-Hybrid, FF-Hybrid also uses Nissan’s one-motor, two-clutch configuration, which Nissan calls Intelligent Dual Clutch control.
New Nissan Note to make world premiere at Geneva show; as low as 95 g/km CO2
February 18, 2013
|Built on Nissan’s lightweight V platform, the new Note combines a long wheelbase and short overhangs to create a sporty, agile look. Click to enlarge.|
The new Nissan Note will make its world debut in European specification at the Geneva Motor Show on 5 March. The B-segment offering will feature a package of driver assistance and safety technologies, along with three engine options, with CO2 outputs from as low as 95 g/km. Nissan’s intelligent stop-start ignition system is fitted to all models, further boosting efficiency and minimizing CO2 emissions.
Both new Note gasoline engines displace 1,198cc and are lightweight, compact and efficient three-cylinder 12-valve units. The imbalances that can often be highlighted in a three-cylinder engine have been overcome with the introduction of a number of engineering innovations, including an offset counterweight on the crank pulley that cancels out the vertical vibration caused by piston travel. As a result, this engine enjoys the same refinement levels of a four-cylinder unit, Nissan says.
Qoros premieres first production vehicle, hybrid concept at Geneva
February 15, 2013
|Qoros 3 sedan. Click to enlarge.|
Qoros Automotive, an equal joint venture partnership founded in 2007 between China-based Chery Automobile and Israel Corporation, is presenting the world premiere of its first series production vehicle, the C-segment Qoros 3 Sedan, at the Geneva International Motor Show. In addition, the automaker is presenting two concepts based on the Qoros 3: the Cross Hybrid Concept and the Estate Concept.
The Qoros 3 Sedan, which is entering a pre-production development phase after two summers and two winters of testing at locations around the world, is due to be launched in China in the second half of 2013, with first European sales following later in the year. The launch of further Qoros models is then planned at intervals of approximately six months. Rapid expansion of the model range is possible due to a modular vehicle architecture developed in-house, the company said.
Opel to introduce new Euro 6 1.6 CDTI diesel in Geneva; 57 mpg US in the Zafira Tourer
February 14, 2013
|The new 1.6 CDTI diesel delivers 100 kW/136 hp and 320 N·m of torque for fuel consumption in the Zafira Tourer of 4.1 l/100 km and 109 g/km CO2. Click to enlarge.|
At the Geneva Motorshow (7-17 March, 2013) Opel will introduce a new generation diesel engine, the 1.6 CDTI ECOTEC—its cleanest diesel yet—in the seven-seater Zafira Tourer. Equipped with Opel’s “BlueInjection” SCR (selective catalytic reduction) technology, the engine already meets Euro 6 emissions limits. (The coming Euro 6 specs target 0.08 g/km NOx for passenger car diesels, compared to 0.18 g/km for Euro 5. Euro 6 levels are still higher than the US Tier 2 Bin 5 NOx standard.)
The new generation 1.6 CDTI ECOTEC unit delivers 100 kW/136 hp and 320 N·m (236 lb-ft) of torque, with fuel consumption of 4.1 l/100 km (57 mpg US) and 109 g/km CO2 in the Zafira Tourer. The new advanced Opel four-cylinder 1.6-liter diesel engine not only sets benchmarks for performance with its high power and torque density but also for refinement with an very low level of noise, vibration and harshness, Opel says.
New Audi S3 Sportback cuts fuel consumption 18% from predecessor
February 13, 2013
Audi has overhauled the 2.0 TFSI four-cylinder engine in its new S3 Sportback; the only thing in common with its predecessor is a displacement of 1,984 cc. Its rated output of 221 kW (300 hp) is available at 5,500 rpm; maximum torque of 380 N·m (280 lb-ft) is constantly available from 1,800 to 5,500 rpm.
The 2.0 TFSI consumes 6.9 liters per 100 km (34 mpg US) on average when paired with the S tronic (7.0 liters [33.6 mpg US] with the manual transmission). This engine thus requires 1.5 liters per 100 km less compared to the previous S3 Sportback, a reduction of 18%.
Chevrolet debuts 2014 Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel for US and Canada
February 07, 2013
|2014 Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel engine. Click to enlarge.|
Chevrolet is entering the US and Canadian diesel car markets this summer with a 2.0L turbo-diesel version of the Cruze. Assembled in Lordstown, Ohio, the 2014 Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel has demonstrated an estimated 42 mpg (5.6 l/100km) on the highway. Final fuel economy ratings and power specs will be released closer to the on-sale date.
The compact sedan’s new Tier 2 Bin 5 2.0L turbo-diesel engine is based on a proven 2.0L architecture already used in European models, where approximately 40% of all Cruze models sold feature a diesel engine. The GM engineering team—comprising engineers from the US, Germany and Italy—altered the base engine to address four main areas: emissions; on-board diagnostics; operation in more difficult environmental conditions; and operation at higher altitudes. The engine is manufactured in Kaiserslautern in Germany.
SAE High Octane Fuels Symposium: Is a new high-octane fuel a pragmatic pathway for higher engine efficiency in the US? (part 2)
February 06, 2013
As highlighted at the 2013 SAE International High Octane Fuels Symposium (HOF) last week, high octane fuels—combined with optimized engines—are viable enablers to higher efficiency operation. When ethanol is used as the octane enhancer, there is an added benefit due to the latent heat of vaporization of that fuel. (Earlier post.)
As articulated by Dr. Jim Szybist from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), one vision of a high-octane ethanol fuel infrastructure and distribution system could include a standardized high ethanol/high octane fuel with ethanol content probably in the E20-E50 range. Refiners would continue to produce two high volume products in the gasoline boiling range: the Exx BOB (Blendstock for Oxygenate Blending) would have a low octane requirement (e.g., RON ~85), and be inexpensive for refiners to produce. Gasoline or E10 BOB would be premium-grade fuel for total coverage of legacy fleet.
Consumer Reports testing finds many small turbo engines underperforming; fuel economy, acceleration no better than in larger conventional powertrains
February 05, 2013
Consumer Reports’ own fuel economy tests of vehicles equipped with small turbocharged engines has found in many cases that the turbocharged cars tested by CR have slower acceleration and no better fuel economy than the models with larger conventional engines, the organization said.
Consumer Reports tests many cars with small, turbocharged engines, and many competitors with traditional, naturally aspirated engines, large and small. Based on the EPA fuel-economy estimates, many of the charged engines look better. However, CR testers found those results don’t always map to real world driving and Consumer Reports’ own fuel economy tests.
PSA to commercialize SwRI-developed Dedicated-EGR technology in high-efficiency gasoline engines by 2018
February 04, 2013
|The D-EGR concept dedicates one (or more) cylinders to EGR production and fuel reforming. Source: SwRI, DEER 2012. Click to enlarge.|
During its recent Innovation Day presentations (earlier post), PSA Peugeot Citroën announced that it will commercialize high-efficiency gasoline engines featuring dedicated exhaust gas recirculation (D-EGR), derived from a collaborative program with SwRI in the US. PSA has filed for two patents on its work. The new engines, due to be available in PSA vehicles by 2018, will consume 10% less fuel than their predecessors across all uses, according to PSA.
D-EGR, as proposed and developed by SwRI, envisions engines with individual cylinders dedicated to EGR production to overcome the challenges associated with EGR tolerance and control. In the inaugural study reported in an SAE paper in 2009 (2009-01-0694), SwRI ran a 4-cylinder engine with cylinder 1 exhausting directly to the intake manifold, leading to a constant 25% EGR level.
Achates Power opposed-piston diesel for TARDEC will demonstrate multi-cylinder configuration
|Achates Power says that its 2-stroke OP engine offers higher best point brake thermal efficiency than diesel or gasoline engines. Source: Achates Power. Click to enlarge.|
In December 2012, the US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) awarded Achates Power, Inc., developer of a two-stroke, compression-ignition (CI) opposed-piston (OP) engine, and AVL Powertrain Engineering, Inc. a $4.9-million contract for design and construction of the Next-Generation Combat Engine. (Earlier post.)
TARDEC, commented David Johnson, Achates President & CEO, in general has used COTS (Commercial Off-The-Shelf) engines, but is now looking for better fuel efficiency and is funding its own development activity; the solicitation won by Achates and AVL is a big departure for them, Johnson said. “We won on our data. The proposal we submitted with AVL had a substantial set of data [for the engine].” Achates Power has accumulated more than 3,600 hours of dynamometer testing and achieved 47.5% brake thermal efficiency with its OP engine. (The Achates/AVL project was the sole award from the solicitation.)
Cox Powertrain and Ricardo receive MoD development contract for advanced engine concept; supercharged, opposed-piston diesel
January 28, 2013
|Single-module Cox powerhead unit. Click to enlarge.|
The UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) has confirmed its order for the next prototype stage of development of a new high-performance, lightweight diesel engine intended for marine outboard applications on the fast, rigid inflatable boats used by the Royal Navy. The Cox Powertrain engine concept—with many patents pending—is based on a supercharged, two-stroke diesel opposed piston architecture with Scotch Yoke crankshaft and a central injector position.
This engine topology promises a power to weight ratio comparable with high performance gasoline engines, whilst delivering diesel fuel consumption and a package volume around half that of a state-of-the-art diesel engine. The engine is being developed towards the demanding operating conditions of a military application in which extreme diesel performance, light weight and small package size are critical to mission performance, and must be delivered alongside robustness and high reliability of operation.
ORNL researchers quantify the effect of increasing highway speed on fuel economy
January 18, 2013
John F. Thomas, Brian H. West and Shean P. Huff
Fuels, Engines and Emissions Research Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
|Figure 1. Vehicle installed on the chassis dynamometer in the ORNL vehicle research laboratory. Click to enlarge.|
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) staff have been performing vehicle research and testing in support of the fueleconomy.gov website. This website, jointly maintained by the US Department of Energy and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), provides information such as official EPA “window label” fuel economy estimates for city, highway, and combined driving for all U.S.-legal light-duty vehicles from 1984 to present. It also offers consumer information and advice pertaining to vehicle fuel economy and energy-related issues such as driving tips. One tip is that drivers should obey the speed limit since the fuel economy of most vehicles decreases above 50 mph [80 km/h].
ORNL staff members John Thomas, Shean Huff and Brian West have worked to quantify this trend through analysis of dynamometer testing results for 74 vehicles at steady-state speeds from 50 to 80 mph [80 to 129 km/h].
Opel introducing new 1.6L diesel engine family; fuel consumption reduced by up to 10%, Euro 6 compliant
January 16, 2013
|The 1.6-liter CDTI Ecotec diesels will replace existing 1.7-liter engines and certain lower powered versions of the 2.0-liter range. Click to enlarge.|
Opel is introducing a new four-cylinder, 1.6-liter turbo-diesel engine as part of the fundamental renewal of its powertrain portfolio. The second family of new downsized power units to be introduced after the gasoline 1.6-liter SIDI Ecotec (earlier post), the 1.6-liter CDTI Ecotec diesels will replace existing 1.7-liter engines and certain lower powered versions of the 2.0-liter range.
Featuring closed-loop combustion control and an aluminum block, the new 1.6 CDTI Ecotec is the first diesel from Opel to comply with future Euro 6 emissions requirements. The engine will be available in a variety of power outputs across several carlines.
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee offers new 3.0L EcoDiesel V-6 and 8-speed for 30 mpg highway
January 14, 2013
|3.0L EcoDiesel. Click to enlarge.|
Among the many features of the new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee—introduced at the Detroit Auto Show—two in particular contribute to significantly improved fuel economy and driving performance: an optional new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine and a new eight-speed automatic transmission. That powertrain delivers 30 mpg (7.8 L/100km) highway for the SUV (4x2) and a range of more than 730 miles (1,175 km).
The new eight-speed transmission also is paired with Grand Cherokee’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine—now achieving up to 25 mpg highway and more than 600-miles driving range—and its 5.7-liter V-8, now achieving up to 21 mpg highway.
Schaeffler presents Efficient Future Mobility North America concept vehicle; cost-effective reductions in fuel consumption
|Technologies and contributions to reduced fuel consumption in Efficient Future Mobility North America. Click to enlarge.|
Schaeffler presented a new concept vehicle at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The Efficient Future Mobility North America vehicle is based on a mid-size SUV and highlights a range of Schaeffler solutions for optimizing North American internal combustion engine drive trains. All of the technologies are cost-effective, close to volume production and, when integrated into an all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicle, offer a potential combined fuel consumption savings of up to 15%.
The Schaeffler demonstration vehicle was developed in North America. The project is structured in two phases, said Jeff Hemphill, CTO of Schaeffler North America. Phase one is intended to fulfill CAFE requirements for the year 2020. The second phase will see the addition of hybrid systems with the aim of fulfilling the requirements for the year 2025.
GM debuts 2014 Stingray; direct injection, cylinder deactivation, CVVT contribute to more power and reduced fuel consumption
|2014 Corvette Stingray. Click to enlarge.|
GM staged the debut of the all-new, 7th generation Chevrolet Corvette Stingray on the eve of the Detroit Auto Show. The 2014 Corvette Stingray is the most powerful standard model ever, with a new LT1 6.2L Small Block V8 delivering an estimated 450 hp (335 kW) and 450 lb-ft of torque (610 Nm). The new LT1 combines advanced technologies, including direct injection, Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation), continuously variable valve timing and an advanced combustion system that delivers more power while using less fuel.
The Stingray accelerates from 0-60 in less than four seconds and achieve more than 1g in cornering grip; it is also expected to be the most fuel-efficient Corvette, exceeding the EPA-estimated 26 mpg (9.05 l/100km) of the current model.
KPMG survey finds global auto execs expect ICE dominance for some time; ICE downsizing and PHEVs to receive greatest investment over next 5 years; mobility-as-a-service in cities
January 10, 2013
|Biggest investments in powertrain technologies over next five years. Source: KPMG. Click to enlarge.|
Global auto executives have cooled a bit on the prospects for e-mobility, with a majority of automakers from both developed and emerging markets believing that internal combustion engines (ICE) will remain the dominant powertrain for some time, according to the 14th Annual Global Automotive Executive Survey conducted by KPMG LLP, the US audit, tax and advisory firm.
Two-thirds (67%) of respondents believe e-vehicles will represent 15% or less of total new car sales by 2025. Nevertheless, this still represents potential sales of up to 5.7 million in China, 2.5 million in India, 3.8 million in the US and 2.1 million in Western Europe.
US Army awards $4.9M contract to Achates Power and AVL for Next-Generation Combat Engine based on Achates two-stroke, opposed-piston technology
December 19, 2012
The US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) has awarded Achates Power, Inc., developer of a two-stroke, compression-ignition (CI) opposed-piston (OP) engine (earlier post) and AVL Powertrain Engineering, Inc. a $4.9-million contract for design and construction of the Next-Generation Combat Engine.
As outlined in the solicitation (TARBAATOPIC27), to serve a wide range of US combat and tactical vehicles, the engine must deliver superior fuel efficiency, high power density and low heat rejection and will be multi-fuel capable. It should also be of a scalable design to maximize value to the Government and military vehicles. To meet the program requirements, AVL proposed an engine based on the Achates Power opposed-piston, two-stroke technology, which includes more than 1,000 innovations covered by patents and patent applications. This the the sole award from the solicitation.
Frost & Sullivan consultant suggests European EV success will require radical lightweighting plus enabling legislation
December 17, 2012
|The 400 kg (curbweight) Aixam quadricycle, with a 400cc two-cylinder diesel, is an example of the size and weight needed in future city vehicles, Meilhan suggests. Click to enlarge.|
Significant vehicle weight reduction and an accompanying change of enabling regulations and norms is the way forward in the quest to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions, according to Paris-based Frost & Sullivan Senior Consultant, Nicolas Meilhan.
The car of the future is a small city car, but not necessarily electric, Meilhan suggests. The future of electric vehicles (EVs) depends on regulations from governments and the European Union, incentivizing the consumer to buy them. Legislations for taxing weight size and engine power will help produce and sell such a car. Making parking even more expensive for regular cars will help. Other incentives for small cars, such as being allowed to drive in bus lines, as practiced in Norway, would certainly improve the business case for EVs.
2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class in the US will offer new 4-cylinder diesel; new 4-cylinder gasoline direct injection engine in other markets
Mercedes-Benz has introduced the updated 2014 E-Class Sedan and Wagon, featuring an array of new driver assistance systems in addition to new fuel efficient engines. Eleven new or optimized assistance systems from the future S-Class make their world premiere in both the sedan and wagon models. (Earlier post.)
Both the E-Class sedan and wagon offer a range of gasoline and diesel engines, all coming with the ECO start/stop system as standard equipment. The gasoline engines offered in the MY14 E-Class in the US are the V6 and V8 units in the E350 and E550, which will go on sale in Spring 2013. New in the MY14 E-Class sedan is the 2.1-liter, four-cylinder diesel engine powering the E250 BlueTEC with 4MATIC all-wheel drive, available Fall 2013. The E250 BlueTEC, emissions compliant in all 50 states, generates 190 hp (142 kW) and 369 lb-ft (500 N·m) of torque, replacing the V6-powered E350 BlueTEC engine that only was available with rear-wheel drive.
Ford introduces new Transit family in North America; emphasis on improved fuel economy in commercial vehicle segment
December 14, 2012
|Highlights of the full-size Transit. Click to enlarge.|
Ford unveiled the full new 2014 Transit family of commercial vehicles for North America, comprising the full-size Transit, the Transit Connect Van, and the Transit Connect Wagon (shown earlier, earlier post). The new Transit family reflects Ford’s ongoing strategy of platform consolidation, said Raj Nair, Group Vice President, Global Product Development. In this case, Ford has consolidated two regional platforms—E-Series and the Transit—into the single Transit commercial vehicle platform.
The total commercial segment presents more potential for growth than any other segment, Nair said; global commercial vehicle sales are expected to grow by 4.8 million during the next several years to 21 million units annually by 2017. “People need to carry things,” said Jim Farley, executive vice president of Global Marketing, Sales and Service and Lincoln. “It’s that simple.”
New GM EcoTec3 engine family for 2014 Silverado and Sierra pickups; direct injection, cylinder deactivation and CVVT
December 13, 2012
|2014 4.3L V-6 EcoTec3 AFM VVT DI (LV3) for Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. Click to enlarge.|
The newly unveiled 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 pickup trucks will deliver more power, more torque and improved fuel efficiency, partly due to a trio of all-new EcoTec3 engines designed specifically for the needs of full-size truck customers. (From January through November 2013, GM has sold 506,088 Silverados and Sierras—22% of all vehicles it sold in that period.)
EcoTec3 engines feature three advanced technologies—direct injection, cylinder deactivation and continuously variable valve timing (CVVT)—to make the most of power, torque and efficiency across a broad range of operating conditions. The new engine family includes a 4.3L V6, a 5.3L V-8 and a 6.2L V-8, all matched with six-speed transmissions.
German automotive companies launch “clean-diesel” marketing campaign in US
December 12, 2012
Six German automotive companies—passenger car manufacturers Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche and Volkswagen, and the supplier Bosch—launched their first joint campaign for diesels in the US. Under the slogan “Clean Diesel. Clearly Better.” they will argue for the advantages of modern diesel passenger car technology over gasoline engines in terms of cleanliness, consumption and performance.
The new vehicle market share of light-duty diesels in the US is quite low (2.6%) compared with a diesel share of 55% in Western Europe. However, sales of diesel passenger cars by German manufacturers—representing 100% of the market in diesel passenger cars in the US—have more than doubled over the last three years. In the first nine months of the current year, around 69,600 diesel cars were sold in the USA, compared to 30,600 for the same period in 2009.
SpeedSource used ANSYS simulation software to speed design of motorsports version of Mazda SKYACTIV-D engine
December 11, 2012
|Static pressure. In-cylinder pressure contour after injection. Credit: SpeedSource Race Engineering. Click to enlarge.|
Earlier this year, Mazda Motorsports announced it would supply racing versions of the new SKYACTIV-D diesel engines (earlier post) to customer teams competing in GRAND-AM’s newly announced GX Class for advanced/clean technologies, beginning with the 2013 season. (Earlier post.) The racing SKYACTIV-D will make its official racing debut in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona on 28 January.
The motorsports version of the engine was designed by motorsports research and development company SpeedSource Race Engineering using ANSYS simulation software quickly to design the engine—in about one-third the time of the industry average—without compromising essential reliability standards for the engine’s use in a competitive racing environment. The motorsports SKYACTIV-D clean-diesel engine is the first production-based, four-cylinder racing diesel engine to be used in a major racing series.
California Energy Commission to award up to $3M for advanced natural gas engine R&D for Class 3–7 vehicles
The California Energy Commission (CEC) has issued a funding notice (PON-12-504) for advanced natural gas engine research and development concepts for light heavy-duty vehicles (LHDV) and medium heavy-duty vehicles (MHDV) (Classes 3–7) operated in fleets throughout California.
There is $3 million available from this PON, with the possibility of additional funding from related program sources. The Energy Commission anticipates selecting at least three projects for funding.
Citroën introduces first members of new 3-cylinder gasoline engine family; 1.0L and 1.2L PureTech reduce fuel consumption about 25%
|PureTech 3-cylinder engine. Click to enlarge.|
Citroën is introducing the first members of its new PureTech family of three-cylinder gasoline engines on the C3, DS3 and C-Elysée (for international markets) ranges. The PureTech engines offer equivalent or better power compared with the previous generation powerplants, combined with significantly lower fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, down by roughly 25%.
Citroën developed two different capacity versions: 1.0-liter and 1.2 liter with power ranging from 68 hp to 82 hp (50 to 60 kW). Depending on the model and the tires fitted, combined cycle fuel consumption for the new family is between 4.3 and 4.6 l/100 km (51.1 to 54.7 mpg US) and CO2 emissions range from 99 to 107 g/km.
Ford to offer new 5-cylinder 3.2L diesel in Transit van in North America next year
December 10, 2012
|Ford’s 5-cylinder, 3.2-liter Power Stroke diesel will be Ford’s second in North America. Click to enlarge.|
Ford’s all-new 2014 Transit full-size van, which goes on sale late next year, will be offered with a new 3.2-liter Power Stroke five-cylinder diesel. The new diesel engine, Ford’s second in North America, has already been applied in the global Ford Ranger truck sold in world markets (3.2 Duratorq TDCi 200). The new Power Stroke Diesel will be the only five-cylinder diesel engine available in a commercial van in North America.
While power has not been certified for North America, the new diesel engine is rated in Europe at 197 hp (147 kW) and 347 lb-ft (470 N·m) of torque.
Ricardo papers on ultra-fuel efficient gasoline engine research receive FISITA awards
December 03, 2012
|Cross-sectional view of SGDI cylinder head showing the layout of the combustion system. King et al. Click to enlarge.|
Papers on the Ricardo turbocharged spray-guided gasoline direct injection (T-SGDI) combustion system and on its HyBoost research (earlier post) took awards for most “outstanding paper” at the recent FISITA 2012 World Automotive Congress in Beijing in the “future internal combustion engines” and “future powertrain” categories.
T-SGDI. Ricardo, in collaboration with the engines business of Malaysian technology and energy company PETRONAS Research Sdn Bhd., have undertaken a four-year collaborative research program to develop the next generation of spark-ignited Spray Guided Direct Injection (SGDI) gasoline engine combustion system with robustness to blended fuels such as ethanol or methanol.
Volvo Car Group making multi-billion dollar investment in Scalable Product Architecture and Volvo Engine Architecture
Volvo Car Group, owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., Ltd. in China, is making a multi-billion dollar investment in its SPA (Scalable Product Architecture) and VEA (Volvo Engine Architecture, earlier called Volvo Environmental Architecture). (Earlier post.) The main part of the two projects will be carried out in Sweden, constituting one of Sweden’s largest ever industrial investments.
SPA (Scalable Product Architecture) is a flexible, scalable product architecture that covers most of Volvo’s future car models. It is a product range consisting of shared modules and scalable systems and components, all manufactured in a flexible production system. The first car model based on the new architecture is the next-generation Volvo XC90, which will be launched at the end of 2014.
Audi takes aggressive stance with diesel in the US; four new models and new 3.0L diesel engine; challenge to policymakers
November 29, 2012
Audi of America is taking a more aggressive stance with diesel in the US, both in terms of product offerings and in policy. In his press presentation at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Scott Keogh, the president of Audi of America, officially announced the addition of A8, A7, A6, and Q5 TDI diesel models to the Q7 and A3 TDI already on sale in the US. (Earlier post.) The new models, as well as the 2013 Q7 TDI, will feature an all-new 3.0L diesel engine, more details of which will emerge closer to launch.
During his talk, in which he referenced the “bold bet” Audi of America made three years ago with the introduction of the first A3 and Q7 TDI models, Keogh also strongly emphasized the fuel savings benefits of current diesels; touched briefly on the sustainable potential of the combination of more advanced engine technology and cleaner—including bioengineered—fuels; and challenged state and federal policymakers to open HOV lanes to diesel, rethink how the miles per gallon metric is calculated, ratchet up diesel research, and make the tax on diesel equal to gas.
Westport introduces advanced LNG tank system for natural gas trucks; unsaturated LNG for large SI engines
November 26, 2012
Westport Innovations Inc. is introducing a new on-board liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage solution that supports the use of cold (unsaturated) LNG fuel for large SI-engine vehicles that would have earlier required warm (saturated) LNG. By carrying fuel as cold LNG, the Westport LNG Tank System can increase fuel storage times and improve vehicle range by up to 10%.
There are two standards for dispensing LNG: saturated (“green” or “warm”) LNG (8 bar and ‐130 °C) or unsaturated (“blue” or “cold”) LNG (3 bar and ‐150 °C). Each type of LNG fuel is optimized for a different engine technology; saturated LNG, with its warmer temperature, creates a vapor pressure in the tank that helps deliver fuel to the engine.
GM and U Mich receive patent on plug-in series hybrid/extended range electric vehicle powertrain using multiple free piston linear alternator engines
November 25, 2012
|The GM/U Mich patent envisages using multiple free-piston engines (240A through 240D in the patent drawing). Click to enlarge.|
GM Global Technology Operations LLC and the Regents of the University of Michigan recently were awarded a US patent (Nº 8,261,860) for a plug-in series hybrid or range-extended electric vehicle powertrain using multiple free piston linear alternator (FPLA) engines.
The powertrain system—the patent application for which was filed in 2009—includes an electrical energy storage system—such as a Li-ion battery pack—and an electric traction motor. The covered hybrid powertrain uses the multiple reciprocating free-piston linear alternator engines to generate electric power for the battery pack or the traction motor.
Ford to offer 1L EcoBoost in 2014 Fiesta in North America
November 19, 2012
|1.0L EcoBoost. Click to enlarge.|
The new 2014 Ford Fiesta on sale next year will be the first vehicle available in the United States with Ford’s 3-cylinder 1.0-liter EcoBoost (direct injection plus turbocharging) engine. (Earlier post.) Though the car has not yet undergone EPA testing, Ford says it expects the Fiesta to be certified as the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid car available in the United States.
The 1.0-liter EcoBoost is a quiet, smooth-running engine that develops roughly the same output as a 1.6-liter four-cylinder with about 25% fewer moving parts. The smallest engine available in its class, Ford’s 1.0-liter EcoBoost is projected to produce 123 hp (92 kW) and peak torque of 148 lb-ft (201 N·m). In a quick preview prior to the Los Angeles Auto Show next week, Bob Fascetti, Ford director of Global Engine Engineering, outlined 10 features of the engine enabling its performance and refinement:
Additional details on Honda’s new 1.6L diesel
November 16, 2012
|Honda’s 1.6L i-DTEC engine. Click to enlarge.|
The new 1.6-liter i-DTEC diesel engine to be applied first in the Civic is the first engine from Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology series to be launched in Europe. This new engine offers 88 kW (120 PS, 118 hp) of power and 300 N·m (221 lb-ft) of torque at 2000 rpm with CO2 emissions of 94 g/km (equivalent to 65 mpg US, 3.6 l/100 km). (Earlier post.)
Reduced weight. Honda’s new 1.6-liter i-DTEC features an aluminium cylinder head joined to an open deck aluminium block. It is the lightest diesel engine in its class, weighing 47 kg (104 lbs) less than Honda’s 2.2-liter i-DTEC engine. All the individual components were redesigned to minimize their weight and size; advanced production techniques have helped reduce weight even further.
Freescale announces new high-end powertrain microcontroller; 3x performance of prior high-end unit
November 13, 2012
Freescale Semiconductor announced the new 32-bit Qorivva MPC5777M multicore microcontroller (MCU), the latest advancement in its Qorivva product line. (Earlier post.) This advanced MCU family will help automakers worldwide address regional automotive fuel economy and safety trends by enabling a new generation of engine management solutions.
Automakers are under increasing pressure from both governments and consumers to improve overall fuel efficiency across their fleet and lower polluting emissions. This is achieved partly by increasingly tight computerized control of the complete engine combustion process.
BorgWarner expects $2.3B of net new powertrain business 2013–2015; 80% engine-related; 32% in China
November 07, 2012
BorgWarner Inc. expects $2.3 billion of net new powertrain business for 2013 through 2015. Demand for the company's advanced powertrain technologies, including gasoline and diesel turbochargers; dual-clutch transmission technology; engine timing systems; and emissions products, is expected to continue to drive strong growth.
Of the total new business, approximately 80% is anticipated from engine-related products such as turbochargers, ignition systems, emissions products, engine timing systems, variable cam timing modules and thermal systems. The remaining approximate 20% is expected from drivetrain-related products including the company’s fuel-efficient DualTronic transmission technology and its traditional automatic transmission and all-wheel drive technologies.
High Performance Computing key enabler for accelerating development of high efficiency engines
November 05, 2012
|Increasing complexity of vehicle design is driving the need for better simulation and more powerful computers. Wagner and Pannala. Click to enlarge.|
The complexity of new and future vehicles—driven by the need for increasing fuel efficiency and decreasing emissions with ever-changing drive-cycle demands and environmental conditions—is adding unprecedented flexibility in design and driving the need for better simulation and more powerful computers, observed Dr. Robert M. Wagner, Director of the Fuels Engines and Emissions Research Center, and Dr. Sreekanth Pannala, Senior Research Staff Member in the Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in a keynote talk at the recent Global Powertrain Conference.
Advances in high performance computing (HPC) resources are leading to a new frontier in engine and vehicle development, Wagner and Pannala suggested, including the ability to produce detailed simulations to generate benchmark data; engineering simulations to explore the design space (e.g., injector optimization at ORNL); and reduced models for design optimization and control strategies. In general, HPC can help solve problems which were once thought unsolvable, they noted.
Navy researchers project Rotating Detonation-Wave Engines could yield 10% power gain, 25% reduction in fuel burn over gas turbines
November 02, 2012
|Model of a Rotating Wave-Detonation Engine. Head end (fuel input) is at the bottom, nozzle is at the top. The detonation wave travels around the cylinder. Source: NRL. Click to enlarge.|
Scientists at the US Naval Research Laboratory are computationally studying the complex physics of Rotating Detonation-Wave Engines (RDEs or RDWEs) as a potential means to reduce fuel consumption in the gas-turbine engines upon which the Navy is highly dependent for propulsion.
NRL researchers believe that RDEs have the potential to meet 10% increased power requirements as well as 25% reduction in fuel use for future Navy applications. Currently there are about 430 gas turbine engines on 129 US Navy ships. These engines burn approximately $2 billion worth of fuel each year. By retrofitting these engines with the rotating detonation technology, researchers estimate that the Navy could save approximately $300 to 400 million a year.
Pinnacle Engine pre-production prototype opposed piston engine shows about 27% fuel consumption improvement across different scooter cycles compared to conventional engine
October 25, 2012
|Fuel mass flow comparison shows Pinnacle engine ahead at just about all points in the map. Click to enlarge.|
A 110cc pre-production prototype of a Pinnace Engine 4-stroke opposed piston scooter engine (earlier post) showed approximately a 27% improvement in fuel consumption across different scooter cycles compared to a conventional benchmark engine in dynamometer and simulation testing by FEV.
FEV performed engine mappings in a dynamometer test cell to evaluate the fuel economy of Pinnacle’s TP90 scooter engine compared to a benchmark engine (N15) from Pinnacle’s Asian OEM partner. The obtained data was used as an input to analyze the fuel economy during three different motorcycle cycles: IDC (Indian Driving Cycle); CDC (Customer Driving Cycle); and WMTC (World Motorcycle Test Cycle).
New 450hp Small Block V8 for 2014 Corvette features direct injection, cylinder deactivation, continuously variable valve timing
October 24, 2012
|Power density. The 6.2L LT1 is almost 40 lbs lighter (and more compact) than the 4.4L BMW Twin Turbo V8, and is expected to deliver more power and comparable torque. Click to enlarge.|
When the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette arrives late next year, it will be powered by a new 6.2L V-8 delivering an estimated 450 hp (335 kW) and 450 lb-ft (610 N·m ) of torque (610 Nm) and helping to produce 0-60 times of less than four seconds. It will also deliver the most fuel-efficient Corvette ever, exceeding an EPA-estimated 26 mpg US (9.0 L/100 km) on the highway.
The new Corvette LT1 engine, the first of the Gen 5 family of Small Block engines, combines several advanced technologies, including direct injection, Active Fuel Management and continuously variable valve timing to support a new advanced combustion system with an 11.5:1 compression ratio.
Comparative study finds that B20 increases emission rates of a number of pollutants in both light- and medium-duty diesel engines at idle
October 20, 2012
|Emission rates for the 1.7 and 6.4 L engines at idle. Panels show (a) PM2.5, (b) elemental carbon (EC), (c) NOx, (d) CO, (e) formaldehyde, and (f) sum of target VOCs. Credit: ACS, Chin et al. Click to enlarge.|
A new study led by researchers at the University of Michigan compared regulated and unregulated emissions from both light-duty passenger car (1.7 L) and medium-duty (6.4 L) diesel engines at idle and load, using a biodiesel blend (B20) and conventional ultralow sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel. Their paper appears in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels.
They found that the level of emissions of regulated and unregulated pollutants in diesel exhaust depends on fuel, load, engine calibration, and exhaust aftertreatment technology. Among the findings were that at idle, B20 increased engine-out and DOC-out emission rates of CO, NMHC, PM2.5, elemental carbon (EC), formaldehyde, benzene, and other VOCs (volatile organic compounds) for both the 1.7 L/2002 calibration and 6.4 L/2004 calibration engines.
LiquidPiston introduces latest X-series version of HEHC rotary engine; targeting 58% peak BTE, 2 hp/lb power density
October 18, 2012
|Isuzu D201 35 hp diesel engine (left) and the LiquidPiston 40 hp X2 Prototype (right). Click to enlarge.|
LiquidPiston, Inc. (LPI), the developer of engines based on its High Efficiency Hybrid Cycle (HEHC)(earlier post), introduced the latest version of its X-series of rotary engines embodying HEHC at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) 2012 Directions in Engine-Efficiency and Emissions Research (DEER) Conference in Dearborn, Michigan.
The X2—which can be considered a beta version of the X1 alpha (referenced by Dr. Alexander Shkolnik, President and CEO, at the SAE High Efficiency IC Engine Symposium earlier this year, earlier post)—is a 40 hp (29 kW) multi-fuel capable rotary engine that requires no valves, cooling systems, radiators, mufflers, or other components. Expected realized brake efficiency for the X2 is 58% (peak) and 50% at partial load; power density is targeted to be around 2 hp/lb.
Opel presents new midsize gasoline engine at Aachen Colloquium; fuel consumption down 13%, torque and power up 33%
October 16, 2012
|New 1.6L SIDI engine. Click to enlarge.|
Opel revealed more details about its new mid-size gasoline engine family at the Aachen Colloquium in Germany. (Earlier post.) The all-new 1.6-liter, four-cylinder, SIDI (spark ignition direct injection) ECOTEC Turbo engines, which begin Opel’s renewal of its powertrain portfolio, deliver improved fuel consumption, performance and refinement. CO2 emissions and fuel consumption have been cut by 13% compared to the predecessor engine, while peak torque and peak power have been increased by up to 33%.
The new engine family comprises a 1.6 liter Eco Turbo with 125 kW/170 hp and 280 N·m (207 lb-ft) peak torque, as well as a Performance Turbo variant offering 147 kW/200 hp and 300 N·m (221 lb-ft) peak torque. The 170 hp engine has been developed with fuel economy, high low-end torque and elasticity in mind, while the performance of the 200 hp unit makes it the benchmark in its class. The roll-out of the new engine family—developed in Ruesselsheim, Germany—will begin in early 2013.
Nissan boosts fuel economy of 2013 Pathfinder SUV by 30%, drops weight by 500 lbs
|2013 Pathfinder. Click to enlarge.|
Nissan’s new 2013 Pathfinder SUV—the 4th generation of the vehicle introduced more than 25 years ago—utilizes a new drivetrain featuring a 3.5-liter DOHC V6 engine mated to a next-generation Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) to help provide up to a 30% increase in combined city/highway fuel economy over the previous V6-equipped model while maintaining comparable power.
Fuel economy is rated at 26 mpg highway / 20 mpg city and 22 mpg combined for the 2WD model (9.0, 11.8 and 10.7 l/100 km, respectively) and 25 mpg highway / 19 mpg city and 21 mpg combined for the 4WD model (9.4, 12.4 and 11.2 l/100 km). By comparison, the 2WD MY 2012 Pathfinder, equipped with a 6-cylinder, 4.0L engine was EPA-rated at 22 mpg highway / 15 mpg city and 17 mpg combined.
New Opel 88 g/km CO2 (71 mpg US) diesel Corsa ecoFLEX model; 26% reduction in fuel consumption and CO2, 26% boost in performance over 5 years
October 15, 2012
|Corsa 1.3 CDTI ecoFLEX. Click to enlarge.|
GM’s Opel has introduced a diesel Corsa 1.3 CDTI ecoFlex model with stop-start technology which consumes 3.3 l/100 km (71.3 mpg US)—equivalent to 88 g CO2/km in its three-door version, and 3.4 l/100 km (69 mpg US) and 89 g/km CO2) in its five-door version.
Over the last five years from the first Corsa ecoFLEX (earlier post) to this latest model, says Mike Ableson, Opel Vice President Engineering, Opel engineers have been able to reduce consumption and CO2 emissions by about 26% (from about 4.4 l/100km and 119 g/km), while at the same time increasing performance by more than 26%. The last generation Corsa 1.3 CDTI ecoFLEX, introduced in 2011, offered fuel consumption of 3.5 liters diesel per 100 km (67 mpg US) and emissions of 94 g/km CO2. Enhancements to the latest model include:
Army Research Lab team working to design piston engines optimized for JP-8
October 13, 2012
Researchers at the US Army Research Laboratory’s (ARL) Combustion Research Laboratory are working to develop engines optimized to run on JP-8 for use in military ground vehicles, stationary power generators, and small unmanned aerial vehicles. JP-8 is a kerosene-base jet fuel, similar to Jet-A for commercial aviation.
In the late 1980s, the DOD issued a “Single Fuel Forward” policy calling for use of JP-8 fuel to reduce the significant logistic burden associated with managing and transporting multiple fuels on the battlefield—albeit with Commercial Off-The Shelf (COTS) internal combustion piston engines originally designed for Diesel Fuel (DF-2) operating with reduced performance with JP-8. There are three challenges to using JP-8 in these COTS engines, according to Dr. Chol-Bum “Mike” Kweon, acting team lead of the Engines Team of ARL’s Vehicle Technology Directorate at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.:
New full LCA highlights complexity of environmental advantages and disadvantages of EVs relative to ICE vehicles; the importance of life cycle thinking
October 07, 2012
Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) have compared the emissions resulting from the production, use, and end-of-life of electric and internal combustion engine vehicles (EVs and ICEVs) in a full life-cycle analysis (LCA). They found that electric vehicles (EVs) powered by the present European electricity mix offer a 10% to 24% decrease in global warming potential (GWP) relative to conventional diesel or gasoline vehicles assuming lifetimes of 150,000 km (93,206 miles).
However, they also found that EVs exhibit the potential for significant increases in human toxicity, freshwater eco-toxicity, freshwater eutrophication, and metal depletion impacts, largely resulting from the vehicle supply chain. Their results, they cautioned in an open-access paper published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology, are sensitive to assumptions regarding electricity source, use-phase energy consumption, vehicle lifetime, and battery replacement schedules.
BorgWarner expanding variable cam timing technology for I4 engines; OEM diesel and gasoline applications in 2015
October 05, 2012
|New cam phaser for I4 engine. Click to enlarge.|
BorgWarner is expanding its variable cam timing (VCT) technology with a new family of cam phasers for inline-4 engines. The modular design supports a variety of cam phasing technologies, including cam torque actuated (CTA) and torsional assist (TA) phasers with optional mid-position lock technology. (Earlier post.) Each phaser also features an integrated center bolt and spool valve for smaller package size and easier installation.
The technology is planned to launch with a major global automaker on diesel and gasoline applications in 2015. Both will be supported by production at a new facility in Eastern Europe. The new facility complements a number of existing global facilities producing VCT technology.
Cummins Westport begins development on new mid-range natural gas engine; production by 2015
October 04, 2012
Cummins Westport Inc. has begun development on the ISB 6.7G, a mid-range 6.7-liter natural gas engine designed to meet the increasing demand for on-highway vehicles powered by natural gas. The ISB6.7 G engine will be based on the Cummins ISB6.7 diesel engine and will use Cummins Westport’s proven spark-ignited, stoichiometric cooled exhaust gas recirculation (SEGR) technology.
Exhaust aftertreatment will be provided by a simple, maintenance-free three-way catalyst (TWC). The engine will run on compressed natural gas (CNG); however, the natural gas may be stored on the vehicle in liquefied natural gas (LNG) state or as CNG.
Study suggests pulsed energy spark plug may support mainstream deployment of advanced, ultra-efficient spark-ignition GDI engines
October 01, 2012
|The Enerpulse pulseplug (“Pulstar”) features a peaking capacitor to improve energy transfer efficiency. The external form factors are the same. Click to enlarge.|
Findings in a study by a team from Texas A&M and Enerpulse (earlier post) suggest that pulsed energy spark plugs may be able to serve as enabling technology to support the mainstream deployment of advanced, ultra-clean and ultra-efficient spark ignition internal combustion engines. The pulsed energy plug may improve ignition of stratified-GDI (gasoline direct injection) engines; and further may improve the attainability of lean-burn homogeneous charge compression ignition combustion by improving the capabilities of spark-assist. Finally, the pulsed energy plug could improve natural gas spark ignition engine development by improving the ignition system.
The paper—and newer data not included in the paper—were presented by Dr. Timothy Jacobs, Texas A&M, at the ASME 2012 Internal Combustion Engine Division Fall Technical Conference last week in Vancouver, BC. (Jacobs and his colleagues from Enerpulse, the developer of the pulse energy plug, had presented an earlier paper on improvements in fuel consumption in conventional combustion with the plug at SAE World Congress in April.)
Renault-Nissan and Daimler expand scope of collaboration with two projects for fuel-efficient powertrains: engine and transmission
September 28, 2012
The Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler are collaborating on two new projects—an engine and a transmission— to accelerate development of fuel-efficient powertrains. Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn and Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche confirmed the new projects Friday in an annual media update about the Franco-Japanese-German partnership. (Earlier post.)
The new engine project is a jointly developed 4-cylinder gasoline engine family co-led by Renault and Daimler. The direct-injection turbocharged engine will feature advanced technology in a compact package. It targets low emissions as well as a significant improvement in fuel economy.
Small-displacement two-stroke H2 engine could address performance and emissions cost-effectively for recreational market; potential for Asian motor vehicle fleet
September 26, 2012
|Comparison of brake thermal efficiency and specific fuel consumption at rated power (ICOMIA Mode 5), hydrogen vs. gasoline engines. Oh and Plante. Click to enlarge.|
A team at the Université de Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada has developed a prototype small-displacement (<250 cc), two-stroke, inline two-cylinder direct-injected hydrogen engine that achieves high fuel efficiency and very low emissions. David Oh and Jean-Sébastien Plante sought to develop an engine that would be production viable in the mid-term (5—10 years) with realistic costs under the constraint of the most stringent emissions regulations.
Such an engine could provide a cost-effective solution for small recreational vehicle- and motorcycle applications. It, or a scaled-up version, could also provide a solution for the Asian motor vehicle fleet, in which two-stroke engine vehicles constitute a major share—and contribute significantly to air pollution. Oh presented a paper on the work, which was the result of two years of research activity, at the ASME 2012 Internal Combustion Engine Division Fall Technical Conference.
Direct injection of both fuels in RCCI may offer a way to decrease HC and CO emissions without sacrificing efficiency and NOx/PM benefits
September 25, 2012
|Diagram of direct injector placement used in the study; future work will use a more parallel alignment of the injectors. Wissink et al. Click to enlarge.|
By using a new strategy entailing the direct, separate injection of both low- and high-reactivity fuels, researchers at the University of Wisconsin have found another method for combustion phasing control of RCCI (reactivity controlled compression ignition) that offers the potential of decreasing the emissions of unburned hydrocarbons (UHC) and CO without sacrificing the benefits of RCCI: high efficiency and near zero levels of NOx and soot. (Earlier post.) Martin Wissink from the team presented a paper on the work at the ASME 2012 Internal Combustion Engine Division Fall Technical Conference in Vancouver, BC, this week.
RCCI is a promising dual-fuel, compression-ignition engine low-temperature combustion (LTC) strategy that uses in-cylinder fuel blending with at least two fuels of different reactivity and multiple injections to control in-cylinder fuel reactivity to optimize combustion phasing, duration and magnitude.
Toyota provides update on status of green car technology, future plans; 21 new hybrid models, new gasoline and diesel engines, transmissions, EV and fuel cell stack
|The new EQ EV offers power consumption of 104 Wh/km. Li-ion batteries are from Panasonic. Click to enlarge.|
In Japan, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) outlined the progress of development of its green technologies as well as its vehicle deployment plans through 2015. Overall, the company says, it intends to continue to work to conserve energy by improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions, and by diversifying fuel sources by encouraging the use of electricity, hydrogen and other alternative energies.
TMC plans to launch 21 new hybrid vehicles models—consisting of additional (new) models and fully redesigned existing models—from now until the end of 2015. In the area of energy conservation, TMC has developed a new gasoline engine that achieves a maximum 38.5% thermal efficiency for application in hybrids; a high-performance clean diesel engine and a high efficiency transmission. Toyota’s EQ EV will deliver electric power consumption of 104 Wh/km.
Audi developing electric biturbo for enhanced performance at lower engine speeds
September 23, 2012
|Components of the electric biturbo system on the 3.0L V6 TDI diesel. Click to enlarge.|
Among the technologies it is developing to improve the fuel consumption of gasoline and diesel engines, Audi is working on an electric biturbo system in which a secondary compressor boosts the main turbocharger at lower engine speeds.
Turbochargers are typically driven by energy from the exhaust—i.e., starting from very low revs, the rise in boost pressure and therefore torque becomes gradually greater only as the exhaust energy increases. The electric biturbo makes it possible—independently of the exhaust energy available—to build up charge pressure quickly and achieve high levels of torque even at very low revs.
IEA technology and policy reports outline paths to halving fuel used for combustion-engined road transport in less than 40 years
September 20, 2012
|IEA fuel economy readiness index status, 2010. Source: Policy package. Click to enlarge.|
Two new reports—one on technology, the other on policy—released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) outline pathways to improve the fuel efficiency of combustion-engined road vehicles by 50% by the middle of the century, saving as much as four-fifths of current annual global oil consumption.
One report, Technology Roadmap: Fuel Economy for Road Vehicles, describes the technologies needed (such as high-pressure fuel injection and wast heat recovery systems) to achieve a much more efficient road-vehicle stock by 2030, while the second, Policy Pathway: Improving the Fuel Economy of Road Vehicles, describes the policy packages, made up of fuel economy labeling, standards and fiscal policies, that can help deliver improved fuel economy. New propulsion systems requiring new fuels, such as plug-in electric vehicle systems and fuel cell systems, are beyond the scope of this technology roadmap and are treated in separate roadmaps.
New power-dense 2.0L GDI turbo with twin-scroll turbocharger and new combustion system offered in 2013 Chevrolet Malibu
|New Ecotec 2.0L turbo. Click to enlarge.|
A new, gasoline direct-injected (GDI) Ecotec 2.0L turbocharged engine is available in the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu. It is rated at 259 hp (193 kW), making it one of the most power-dense automotive engines in the industry, GM notes.
A twin-scroll turbocharger generates up to 20 pounds of boost, helping the engine optimize power delivery across the rpm band. It also produces a broad and robust torque curve, delivering 90% of the peak 260 lb-ft of torque (353 N·m) from 1,500 rpm to 5,800 rpm. This added performance comes with greater refinement, as the enhanced torque reduces downshifts and helps quiet the buzz sometimes found in four-cylinder engines.
Toyota reduces fuel consumption and emissions across the new Auris range; 13% average reduction in CO2 compared to predecessors; gasoline, diesel and hybrid
September 19, 2012
Toyota is unveiling its new Auris for the European market (earlier post), representing its first step in a product offensive in the European C-Segment. Aerodynamic improvements, weight savings and engine enhancements have reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions across the range. Toyota anticipates a 1/3 full hybrid, 1/3 gasoline, 1/3 diesel engine mix.
Average emissions for Auris—which is designed for the European market—have fallen steadily over the last years. When the first generation Auris was launched in 2007, the average emissions were 152 g/km. This fell to 142 g/km in 2009, and then down to 125 g/km in 2011 after the pioneering full hybrid version was introduced. With the launch of the new Auris, the average CO2 emissions level will drop to 109 g/km, a further 13% reduction on average compared to the previous generation.
New Federal-Mogul coated diesel piston reduces friction up to 13%; reduced fuel consumption and CO2
|Scanning electron microscope picture of EcoTough skirt coating. Click to enlarge.|
Federal-Mogul Corporation has developed a new coated diesel piston that reduces frictional losses in both light and heavy-duty engine applications. This improves fuel economy, CO2 emissions, noise and refinement. Currently undergoing development with two leading engine manufacturers, the EcoTough Diesel piston skirt coating is expected to enter production in 2013.
Building on its work with leading vehicle makers who are currently using EcoTough for gasoline applications (earlier post), Federal-Mogul has optimized the coating’s components to meet the requirements of highly loaded diesel engines.