[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.]
ATDynamics projects 200,000 semi-trailers to be equipped with fuel-saving rear-drag aerodynamics technology by end of 2017
March 11, 2014
|The patented TrailerTail design lowers vehicle fuel consumption by reducing low-pressure suction drag directly behind a trailer. Source: ATDynamics. Click to enlarge.|
ATDynamics, a supplier of semi-trailer aerodynamics technology, projects that, based on current trucking fleet adoption trends, 200,000 semi-trailers will be equipped with fuel saving TrailerTail technology by the end of 2017. TrailerTail technology, which reduces aerodynamic drag at the back of tractor-trailers and improves vehicle fuel efficiency by approximately 5%, has been incorporated into three of the Department of Energy’s SuperTruck Projects.
ATDynamics launched the patented thermoplastic composite TrailerTail design in 2010. At present, 350 US trucking companies, including top 100 US fleets such as Mesilla Valley Transportation; Prime Inc.; Roehl Transport; and C.R. England operate approximately 20,000 semi-trailers with TrailerTails.
Inside the fuel-efficient 9-speed 9G-TRONIC from Mercedes-Benz
March 06, 2014
|Design of the Mercedes-Benz automatic transmission 9G-TRONIC. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz’ new 9-speed 9G-TRONIC, the first rear-wheel drive nine-speed automatic transmission with torque converter, is making its debut in the E 350 BlueTEC as the standard transmission paired with the 185 kW (252 hp) V6 diesel. Announced in 2013 (earlier post), the 9G-TRONIC represents the seventh automatic transmission generation from Mercedes-Benz.
The E 350 BlueTEC offers an average NEDC fuel consumption (sedan model) of 5.3 liters of diesel per 100 km (44.4 mpg US). While an overall reduction in engine speed improves NVH comfort and also cuts down external noise by up to 4 dB(A), the reduced fuel consumption of the E 350 BlueTEC with 9G-TRONIC has primarily been achieved as a result of the high efficiency level of the transmission, Mercedes says.
ICCT provides policy update on proposed China Phase 4 fuel economy regulations
A team from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) has provided an update on China’s proposed Phase 4 fuel consumption standard for passenger cars. The proposal was published on 21 January 2014 by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).
The proposed regulations cover passenger cars sold in China from 2016 to 2020, and project an overall fleet-average fuel consumption of 5L/100km (47 mpg US) for new passenger cars in 2020, as measured over the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), from an expected fleet average of 6.9L/100km (34 mpg US) in 2015. This works out to an overall reduction of about 28%—6.2% annually—between 2015 and 2020.
Toyota revamps 1.0L 3-cylinder engine for new AYGO; up to 60 mpg in ECO version
March 05, 2014
|New AYGO. Click to enlarge.|
Toyota’s new AYGO, introduced at the Geneva Motor Show, is equipped with an improved version of Toyota’s award-winning 3-cylinder, 1.0-liter VVT-i gasoline engine. Still one of the lightest engines in its class, the unit incorporates numerous revisions that enhance performance and help deliver class-leading fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions.
Gasoline engines are chosen by 85% of A-segment customers in Europe. “We wanted to improve performance, as well as economy. In the A-segment, running costs are paramount—customers don’t want to spend a fortune on fuel bills. But at the same time, we didn’t want to resort to costly technology to reduce consumption, as this would have driven the vehicle price up too much. So our challenge was to come up with relatively simple yet clever ways to achieve our targets,” said David Terai, Chief Engineer of new AYGO.
Jeep introduces new Renegade small SUV; segment-first 9-speed transmission
March 04, 2014
|2015 Jeep Renegade. Click to enlarge.|
Jeep unveiled the new 2015 Jeep Renegade small SUV at the Geneva Motor Show. Designed for global markets, the Renegade offers 16 powertrain combinations globally and the segment’s first nine-speed automatic transmission.
Leveraging 4x4 technology from the new Jeep Cherokee, the Renegade offers a full-time 4x4 system (Jeep Active Drive) and a full-time 4x4 system with 20:1 crawl ratio (Jeep Active Drive Low) The Renegade is also the first small SUV to feature a disconnecting rear axle and power take-off unit (PTU) (earlier post) to provide Jeep Renegade 4x4 models with enhanced fuel economy. The system instantly engages when 4x4 traction is needed.
New 3rd generation Audi TT diesel offers fuel economy of 56 mpg
March 03, 2014
|3rd generation Audi TT. Click to enlarge.|
Audi is unveiling the third-generation of its TT compact sports car at the Geneva Motor Show. (The first generation arrived on the market in 1998.) The new TT and TTS models will be available with three different four-cylinder engines with turbocharging and direct injection. A start-stop system is a standard feature.
For the launch of the TT, the 2.0 TDI diesel will be available with manual shift and front-wheel drive. It delivers 135 kW (184 hp) and torque of 380 N·m (280 lb-ft). The new sports car can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.2 seconds and reaches a top speed of 235 km/h (146 mph). Standard fuel consumption is 4.2 liters per 100 km (56 mpg US), which translates into CO2 emissions of 110 g/km (177 g/mile).
Flybrid flywheel KERS to be integrated into a manual gearbox by Lotus-led consortium
February 27, 2014
The UK’s Technology Strategy Board has awarded Torotrak, in collaboration with lead technology partner Lotus Cars, a grant to develop a new application of the Flybrid KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) technology for integration into a manual gearbox. (Torotrak completed its acquisition of Flybrid in January. Earlier post.)
The project is valued at £4.3 million (US$7.2 million) to the consortium members and will be part-funded by the Technology Strategy Board grant, with a value of works undertaken by the Torotrak Group directly of approximately £0.7 million (US$1.2 million) over the course of the project. It will run for approximately 24 months from its commencement in the second quarter of 2014 and will see the lightweight, race-proven Flybrid KERS technology installed into one of Lotus’s signature performance road cars.
KSPG awarded $342M in contracts for new compact EGR valve
February 26, 2014
|Compact EGR valve. Click to enlarge.|
Pierburg GmbH, a member of the KSPG Group, has been awarded contracts worth a lifetime total of €250 million (US$342 million) for a newly developed compact exhaust-gas recirculation valve. (Earlier post.) Ordered by European and North American automakers, the valve will be installed in engines designed to comply with the Euro 6 emission norm.
The valve recently became a standard feature from a German premium carmaker. The other valves ordered will be installed in 2014 and 2015 when certain new engines go into production at the European and US plants of further manufacturers. With its comparatively compact footprint, the valve takes into account the continuous shrinkage of engine space on present car ranges.
New Fuso Canter with EcoEfficiency; up to 9% more fuel efficient; new hybrid
February 25, 2014
|Fuso Canter 7C15 Eco Hybrid, box body. Click to enlarge.|
Mitsubishi Fuso, 90% owned by Daimler AG, has improved the performance of its Fuso Canter light-duty truck. With 140,000 units produced worldwide, the Fuso Canter is an international hit in the light-duty-truck sector and easily the best-selling truck model at Daimler Trucks. The new Canter is up to 9% more economical than its predecessor, depending on variant and field of application. At the same time, CO2 emissions have been reduced by a similar amount.
The new Canter offers compliance with Euro 5b+ emissions for the light versions up to 6.0 t permissible GVW and Euro VI for the heavy versions. The “EcoEfficiency” models combined a number of measures available as standard for all Canter model variants. These include higher injection pressure for even more efficient fuel combustion; low-friction engine oil to reduce in-engine friction; an electromagnetic fan clutch; an optimized cooling system; a start/stop system for the engine; a new axle ratio configuration; low rolling-resistance tires for the Euro VI models; and reduced friction losses in the transmission with manual gearshift.
SwRI develops D-EGR demonstrator highlighting fuel-efficient, cost-effective engine; 10% and above fuel economy improvements
Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has built a demonstrator vehicle, based on a 2012 Buick Regal GS, incorporating the latest D-EGR (dedicated EGR) technology (earlier post), an outgrowth of SwRI’s HEDGE (High Efficiency Dilute Gasoline Engine) consortium projects (earlier post). The vehicle is currently delivering about a ~13% improvement on the FTP and 10% on the HwFET cycles, according to Dr. Terry Alger, SwRI Assistant Director, Engine & Vehicle R&D, Engine, Emissions & Vehicle Research.
Staff at the non-profit research organization presented it with little fanfare to the SwRI board of directors and advisory trustees along with 7 other research projects at the 66th annual meeting on Monday. The demonstrator will be present at the upcoming SAE 2014 High Efficiency IC Engine Symposium in Detroit in April; SwRI engineers are presenting a paper (2014-01-1190) at the SAE 2014 World Congress on the development of the demonstrator’s engine.
Ford reveals redesigned 2015 Ford Focus with 1.0L EcoBoost engine option
February 24, 2014
|2015 Ford Focus. Click to enlarge.|
Ford revealed the redesigned 2015 Ford Focus at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry. The new Focus will make its auto show debut at Geneva next week. In addition to a number of styling and technological advances, the new Focus will offer 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine with a six-speed transmission—surpassing the fuel efficiency of the previous model. (Earlier post.)
The smallest engine in the company’s growing EcoBoost family will increase the choice for Ford customers in the United States, as Fiesta is already available with the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine.
Ford unveils 2015 Expedition full-size utility; 3.5L V6 EcoBoost displaces 5.4L V8
February 19, 2014
|2015 Expedition. Click to enlarge.|
Ford unveiled the 2015 Expedition—Ford’s largest utility vehicle—in Dallas ahead of the 2014 DFW Auto Show. Texas is Ford’s largest market by sales volume, and home to the top two cities for Expedition sales: Dallas and Houston. The 2015 Ford Expedition will feature the 3.5-liter, direct-injected twin-turbocharged V6 EcoBoost engine popular in the Ford F-Series as the only engine offered in the vehicle in North America.
The new EcoBoost engine significantly changes the driving characteristics of Expedition, Ford says. Compared with the outgoing 5.4-liter V8, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost gives drivers not just better fuel economy, but more power and torque on demand at very low engine speeds.
Obama directs EPA and DOT to develop and issue next phase of fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles by March 2016
February 18, 2014
President Obama has directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to develop and to issue the next phase of medium- and heavy-duty vehicle fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards by March 2016. Under this timeline, the agencies would issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) by March 2015.
This second round of fuel efficiency standards will build on the phase 1 standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (model years 2014 through 2018) issued in 2011. (Earlier post.) Under the phase 1 program, trucks and buses built in 2014 through 2018 will reduce oil consumption by a projected 530 million barrels and greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution by approximately 270 million metric tons.
CPT presenting two papers at SAE World Congress on SpeedStart and TIGERS for 48V mild hybrid systems
Controlled Power Technologies (CPT) will deliver two technical papers at SAE World Congress in April on its SpeedStart torque assist and kinetic energy recovery system (earlier post) and TIGERS turbine integrated gas energy recovery system (earlier post) for 48V mild hybrid vehicles.
The switched reluctance (SR) motor-based SpeedStart and TIGERS technology are being incorporated into the recently announced Advanced Diesel Electric Powertrain project known as ADEPT. (Earlier post.) ADEPT combines the two technologies, which have been demonstrated individually but not yet as an integrated system, applying the low voltage concept of ‘intelligent electrification’ for the first time to a diesel car. For the ADEPT project, the consortium comprises CPT, the European Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (EALABC), Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies, Ford and the University of Nottingham. The management of the project is being handled by Ricardo.
Opel introducing ADAM with new 1.0L, 3-cylinder engine and 6-speed manual at Geneva
February 17, 2014
|The new 1.0 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo from Opel. Click to enlarge.|
At the upcoming Geneva Motor Show in March, Opel will introduce an ADAM will an all-new, three-cylinder turbo gasoline mated with a 6-speed manual transmission that is also from a new generation. (Earlier post.) Opel introduced the ADAM small car last year.
ADAM is the first car in the Opel range to receive this new, all-aluminum 1.0 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo gasoline engine that has been developed at the manufacturer’s International Technical Development Center in Rüsselsheim, Germany. The engine will come in two configurations, respectively giving 66 kW/90 hp and 85 kW/115 hp. Both deliver strong, low-end torque of 166 N·m (1222 lb-ft) from 1,800 rpm.
BMW introducing 2 Series Active Tourer at Geneva; new 3- and 4-cylinder engines, front-wheel drive
February 14, 2014
|The new compact 2 Series Active Tourer. Click to enlarge.|
The new compact BMW 2 Series Active Tourer will celebrate its world premiere at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. The 2 Series Active Tourer follows the Coupe as the second member of the new BMW 2 Series line-up and features new 3- and 4-cylinder gasoline and diesel turbocharged engines, front-wheel drive (BMW’s first), EfficientDynamics technology and ConnectedDrive.
The new engines are mounted transversely and feature a compact design along with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, at the same time as complying with the EU6 emissions standard. Fuel consumption (provisional) for the 2 Series Active Tourer will range from 6.0–4.1 liters per 100 km (39–57.4 mpg US) on the European combined cycle, with CO2 emissions ranging from 139–109 g/km.
Calif. ARB releases GHG scoping plan update; more ZEVs, “LEV IV”, MD and HD regulations; ZEV for trucks; more LCFS
February 11, 2014
The California Air Resources Board released the draft proposed first update to the AB 32 Scoping Plan, which guides development and implementation of California’s greenhouse gas emission reduction programs. The Air Resources Board is required to update the Scoping Plan every five years.
Among the actions proposed or considered in the transportation sector include aggressive implementation of the light-duty Zero Emission Vehicle standard; LEV IV emissions regulations for the light-duty fleet post-2025 (GHG reductions of about 5% per year); Phase 2 GHG regulations for medium and heavy-duty (MD and HD) vehicles; a possible ZEV regulation for trucks; more stringent carbon reduction targets for the Low Carbon Fuel Standard; and others.
Fiat updates 500L range for 2014 with new 120 hp diesel and gasoline engines, LPG version
Fiat is updating its 500L range for 2014 with two new turbocharged 120 hp (88 kW) engine options—the 1.6 MultiJet II turbodiesel and the 1.4 T-Jet gasoline—and a dual fuel LPG/gasoline variant of the 1.4 T-Jet.
120 HP 1.6 MultiJet II. The adoption of a small variable geometry turbocharger developed by Honeywell enables high torque delivery at low rpm— 320 N·m (236 lb-ft) at 1,750 rpm—and maximum running flexibility. A third-generation Common Rail injection system uses new injectors to manage up to eight injections per cycle. This enables actuating increasingly advanced strategies focused on optimizing the combustion— such as the Injection Rate Shaping (IRS) system which involves two consecutive injections so close together in time as to generate a continuous and modulated fuel supply into the cylinders.
Brunel engineers optimizing CAI combustion in 2-stroke camless gasoline DI engine
February 10, 2014
|Operating range of 2-stroke CAI fueled with gasoline, E10 and E85. Zhang et al. (2013a) Click to enlarge.|
Researchers at Brunel University in the UK, led by Professor Hua Zhao, Head of Mechanical Engineering and Director, Centre for Advanced Powertrain and Fuels (CAPF), are investigating optimizing the performance of controlled autoignition (CAI) combustion in a four-valve camless gasoline direct injection engine running in a two-stroke cycle. Most recently, this has entailed an exploration of boosting strategies, as described in a new paper published in the International Journal of Engine Research, as well as an exploration of the effects of ethanol blends.
Controlled autoignition (e.g., homogeneous charge compression ignition, HCCI) combustion processes offer the promise of simultaneously reducing fuel consumption and NOx emissions. Accordingly, the processes have been extensively researched over the last decade and adopted on prototype gasoline engines (e.g., GM’s ongoing work, earlier post).
Mercedes brings lean-burn, stratified BlueDirect to CLA-Class for 7% boost in fuel economy; new all-wheel A-Class diesels
February 07, 2014
|BlueDIRECT 2.0L, 4-cylinder direct injection engine operates in stratified lean-burn or homogeneous modes. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz announced that seven new versions of the Mercedes-Benz A-, B- and CLA-Class now offer enhanced fuel savings compared with their respective predecessors. Additionally, the A 200 CDI 4MATIC and A 220 CDI 4MATIC represent the first all-wheel-drive diesel models forming part of the new generation of compact cars from Mercedes-Benz.
The 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine of the new CLA 250 is a member of the BlueDIRECT family of gasoline engines, and was first applied in combination with exhaust-gas turbocharging and external high-pressure exhaust gas recirculation in the E 250 Coupé introduced last year (earlier post). (It is also being applied in the new C Class, as highlighted at the North American International Auto Show.) The engine—which operates in lean-burn stratified or homogeneous mode, depending on the operating state—contributes to the CLA 250’s combined cycle fuel consumption of 5.4 l/100 km (43.6 mpg US)—7% less compared to its predecessor.
2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel earns 28 mpg highway; best in segment
February 04, 2014
|2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. Click to enlarge.|
The 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel-powered 2014 Ram 1500 pickup (earlier post) has earned a 28-mpg (8.4 l/100 km) rating from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—the best highway-cycle test result achieved yet by a full-size, half-ton pickup. It also exceeds the EPA highway rating for the top-ranked small pickup. The combined city/highway rating is 23 mpg (10.2 l/100 km.)
On the gasoline side, the 2013 Ram 1500 equipped with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 gasoline engine earned 25 mpg (9.4 l/100 km) highway, a rating that stands for model-year 2014. The Ram 1500 now owns the half-ton pickup segment’s top two spots in the EPA’s 2014 highway fuel-economy rankings.
Audi introducing new “ultra” A4, A5, A6 models; diesels with up to 60 mpg
Audi is expanding its “ultra” strategy with 11 new models: especially efficient diesel engine versions in the A4, A5 and A6 model lines will be launched in Europe in early 2014. A new 2.0-liter TDI will provide the drive at 100 kW (136 hp), 120 kW (163 hp) or 140 kW (190 hp); the engine emits just 104 to 119 grams of CO2 per kilometer (167.37 to 191.51 g/mile) depending on the model.
“Ultra” is Audi’s designation for more efficient mobility that is fully available for everyday use. With a combined fuel consumption rate of 3.9 to 4.6 liters per 100 kilometers (60 to 51 mpg) and CO2 emissions of 104 to 119 grams per kilometer (167 to 192 g/mile), the new ultra models from Audi are among the most efficient cars of their segment.
New Jeep Cherokee debuting at Geneva show with new 2.0L Multijet II turbo diesel, start/stop and 9-speed transmission
February 03, 2014
The new Jeep Cherokee (earlier post) will make its European debut at the 84th Geneva International Motor Show this year. The new Jeep Cherokee will be introduced in Jeep dealerships throughout Europe beginning the second quarter of 2014, with four engine choices: the efficient 2.0-liter Multijet II turbo diesel delivering 170 hp matched witha new 9-speed automatic; a 140 hp version of the 2.0-liter diesel engine combined with a 6-speed manual; the 3.2-liter V-6 Pentastar gasoline engine paired to the 9-speed; and in Russia and the Middle East, the new 9-speed is offered in combination with the 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir I-4.
The new generation Jeep Cherokee is available in both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations, and is also the first mid-size SUV to feature rear-axle disconnect, resulting in reduced energy loss when 4x4 capability isn’t needed and ensuring improved fuel efficiency.
Mercedes-Benz unveils the new V-Class MPVs; full-size luxury diesel MPV with fuel economy up to 41.3 mpg
January 30, 2014
|Launch of the V-Class. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz unveiled the new V-Class full-size MPVs at an event in Munich. The V-Class, the successor to the Viano, is the newest and largest member of the Mercedes-Benz passenger car family. The new V-Class is equipped with four-cylinder diesel engines, offering fuel consumption as low as 5.7 l/100 km (41.3 mpgUS), or 149 g CO2/km, in the V220 CDI model.
The 2.1-liter turbodiesel engine for the V-Class offers three power output levels: 100 kW (136 hp), 120 kW (163 hp) and 140 kW (190 hp). Internally designated OM 651, the engine, which has proven itself in almost all car models of the brand from the A-Class to the S-Class, has been further developed specifically for use in the V-Class. The focus of these efforts was to combine the performance of a six-cylinder engine with the efficiency of a four-cylinder.
Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 team unveils 2014 challenger and PU106A Hybrid Power Unit; new fuel and lubricants
January 28, 2014
|The PU106A Hybrid Power Unit. Click to enlarge.|
The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS (Petroliam Nasional Berhad) Formula One Team unveiled the F1 W05, its 2014 challenger, at the Circuito de Jerez in southern Spain. Designed from the ground up as an integrated project between the Mercedes-Benz teams based at Brackley and Brixworth, this new car—the first all-new Silver Arrow to hit the track since 1954—comes in a year when Mercedes-Benz celebrates 120 years of motorsport and the 80th anniversary of the Silver Arrows.
The F1 W05 will deliver more than one-third more performance from every unit of fuel consumed. At the core of the racer is the new PU106A Hybrid Power Unit designed to meet the new philosophy and resulting requirements of Formula One. A maximum race fuel allowance of 100 kg per race, coupled with a maximum fuel flow rate of 100 kg/hour, focused development efforts on delivering performance with a set of new technologies that achieve the efficiency gain of more than 30%.
New generation VW Polo features more fuel-efficient engines and advanced driver assistance; Polo TDI BlueMotion with 73.5 mpg
|The new Volkswagen Polo. Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen is introducing its next generation of the supermini (B segment) Polo, featuring a range of new EU6 engines that are up to 21% more fuel-efficient and new driver assistance technologies. All versions are available with a stop-start system and a regenerative braking mode.
The new Polo TDI BlueMotion takes the efficiency lead with combined fuel consumption of 3.2 l/100 km (73.5 mpgUS), or 82 g/km CO2. The Polo TSI BlueMotion, available starting this autumn, also marks the first time that a Volkswagen with a gasoline engine is being marketed as an independent BlueMotion model. The Polo TSI BlueMotion, equipped with a 1-liter, three-cylinder turbocharged direct-injection gasoline engine, delivers 4.1 l/100 km (57.4 mpgUS) and 94 g/km CO2.
Report argues advanced HD natural gas vehicles foundational for California to hit air and climate goals; near zero-emission potential
|Five technology paths for very-low-NOx and GHG emissions from heavy-duty natural gas engines. Click to enlarge.|
Gladstein, Neandross & Associates (GNA), a consulting firm specializing in market development for low emission and alternative fuel vehicle technologies, infrastructure, and fuels for both on- and off-road applications, released a report examining the critical role that ultra-low-emission heavy-duty (HD) natural gas engines can play in helping California achieve its air quality, climate protection and petroleum-displacement goals.
The “Pathways to Near-Zero-Emission Natural Gas Heavy Duty Vehicles” report, authored by GNA on behalf of Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), showcases the technologies currently under development that could deliver near-zero-emission heavy-duty natural gas engines by the end of this decade.
Schaeffler demo vehicle hits 2020 CAFE targets without electrification; 15% cut in fuel consumption; 48V hybrid system for 2025
January 27, 2014
|Schaeffler Efficient Future Mobility North America demo vehicle in Detroit. Click to enlarge.|
At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Schaeffler highlighted its range of fuel-efficiency technologies and systems in the form of its current demonstration vehicle: Efficient Future Mobility North America. Based on the current version of a popular mid-size SUV, the demonstration vehicle achieves the limit values specified by the CAFE standard for 2020 with no additional electrification of the powertrain.
The use and optimization of a range of Schaeffler technologies allowed the vehicle’s fuel consumption to be reduced by 15%. These values were initially simulated using Schaeffler calculation programs and verified by Schaeffler’s experts in North America using measurements and test cycles, and then certified by an independent testing institute.
BMW introducing a 7 Series diesel model in US
January 24, 2014
|BMW 7 Series Long Wheel Base. Click to enlarge.|
BMW will introduce the diesel-engined BMW 740Ld xDrive Sedan in the US. The new model will feature BMW’s 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo diesel engine in the long-wheelbase 7 Series body and will include xDrive, BMW’s intelligent all-wheel drive system. The 2014 BMW 740Ld xDrive Sedan will have a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $83,425, including $925 destination and handling. It will make its US auto show debut at the Chicago Auto Show in February 2014 and arrive in US showrooms in Spring 2014.
The 3.0-liter inline-6 BMW Advanced Diesel engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology makes 255 hp (190 kW) at 4,000 rpm and 413 lb-ft (560 N·m) of torque from 1,500 – 3,000 rpm. It is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The BMW 740Ld xDrive will accelerate from 0-60 mph in 6.1 seconds.
Constellium and UACJ plan JV in US to produce Body-in-White aluminium sheet for the automotive industry
Constellium N.V, a global aluminum products company formerly known as Alcan Engineered Products and headquartered in Amsterdam, and UACJ Corporation (UACJ), a Japan-based global aluminum manufacturer, are joining forces with a view to supply and market aluminum Body-in-White sheet to the North American automotive industry. To achieve this goal, Constellium and UACJ, through Tri-Arrows Aluminum Inc. (TAA), (UACJ’s subsidiary with Sumitomo Corporation and Itochu Group), intend to create a joint venture company in the United States, as an equal partnership, to serve the North American market.
The JV is expected to include a continuous heat treatment and conversion line with an initial target capacity of 100,000 metric tons supplied by cold rolled coils from both partners’ rolling mills. The planned facility is designed to allow for expansion beyond 100,000 tons. The total joint investment by both parties is expected to amount to approximately $150 million.
DOE to award $49.4M for advanced vehicle technologies research; meeting Tier 3 emissions
January 22, 2014
The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award $49.4 million to projects to to accelerate research and development of new vehicle technologies. The new program-wide funding opportunity (DE-FOA-0000991) (earlier post), was announced by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz at the Washington Auto Show.
The funding opportunity will contains a total of 13 areas of interest in the general areas of advanced light-weighting; advanced battery development; power electronics; advanced heating, ventilation, air conditioning systems; advanced powertrains (including the ability to meet proposed EPA Tier 3 tailpipe emissions standards); and fuels and lubricants. These areas of interest apply to light, medium and heavy duty on-road vehicles.
Oak Ridge Lab study finds E30 blend and EGR can deliver significant efficiency improvements in optimized SI engines
January 17, 2014
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s National Transportation Research Center (NTRC) report that an E30 (30% ethanol) mid-level ethanol blend shows promise as a means for significant improvement in vehicle efficiency in optimized spark-ignited (SI) engines. Results of the study by Derek Splitter and Jim Szybist suggest that it could be possible to implement a 40% downsize + downspeed configuration (1.2 L engine) into a representative midsize sedan using this combination of optimized engine and mid-level alcohol blend.
As an example, for a midsize sedan at a 65 mph (105 km/h) cruise, estimated fuel efficiency of 43.9 mpg (5.4 l/100 km) with engine-out CO2 of 102 g/km could be achieved with similar reserve power to a 2.0 L engine fueled with regular gasoline (38.6 mpg/6.1 l/100km, engine out CO2 of 135 g/km). The data suggest that, with midlevel alcohol–gasoline blends, engine and vehicle optimization can offset the reduced fuel energy content of alcohol–gasoline blends and likely reduce vehicle fuel consumption and tailpipe CO2 emissions.
New Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan features standard nine speed transmission, expected 35 mpg highway
January 14, 2014
|2015 Chrysler 200. Click to enlarge.|
Chrysler introduced the revamped new 2015 Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan at the Detroit Auto Show. The mid-size sedan segment is one of the largest segments in North America, with more than 2 million sales annually. The 200 is the industry’s first mid-size sedan with a standard nine-speed automatic transmission, which enables expected highway fuel economy ratings of 35 mpgUS (6.7 l/100 km) when coupled with the 2.4-liter MultiAir2 Tigershark I-4 engine.
The standard Tigershark engine delivers 184 horsepower (137 kW) and 173 lb-ft (235 N·m) of torque, equating to horsepower improvements of 6% and torque improvements of 10% compared with the outgoing four-cylinder engine, with an overall fuel economy improvement of 13%. In addition to the standard 2.4-liter MultiAir2 Tigershark I-4 engine, a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine is available, which delivers 295 horsepower (220 kW) and 262 lb-ft (355 N·m) of torque.
Honda introduces all-new 2015 Fit at Detroit; more fuel efficient, with new 1.5L VTEC
January 13, 2014
|2015 Fit. Click to enlarge.|
Honda unveiled the all-new 2015 Fit at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Set to go on sale in the US this spring, the new subcompact Fit is completely redesigned, featuring a sportier style. Retaining a similar exterior footprint to the current model, the new Fit is slightly shorter (-1.6 in.) and wider (+0.3 in.) with a longer wheelbase (+1.2 in.), resulting in improved handling and maneuverability. The new Fit also delivers a significant increase in passenger volume (+4.9 cu ft) and rear legroom (+4.8 in.) compared to the previous model.
The 2015 Fit marks the US debut of an all-new direct-injected 1.5-liter DOHC i-VTEC engine. Generating 130 horsepower (97 kW) at 6500 rpm and 114 lb-ft (155 N·m) of torque at 4600 rpm, engine output is increased by 13 horsepower and 8 lb-ft compared to the outgoing engine, while reducing weight and improving efficiency.
Ford unveils next-gen F-150; up to 700 lbs lighter, new 2.7L EcoBoost with stop-start
|2015 F-150. Click to enlarge.|
Ford introduced the all-new Ford F-150 at its press conference at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The “reinvention” of this critical vehicle for Ford features an improved fully boxed ladder frame that incorporates more high-strength steel than ever, making it stronger and lighter.
Aluminum alloys are used throughout the F-150 body for the first time, improving dent and ding resistance and also saving weight. Overall, up to 700 pounds (318 kg) of weight have been saved. As one of the four engine options, the new F-150 also offers a new 2.7L EcoBoost with standard Auto Start-Stop.
GMC unveils the midsize 2015 Canyon pickup; diesel coming in 2016
|2015 GMC Canyon All Terrain SLE Extended Cab Short Bed Click to enlarge.|
GMC revealed the new 2015 Canyon midsize pickup on the eve of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Based on a proven global architecture, the new Canyon will initially offer two engines, with a Duramax 2.8L turbodiesel engine coming in the 2016 model year.
The standard 2.5L I-4 is estimated at 193 horsepower (146 kW) and 184 lb-ft of torque (253 N·m), with approximately 90% of the peak torque available from 2,000 rpm to 6,200 rpm. The 3.6L V-6 engine is estimated at 302 horsepower (224 kW) and 270 lb-ft of torque (366 N·m). SAE certification of the power ratings is pending. Both engines feature direct injection and variable valve timing.
Making driving less energy-intensive than flying
January 09, 2014
|Energy intensities of flying (blue) and driving (green), 1970-2010. Data: Sivak, UMTRI-2014-2. Click to enlarge.|
Currently, the energy intensity (BTU per person mile) of driving is 57% greater than that of flying, according to a new analysis by Dr. Michael Sivak, Director, Sustainable Worldwide Transportation at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI). To make driving less energy intensive than flying, the fuel economy of the entire US fleet of light-duty vehicles would have to improve from the current 21.5 mpg (10.9 l/100 km) to at least 33.8 mpg (7.0 l/100 km) at the current vehicle load, or vehicle load would have to increase from the current 1.38 persons to at least 2.3 persons.
In the report, Sivak considered domestic operations of all certified air carriers were considered and all light-duty vehicles (cars, SUVs, pickups, and vans) over the past 40 years. During that period, the energy intensities of both driving and flying decreased. However, the improvement for driving (17%) was substantially less than for flying (74%).
Volkswagen to intro Passat BlueMotion Concept at Detroit show; 4-cylinder with cylinder deactivation; 42 mpg highway
|Passat BlueMotion Concept. Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen of America will introduce the Passat BlueMotion Concept at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week. Based on the current Passat that was developed specifically for North America, the BlueMotion label defines the version that has the best efficiency in the model lineup. In this case, the Passat BlueMotion Concept has a manufacturer-estimated highway fuel economy of 42 mpg (5.6 l/100 km), best-in-class among non-hybrid, gasoline-engined mid-size sedans.
The Passat BlueMotion Concept features an all-new version of the Volkswagen 1.4-liter EA211 TSI engine with direct injection and turbocharging. (Earlier post.) Additionally, this Passat also offers Active Cylinder Management (ACT) technology, previously seen on the European Volkswagen Polo and Golf models.
Oak Ridge-GM prototype low-viscosity ionic liquid-additized engine oil delivers 2% fuel economy improvement over 5W-30
December 30, 2013
A team from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Motors, led by ORNL researcher Dr. Jun Qu, has developed a new group of ionic liquids as lubricant additives that could help improve the energy efficiency of cars and trucks. Prototype low-viscosity ionic liquid-additized engine oil demonstrated a 2% improved fuel economy compared to Mobil 1 5W-30 engine oil (3.93% over the 20W-30 baseline oil) in standard fuel efficiency engine dynamometer tests. The prototype oil also successfully passed a 100-hour high-temperature, high-load engine dynamometer test.
Friction is the cause of the loss of ~10-15% of the energy in an internal combustion engine; for the transportation sector, parasitic friction (primarily induced by elastohydrodynamic drag between the piston rings and cylinder liners, which is proportional to the lubricant viscosity) consumes approximately 400 million barrels of oil annually in the US. Accordingly, the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Vehicle Technologies Office, which sponsored this research, has set a goal of 2% fuel economy improvement via lubricant advances by 2015.
DOE to issue FY14 Vehicle Technologies program-wide funding opportunity announcement
December 20, 2013
The Department Of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) intends to issue, on behalf of its Vehicle Technology Office (VTO), a program-wide Funding Opportunity Announcement (DE-FOA-0000991) for fiscal year 2014 on or about January 2014. The advance notice (DE-FOA-0001053) is to alert interested parties of the coming FOA.
The areas of interest outlined in the notice of intent (NOI) fall into two broad categories: technologies to advance plug-in electric vehicles; and technologies to improve fuel efficiency, including dual-fuel, fuel properties (e.g., high octane fuels), and advanced powertrain work.
American Axle introduces EcoTrac disconnecting all wheel drive
American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) announced the introduction of the automotive industry’s first disconnecting all-wheel-drive (AWD) system. EcoTrac is featured on the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee (rear-axle disconnect).
The EcoTrac Disconnecting All Wheel Drive takes a new approach to minimizing the effect of inertia and drag on a vehicle’s driveline system by disconnecting many of the rotating components from the driveline when they are not needed. These components include both the PTU and RDM hypoid gear sets, the bearings associated with the gear sets, and the driveshaft.
Navigant Research forecasts stop-start vehicles to account for 53.4% of global vehicle sales by 2022
December 19, 2013
|Annual stop-start light duty vehicle sales by region, world markets: 2013-2022. Source: Navigant. Click to enlarge.|
By 2022, total global annual sales for light duty stop-start vehicles (SSVs) will exceed 55 million, accounting for 54.3% of total vehicle sales, according to a new report by Navigant Research. Growth in light duty SSV sales during the next decade will be predominately in the three major market regions of North America, Western Europe, and Asia Pacific, primarily because these regions are the most aggressive in their implementation of fuel economy and emissions regulations.
By then, 82.8% of vehicles sold in Western Europe, 69.9% of vehicles sold in Asia Pacific, and 42.6% sold in North America will have the stop-start feature, Navigant projects.
Airbus signs MoU with EGTS for electric taxiing solution for A320 family; projected fuel saving up to 4% per trip
December 18, 2013
As part of on-going research and development into future technology options, Airbus has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with EGTS International (Electric Green Taxiing System), a joint venture company between Safran and Honeywell Aerospace formed in 2011, further to develop and to evaluate an autonomous electric pushback and taxiing solution for the A320 Family. (Earlier post.)
The agreement marks the selection of EGTS International’s Electric Green Taxiing System to be evaluated as a new option on the A320 Family—referred to by Airbus as eTaxi. This option would allow the aircraft to push-back from the gate without a tug, taxi-out to the runway, and return to the gate after landing without operating the main engines.
New Mercedes-Benz C-Class drops weight, adds new engines, diesel hybrid, w/ plug-in to come; up to 20% cut in fuel consumption
December 16, 2013
|The new C-Class. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz has launched its new C-Class, featuring a lightweight design concept with weight savings of up to 100 kg (220 lbs); excellent aerodynamics; and new, economical engines along with a hybrid model. The C-Class is the top-selling model series from Mercedes-Benz; sales of the preceding model, which was launched in 2007, total more than 2.4 million.
Ordering for the C-Class sedan have begun in Europe, with the model range initially comprising the C180, the C200; and the diesel C220 BlueTEC. All are equipped with the ECO start/stop function and comply with the Euro 6 emissions standard. They also cut fuel consumption by up to 20% compared with the preceding model. The US market launches with two C-Class models: C300 4MATIC and C400 4MATIC.
EIA: light duty vehicle energy consumption to drop 25% by 2040; increased oil production, vehicle efficiency reduce US oil and liquid imports
Reflecting slow growth in travel and accelerated vehicle efficiency improvements, US light-duty vehicle (LDV, cars and light trucks) energy use will decline sharply between 2012 and 2040, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA’s) Annual Energy Outlook 2014 (AEO2014) Reference case released today.
AEO2014 includes a new, detailed demographic profile of driving behavior by age and gender as well as new lower population growth rates based on updated Census projections. As a result, annual increases in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in LDVs average 0.9% from 2012 to 2040, compared to 1.2% per year over the same period in AEO2013. The rising fuel economy of LDVs more than offsets the modest growth in VMT, resulting in a 25% decline in LDV energy consumption decline between 2012 and 2040 in the AEO2014 Reference case.
ExxonMobil Outlook: 35% growth in energy demand by 2040; hybrids to account for ~50% of new vehicle sales
December 15, 2013
|By 2040, hybrids are expected to account for about 35% of the global light-duty vehicle fleet, up from less than 1% in 2010. Hybrids are expected to account for about half of global new-car sales by 2040. Source: ExxonMobil. Click to enlarge.|
Driven by increasing population, urbanization and rising living standards, the world will require some 35% more energy in 2040, according to ExxonMobil’s annual forecast report: Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040. Anticipated population growth will reach nearly 9 billion in 2040 from about 7 billion today, and the global economy is projected to double—at an annual growth rate of nearly 3%—largely in the developing world.
Demand for energy in non-OECD nations will grow by about two-thirds, accounting for essentially all of the increase in global energy use. ExxonMobil projects that meeting future energy demand will be supported by more efficient energy-saving practices and technologies; increased use of less-carbon-intensive fuels such as natural gas, nuclear and renewables; as well as the continued development of technology advances to develop new energy sources. Without the projected gains in efficiency, global energy demand could have risen by more than 100%.
EPA trends report sees record levels of average new vehicle fuel economy and CO2 emissions for MY 2012; role of new gasoline vehicle technologies
December 13, 2013
Average new vehicle CO2 emissions rate and fuel economy in the US achieved record levels in MY 2012, and have improved in 7 of the last 8 years, according to the newly released Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 - 2013 (the annual “Trends” report) from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The majority of the emissions and fuel savings from current vehicles, EPA noted, is due to new gasoline vehicle technologies.
The final model year (MY) 2012 adjusted, real world CO2 emissions rate is 376 g/mi—a 22 g/mi decrease (-5.5%) relative to MY 2011. MY 2012 adjusted fuel economy is 23.6 mpg (9.97 l/100 km), which is 1.2 mpg higher (+5.4%) than MY 2011. Both values represent all-time records since the database began in MY 1975, and the authors of the report believe that these represent historical records as well. The 1.2 mpg fuel economy improvement from MY 2011 to MY 2012 is the second largest annual improvement in the last 30 years.
Torotrak to acquire remaining 80% of Flybrid for up to £23M; targeting commercial launch of M-KERS in 2015
|Torotrak’s M-KERS unit. Click to enlarge.|
Supercharger, kinetic energy recovery and transmission specialist Torotrak will acquire, pending shareholder approval, the remaining 80% of flywheel hybrid innovator Flybrid for up to £23.0 million (US$37.4 million), of which £15.0 million (US$24.4 million) is subject to performance targets. Torotrak had acquired 20% of its partner in March of this year. (Earlier post.)
Torotrak uses Flybrid’s flywheel module in its Mechanical Kinetic Energy Recovery System (M-KERS). M-KERS captures and stores energy that is otherwise lost during vehicle deceleration events. The integration of Flybrid and Torotrak provides a platform for a joint development and commercial launch of M-KERS, Torotrak said. The group intends to exploit what it sees as a market window from 2015 to 2020 in which new technologies are being demanded to achieve new EU CO2 targets applying to vehicle manufacturers’ overall fleets.
Ford to make start-stop technology available on 70% of its N. America lineup by 2017
Auto Start-Stop technology will be available on 70% of Ford’s North American vehicle lineup by 2017, the company said. Ford Auto Start-Stop can increase fuel efficiency by up to 10% in city driving.
A major part of the company’s Blueprint for Sustainability, the expansion of Auto Start-Stop comes as the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine (earlier post) is set to go on sale in the 2014 Ford Fiesta. Rated at 45 mpg EPA highway (5.2 l/100 km), the new Fiesta is the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid or diesel on the market. Ford is also researching dynamic cruise control, a technology that predicts road conditions to optimize fuel economy.
DOE awards $98M in tax credits to automakers and suppliers for clean technology manufacturing
December 12, 2013
The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced $150 million in clean energy tax credits to 12 businesses to build US capabilities in clean energy manufacturing; $98 million of that goes to five automakers and suppliers towards investments in domestic manufacturing equipment. The awards are made through the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit program (48C Program).
The Departments of Energy and the Treasury worked in partnership to develop, launch, and award the funds for this program. The Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit authorized Treasury to provide developers with an investment tax credit of 30% for the manufacture of particular types of energy equipment. Funded at $2.3 billion, the tax credit was made available to 183 domestic clean energy manufacturing facilities during Phase I of the program.
Scania to lead 3-year European research project on vehicle platooning
December 11, 2013
Scania will take the lead role in a three-year European research project to develop a system for implementing truck platooning on roads. Introducing platooning on European roads can significantly contribute towards reducing the carbon footprint of trucks. The European Union has set a goal of reducing greenhouse gases by 20% by 2020; heavy vehicles currently account for 17% of total CO2 emissions.
Through the €5.4-million (US$7.45-million) COMPANION research project, of which €3.4 million (US$4.69 million) is funded by the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme, the partners will identify means of implementing the platooning concept in practice in daily transport operations. The project also includes Volkswagen Group Research; Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Technology (KTH); Oldenburger Institut für Informatik (OFFIS) in Germany; IDIADA Automotive Technology in Spain; Science [&] Technology Corporation in the Netherlands; and the Spanish haulage company Transportes Cerezuela.
New Bosch start-stop system with coasting mode can reduce fuel consumption by up to another 10%
Bosch has developed a new start-stop system with coasting mode; the system stops the engine when the vehicle is traveling at speed, helping to reduce fuel consumption by up to 10%. The function can be combined with any type of combustion engine.
First generation start-stop systems stop an engine only when the vehicle is completely stationary; enhanced versions of this start-stop system cut the engine as soon as the vehicle is coasting to a halt—e.g., at a red light. In contrast, as soon as the driver’s foot is off both the gas and the brake pedal, vehicles equipped with the new start-stop coasting function stop the engine while the vehicle is in motion. Because the engine is disengaged, the vehicle can coast for longer than it could with an overrun fuel cutoff system, for example.
Ricardo report finds hybrid buses have higher regulated emission intensities than conventional buses; need for whole vehicle testing
December 09, 2013
While technologies for low carbon buses such as hybridization offer the prospect of significant reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared to conventionally powered vehicles, the improvement in terms of regulated emissions (criteria pollutants) may not be as great, according to a new report by Ricardo. Local emissions from buses are of particular significance, as the vehicles mainly operate in urban areas.
The UK’s Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) commissioned the review of the air quality impacts arising from the recent rapid increase in the number of low carbon buses in the UK, a result of subsidies provided through the Government’s Green Bus Funds. The UK now has around 1,300 low carbon buses in operation. The new report recommends that the legislation needs to consider hybrid technology impacts in the test processes to avoid potential unintended consequences in terms of local emissions.
SMDI design study produces twist beam concept that reduces mass ~30% relative to baseline assembly
December 06, 2013
|Twist beam assembly mass comparison. Click to enlarge.|
Results of a new design study for a lightweight steel proof-of-concept twist beam (used in suspensions) by the Steel Market Development Institute’s (SMDI) Automotive Applications Council indicate that the preferred U-Beam Design based on 22MnB5 tubular construction with DP780 and SPFH540 sheet achieves a 30.0% mass reduction relative to the baseline assembly, at a 12–15% premium in manufacturing cost at production volumes of 30,000 to 250,000 vehicles per year, respectively.
An S-Beam Design based on 22MnB5 sheet, DP780 tube and HSLA550 materials was predicted to have a 14.9% mass reduction relative to the baseline assembly. The objective of the study was to develop a twist beam design achieving a 15–25% mass reduction with equivalent structural and elasto-kinematic performance relative to the baseline design at a ≤ 10% cost premium.
New Ford Mustang receives its own 2.3L EcoBoost variant
December 05, 2013
|Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost. Click to enlarge.|
Ford revealed its new 2015 version of the Mustang (with great fanfare simultaneously in six cities on four continents and CEO Alan Mulally on ABC’s Good Morning America) with a choice of three powertrains: a upgraded 5.0L V8, a 3.7-liter V6 and an all-new 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine developed specifically for Mustang.
Among the features of the new EcoBoost engine are an optimized intake manifold and turbocharger housing to provide better breathing and higher output. The new 2.3L EcoBoost offers a projected 305-plus hp (227 kW) and 300-plus lb-ft (407 N·m) of torque. (The upgraded V8, at more than twice the displacement, offers around 420 hp and 390 lb-ft.)
Study suggests fuel cell hybrid with supercapacitors for energy storage the most fuel efficient
December 02, 2013
An evaluation of different fuel cell hybrid electric vehicle (FCHEV) powertrain designs—such as fuel cell/supercapacitor (FC/SC), fuel cell/battery (FC/B), and a combination of supercapacitors and batteries (FC/SC/B)—and different control strategies by researchers in Belgium concluded that the FC/SC HEV has slightly higher fuel economy than the FC/B HEV and FC/B/SC HEV powertrains.
This, the researchers suggested in a paper presented at the recent EVS 27 conference in Barcelona, was due to the use of the efficient supercapacitors for the majority of the transient-power requirements (the SC can be charged or discharged at a high current, at which the battery cannot function). The fuel economy of the supercapacitor fuel cell hybrid, they noted, is higher despite the vehicle being heavier and more expensive.
Ford researchers present physics-based model of mass-induced fuel consumption for better insight into lightweighting benefits
November 25, 2013
A pair of researchers from Ford Motor Company’s Systems Analytics and Environmental Sciences Department in Dearborn have developed a novel physics-based model of mass-induced fuel (MIF) consumption which can be used in vehicle life cycle assessments to provide better insight—i.e., from a more firm scientific foundation—on the potential benefits of lightweighting.
To illustrate the method, they used their model to estimate the MIF values for 2013 model year internal combustion engined using the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) fuel economy certification data. They found MIF values in the range of 0.2−0.5 L/(100 km 100 kg). As described in a paper on their work in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, the results showed that lightweighting has the most benefit when applied to vehicles with high fuel consumption and high power.
Mazda showcases CNG and hybrid Axela models in Tokyo; Mazda’s approach to environmental performance
November 22, 2013
At the Tokyo Motor Show, Mazda is showcasing the recently-released Mazda Axela (known as Mazda3 overseas) with a variety of engine types at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, including a CNG concept and hybrid variants. (Earlier post.)
The Axela accounts for more than 30% of global sales; the latest Axela is the third generation. The new Axela range also introduces a hybrid vehicle, and marks the first time for a single model launched on the Japanese market to include gasoline, diesel, and hybrid power plants in its powertrain lineup.
Audi of America officially introduces the new A3 family; plug-in hybrid version coming in 2015
November 20, 2013
|The A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
Audi of America officially announced plans today for the arrival in the US of the new A3 family of premium compact cars, with three body styles, five new engines and seven variants including its plug-in hybrid model. Audi first revealed the A3 Sportback e-tron at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. (Earlier post.)
This new A3 lineup begins with the A3 sedan, which goes on sale in the spring of 2014. The A3 sedan plays a pivotal role in the soon to be expanding Audi A3 family and will be priced from a base MSRP of $29,900. It will be joined later in the fall of 2014 by the Audi A3 Cabriolet; A3 TDI clean diesel sedan; the high-performance S3 sedan; and in early 2015, the A3 Sportback e-tron gasoline electric plug-in hybrid (PHEV).
New 4-cylinder 2.3L EcoBoost on Lincoln MKC small SUV; future EcoBoost prospects
November 18, 2013
|Lincoln MKC is the first to get the new 2.3L EcoBoost. Click to enlarge.|
The all-new 2015 Lincoln MKC small premium utility, unveiled last week, offers an all-new engine—a 2.3-liter EcoBoost gasoline turbocharged direct injection (GTDI) four-cylinder unit. Ford says the engine can deliver up to 15% better fuel economy than comparable six-cylinder engines.
Featuring a twin-scroll turbocharger and a three-port integrated exhaust manifold (IEM), the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder offers projected best-in-class horsepower per liter and best-in-class torque per liter, generating 275 hp (205 kW) at 5,500 rpm and 300 lb-ft (407 N·m) of torque at 3,000 rpm, according to preliminary test data.
Study finds rates of LDV fuel consumption in US peaked in 2004; indications of peak motorization
November 16, 2013
In a follow-up study to his earlier analysis of trends of light-duty vehicle registration and distance driven in the US (earlier post), Dr. Michael Sivak of The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) finds that fuel consumption rates—per person, per driver, and per household—are declining, as are ownership and driving. The bottom line, he concludes in this third report, is that “We drive fewer light-duty vehicles, we drive each of them less, and we consume less fuel.”
Sivak examined the period from 1984 through 2011. Based on the present data, his best estimates of the current annual fuel-consumption rates are: 398 gallons (1,507 liters) per person, 585 gallons (2,214 liters) per licensed driver, 1,033 gallons (3,910 liters) per household, and 530 gallons (2,006 liters) per registered vehicle. These rates are down 16% to 17% from their peaks in 2004, except that the rate per vehicle is down 13% (from its peak in 2003).
NASA, Boeing finish tests of 757 vertical tail with active flow control technology
November 15, 2013
|The full-sized test tail modified and equipped with sweeping jet actuators. (Image credit: NASA Ames Research Center) Click to enlarge.|
NASA’s Ames Research Center and NASA’s Langley Research Center, in partnership with The Boeing Co., have completed wind tunnel testing of a full-scale Boeing 757 vertical tail model equipped with active flow control (AFC) technology. The project is one of eight large-scale integrated technology demonstrations that are part of NASA’s Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) Project. (Earlier post.)
Active flow control involves the manipulation of a flow field—through the addition of energy—to improve the aerodynamic performance of an aircraft structure. Active flow control can enable the design of simpler, smaller and more aerodynamically efficient structures that help reduce aircraft weight, drag, and fuel consumption.
Audi offering three engines with cylinder deactivation technology; fuel savings up to 20%
November 12, 2013
|Cylinder on demand V8. Click to enlarge.|
Audi has three gasoline engines equipped with its cylinder-on-demand (COD) technology (cylinder deactivation): the 1.4 TFSI COD, the 4.0 TFSI COD and now also the 12-cylinder W12 COD in the new Audi A8 L. (Earlier post.) COD can deliver reductions in fuel consumption of up to 20%, Audi says.
The Audi COD technology is versatile, equally suitable for use in the four-cylinder direct-injection unit, as well as the V8 TFSI and the 12-cylinder naturally aspirated unit. In all engines, it deactivates half of the cylinders at low to intermediate loads and engine speeds in the upper gears until the driver once again accelerates strongly. Efficiency in the active cylinders increases because the operating points are displaced toward higher loads.
UK launches £75M fund for more energy efficient engines and cars; £1.5M for autonomous pods
November 10, 2013
The UK government has launched a £75-million (US$120-million) fund to speed the development of low carbon technologies for engines. Selected projects are to be the pilot projects of the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) announced in July. (Earlier post.) The APC will channel £1-billion (US$1.6 billion) investment from government and industry to fund the development of new technologies over the next 10 years.
To apply for a share of the £75 million APC fund, bidders must form a group which includes at least one vehicle manufacturer, an SME and at least one supply chain company. The competition, which will support a range of powertrain technologies, will open on 2 December 2013, with projects expected to begin from April 2014.
Global Commercial Vehicle Industry Meeting endorses harmonized global approach to improve fuel efficiency and reduce GHGs
November 09, 2013
Leading global manufacturers of heavy-duty commercial trucks and engines gathering at the annual Global Commercial Vehicle Industry Meeting endorsed a harmonized global approach as an effective pathway to further improve energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from commercial vehicles. The manufacturers have been pursuing policy cooperation for a number of years. (Earlier post.)
Meeting in Chicago, the chief executives of commercial vehicle and engine manufacturers in Europe, Japan, and the United States discussed fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions reductions, diesel fuel specifications, and topics related to heavy-duty engine and vehicle regulation and certification.
GFEI report suggests $2T savings from fuel economy improvements in ICE vehicles through 2025 can help fund long-term transition to plug-ins
November 08, 2013
Fuel economy improvements from conventional internal combustion engine cars can save an estimated $2 trillion in fuel costs through 2025—and more in years after—according to a new working paper published by the Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI) prepared by Dr. Lew Fulton, Co-Director, NextSTEPS Program at the Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California at Davis.
The GFEI, a partnership of international agencies and top energy policy experts, suggests that these cost savings could in part be used to help offset the costs of developing a global market for electric vehicles over this time frame, since the savings are estimated to be at least four times bigger than these costs.
Brookings analysts recommend against repeating cash for clunkers program in future recession
November 03, 2013
According to a new paper and policy brief by Brookings, the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) or “cash for clunkers” program, launched during the height of the recession with the intention of stimulating the economy and reducing emissions, actually resulted in only a small and short-lived impact on GDP; a higher implied cost per job created than alternative fiscal stimulus programs; and a higher cost per ton of CO2 reduced than what would be achieved through a policy such as a carbon tax or cap-and-trade.
However, the cost of CO2 reduced was comparable or lower than that achieved through less cost-effective policies such as the tax subsidy for electric vehicles, the analysis concluded. In terms of distributional effects, compared to households that purchased a new or used vehicle in 2009 without a voucher, CARS program participants had a higher before-tax income, were older, more likely to be white, more likely to own a home, and more likely to have a high-school and a college degree.
Pinnacle’s opposed-piston scooter engine can meet NOx target with lean operation and ignition delay; little fuel economy hit
November 01, 2013
In a paper presented at the recent Small Engine Technology Conference organized by JSAE and SAE International, Michael (Tony) Willcox from Pinnacle Engines reported that the 110cc version of the 4-stroke, spark-ignited (SI), opposed-piston, sleeve-valve architecture engine (earlier post) can use lean operation and ignition delay to meet Euro 4 NOx emission targets without aftertreatment and with only a negligible impact (< 1.5%) on the fuel consumption benefits of the engine (about 25-27% better than a comparable conventional engine in the relevant drivecycle).
Further, Pinnacle noted, recently developed hardware designed for additional lean limit extension is under test. The new hardware is anticipated to leave margin with Euro 5/6 NOx regulations using an oxidation-only catalyst for aftertreatment.
Fairbanks Morse Engine and Achates Power team up on opposed-piston engines
October 31, 2013
|Fairbanks Morse Model 38 opposed-piston engine. Click to enlarge.|
The leading manufacturer of opposed-piston engines, Fairbanks Morse Engine (FME), an EnPro Industries company, has signed a joint development and licensing agreement with Achates Power, Inc., the developer of a family of two-stroke compression-ignition opposed-piston engines (earlier post), to reduce emissions and fuel consumption of Fairbanks Morse proprietary diesel and dual-fuel opposed-piston engines.
The Fairbanks Morse Model 38 opposed-piston engine was designed and developed for a wide array of electrical power generation and heavy industrial applications. OP engines are propelling ships, driving locomotives, powering natural gas compressors, running chillers and pump drives, and producing electricity in a variety of marine and stationary applications.
EEA: All major car manufacturers in Europe met 2012 CO2 targets; 9 already meet 2015 targets
|Distance to 2012 target by individual manufacturer. Source: EEA. Click to enlarge.|
Based on emission levels recorded in vehicle tests, car registration data analyzed by the European Environment Agency (EEA) in the report “CO2 emissions performance of car manufacturers in 2012” shows that in 2012 all major car manufacturers met their targets for their fleet. Nine of the larger manufacturers (Audi AG, BMW AG, Automobiles Citroën, Fiat group, Ford-Werke, Adam Opel, Automobiles Peugeot, Seat, Toyota Motor Europe, and Volvo Car) were already compliant with 2015 targets in 2012.
Carbon emissions of the average car sold in the EU fell 2.6% between 2011 and 2012, cutting the EU average to 132.2 grams of CO2 per kilometer—close to the 130 g target for the average new car sold in 2015.
UPS begins operational rollout of ORION advanced route optimization software
October 30, 2013
|ORION infographic. Click to enlarge.|
UPS has launched its ORION (On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation) advanced route optimization software. The rollout of ORION is intended to optimize 10,000 delivery routes by the end of the year, reduce miles driven and reinforce UPS’ sustainability efforts. US deployment to nearly all 55,000 routes is planned to be completed in 2017 and global deployments are planned for the future.
ORION contains more than 250 million address data points. The software combines customers’ shipping requirements with customized map data the company has compiled to provide UPS drivers with optimized routing instructions that meet service-level requirements, while reducing miles driven.
1.0L EcoBoost Fiesta receives EPA rating of 45 mpg highway
October 29, 2013
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rated Ford’s 2014 1.0L EcoBoost-powered Fiesta sub-compact, arriving at dealers later this year, at 45 mpg (5.2 l/100 km) highway. (Earlier post.) The fuel economy rating outperforms some competitors’ diesels and hybrids on the highway driving cycle. As an example, the 2014 Honda Insight achieves 44 mpg highway, while the 2014 Volkswagen Golf diesel with a manual transmission delivers 42 mpg highway.
This also makes the Fiesta the only car in its class that produces more than 120 horsepower (89 kW) and achieves 45 mpg on the highway. Officially SAE-certified at 125 lb-ft (169 N·m) of torque, the 1.0-liter engine features an overboost function that allows it to make more than 145 lb-ft (197 N·m) for up to 15 seconds.
Volvo Drive-E engines delivering NEDC fuel consumption in S60 sedan as low as 62 mpg US for diesel, 40 mpg for gasoline
October 25, 2013
|The new Drive-E diesel engine. Click to enlarge.|
Volvo is introducing the first engines—two gasoline and 1 diesel—in its new 2.0-liter, four-cylinder Drive-E powertrain family (earlier post) and has received official European NEDC certification on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions when applied in the S60 sedan.
Leading with the lowest fuel consumption is the Volvo S60 D4 diesel with 181 hp (135 kW) and manual gearbox, delivering class-leading CO2 emissions at 99 g/km, which translates into fuel consumption of 3.8 l/100 km (62 mpgUS). A Volvo V60 D4 with up to 17-inch tires also breaks the 100-gram barrier according to the NEDC certification with CO2 emissions at 99 g/km.
BMW introduces the 2 Series; power up, fuel consumption down by up to 21% over 1 Series, depending upon model
|New BMW 2 Series Coupe. Click to enlarge.|
BMW has introduced an entirely new model series in the form of the BMW 2 Series Coupe. Offering both gasoline and diesel engines at launch (depending upon market), output is up by as much as 10 kW over the new car’s 1 Series predecessor, yet average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle has dropped by up to 21%, depending on the model.
One four-cylinder gasoline engine and one four-cylinder diesel unit are available from launch, putting 135 kW/184 hp at the disposal of the BMW 220i Coupe and BMW 220d Coupe. (The US will see the gasoline model as the 228i.) Also joining them, with a six-cylinder in-line engine developing 240 kW/326 hp, is the BMW M235i Coupe. Subsequently, BMW will introduce two more four-cylinder diesel models in the form of the BMW 218d Coupe (105 kW/143 hp) and BMW 225d Coupe (160 kW/218 hp).
UCR CE-CERT testing of hybrid construction equipment finds reduction in fuel consumption, but increase in NOx emissions
October 22, 2013
A study of hybrid excavators and dozers in use in public and private fleets found that while the use of hybrid equipment could decrease fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 28%, depending upon the type of work being done, NOx emissions could increase by up to 21%.
In the study, researchers at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) completed activity characterization; sequence of operations/test cycle development; and in-use emissions testing on three hybrid Komatsu HB215-LC-1 excavators and three hybrid Caterpillar D7E dozers.
Fiat introducing new 2-cylinder 0.9L Turbo TwinAir in 2014 MiTo mini
|0.9 TwinAir. Click to enlarge.|
Fiat is introducing a new two-cylinder 0.9 Turbo TwinAir 105 HP engine for the 2014 Alfa Romeo MiTo sport mini. The gasoline engine delivers 105 hp (72 kW) at 5500 rpm and maximum torque of 145 N·m (107 lb-ft) at 2000 rpm/min, with combined cycle fuel consumption of 4.2 l/100 km (56 mpgUS ), equivalent to 99 g CO2/km. (The 0.9 Turbo TwinAir is also offered in the Fiat 500 L.)
This is the lowest consumption of any of the gasoline or diesel MiTo engines, while power delivery and torque are the second-highest of the MiTo gasoline range. Top speed for the MiTo with the 0.9-liter engine is 184 km/h (114 mph) and it accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 11.4 seconds. Specific power is almost 120 hp/liter, a value on a par with sportier engines.
Ford study suggests GDI engines can meet coming California and US PM emissions standards over 150k miles; more work to be done
October 16, 2013
|PM mass emissions rates for the FTP and US06 drive cycles as function of vehicle mileage. Credit: ACS, Maricq et al. Click to enlarge.|
A team from Ford’s Research and Advanced Engineering group in Dearborn examined how emissions of particulate matter (PM) from two gasoline direct injection engines—a very small set and not representative of the wide variety of gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines currently in production or under future development, they noted—changed over time.
As reported in a paper in ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, the results showed that GDI technology has the potential to meet the upcoming California LEV III and US EPA Tier 3 PM mass standard of 3 mg/mi (phasing in over MY2017−2021) over a 150,000-mile vehicle lifetime, but that further work must be done to address achieving the more stringent 1 mg/mi target (LEV III in 2025).
Volvo Trucks announces XE11 fuel efficiency package for 11L North American engines; up to 3% improvement in fuel efficiency
October 15, 2013
Volvo Trucks expanded its XE (exceptional efficiency, earlier post) powertrain package lineup with the introduction of XE11 for its 11-liter Volvo D11 engine. Available on Volvo VNM and VNL models and rated up to 80,000 lbs. GCWR, XE11 is suited for less-than-truckload, distribution, bulk haul and other regional applications. The powertrain package improves fuel efficiency by up to 3%.
Volvo first introduced XE packages for its 13-liter D13 and 16-liter D16 engines. To date, more than 24% of all Volvo-powered trucks ordered in 2013 also feature XE powertrain packages. The XE11 package includes the following components:
Opel presents new 1.0 SIDI Turbo engine at Aachen Colloquium; below 100 gCO2/km and ~59 mpg in the Adam
October 08, 2013
|New 1.0-liter SIDI turbo with 85 kW/115 hp. Click to enlarge.|
Opel presented details of its new three-cylinder 1.0-liter turbocharged gasoline direct injection engine (earlier post) at the 22nd Aachen Colloquium in Germany. The engine will debut in the Opel Adam next year, together with an all-new, six-speed manual gearbox.
The 1.0 SIDI Turbo generates 30% more torque than Opel’s current 1.6-liter, naturally-aspirated engine, as well as the same 85 kW/115 hp maximum power output. Peak torque of 166 N·m (122 lb-ft) is available across a wide plateau from 1,800 rpm to 4,700 rpm, while maximum power is delivered at 5,200 rpm. The 1.0 SIDI Turbo also delivers a 20% improvement in fuel economy compared to the 1.6-liter engine. In the Opel Adam, it will give CO2 emissions of well under 100 g/km, as well as combined cycle fuel consumption approaching 4.0 l/100 km (59 mpgUS).
Fiat 500L Living diesels average about 70.6 mpg on Turin to Paris run
October 07, 2013
|Fiat 500L running in the Bosch Diesel Challenge. Click to enlarge.|
A small fleet of Fiat 500L Living models, equipped with the 1.6 MultiJet II 105 HP diesel with Start&Stop, covered the 800-kilometer (497-mile) route from Turin to Paris on an average of 27 liters (7.1 gallons US) of fuel, corresponding to approximately 30 km/l (70.6 mpgUS, 3.33 l/100km). The drive was part of a Bosch Diesel Challenge; the 500L features a Bosch common rail system.
Similar average results were registered by the teams who travelled back from Paris to Turin, again without stopping for fuel. A professional driver drove the same distance on only 20.9 liters (5.5 gallons US) of fuel, equal to more than 38 kilometers per liter (89 mpgUS, 2.6 l/100km).
New manufacturing technologies deliver lighter and stiffer 2014 Corvette
|Aluminum resistance spot welding in Bowling Green. (Photo by Joe Imel for Chevrolet) Click to enlarge.|
General Motors’ $131-million investment in technology at the Bowling Green Assembly Plant, such as the first production use of a GM-patented process allowing aluminum to be spot welded to aluminum (earlier post), is producing the strongest and most precisely built Corvette in its six-decade history.
The new technologies enable more accurate and efficiently produced subassemblies, such as the frame and the components attached to it. Enhanced, laser-based three-dimensional inspection systems verify overall assembly tolerances targeted to be 25% tighter than the previous-generation Corvette.
Study finds recent achieved CAFE performance outpacing levels projected to be achieved by NHTSA
October 03, 2013
|Average monthly and model year fleet-wide achieved CAFE performance levels (light purple) versus NHTSA projected achieved CAFE levels (blue) for model years 2008 through 2016. Schoettle and Sivak 2013. Click to enlarge.|
Achieved Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) fuel economy performance has exceeded the anticipated levels for 2012 and 2013 model years—the two years that the current standard has been in effect—according to a new analysis by Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI).
Additionally, they found, achieved CAFE performance has consistently increased annually from model year 2008 through model year 2013. If the current trends in annual improvements continue, future CAFE performance is expected to continue meeting or exceeding the projected performance levels (and desired greenhouse gas reductions) contained in the latest CAFE standards.
Coming MINIs to feature new 3- and 4- cylinder engine line-up; adjustable dampers
September 30, 2013
|The 100 kW/134 bhp 1.5-liter MINI TwinPower Turbo in-line gasoline engine. Click to enlarge.|
Future MINI models will use a new line-up of both three and four-cylinder engines. In addition, MINI will introduce electrically adjustable dampers for the first time.
A common feature of the new drive units is the MINI TwinPower turbo technology, which optimizes both performance and efficiency. In the case of the gasoline engines, this technology package includes turbocharging, direct fuel injection, variable camshaft control on the intake and outlet sides (dual VANOS) and, in the more powerful versions, fully variable valve control according to the model of the BMW Group’s patented VALVETRONIC system.
ACEEE recommends steps for enhanced data gathering and analysis essential to developing next phase of heavy-duty vehicle fuel efficiency and GHG regs
September 27, 2013
A newly released working paper from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) outlines the organization’s recommendations to policymakers for developing the next phase of fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles in the United States expected in 2015.
The focus of the paper is less on the range of technologies that might be applied to deliver the requisite reductions (ACEEE also published a short fact sheet briefly touching on technology approaches) and more on enhanced and improved data gathering, analysis and dissemination that will be required to inform the development of the next phase of the standards.
New valveless electro-hydraulic steering system for off-road equipment shows significant fuel savings and productivity benefits
September 25, 2013
Researchers at Purdue University have developed a new valveless hydraulic steering system for heaving construction equipment that improves efficiency and reduces fuel consumption. The new approach eliminates valves now needed to direct the flow of hydraulic fluid in steering systems and uses advanced algorithms and models to control hydraulic pumps precisely. New designs might also incorporate textured “micro-structured” surfaces inside pumps to improve performance.
Testing the new “electro-hydraulic power steering system” on a front loader has shown a 15% fuel savings and 23% increased machine productivity, for a total fuel efficiency increase of 43% during steering maneuvers. The findings are detailed in a research paper being presented during the SAE 2013 Commercial Vehicle Engineering Congress (1-3 October). The paper was authored by doctoral student Naseem Daher and Monika Ivantysynova, Maha Fluid Power Systems Professor in Purdue’s School of Mechanical Engineering, and director of Purdue’s Maha Fluid Power Research Center.
Chrysler Group files S-1 for IPO; snapshot of R&D priorities; exploring a light-duty hydraulic hybrid
September 24, 2013
Chrysler Group LLC has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) relating to a proposed initial public offering of common shares. Details of the offering—i.e., number of shares and price range—are yet to be determined.
However, the document not only provides a detailed look at the finances of the company, it also provides a quick recap of recent technology developments and some insight into the company’s immediate research priorities. Chrysler writes that its has “made the development of more fuel-efficient vehicles a priority to meet retail consumer preferences, comply with future regulations and as part of our commitment to sustainability.”
ORNL study finds aluminum-intensive vehicles can deliver up to 29% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to typical steel-bodied vehicle
September 20, 2013
|Lifecycle energy findings. Source: Sujit Das, ORNL. Click to enlarge.|
A lifecycle study of aluminum-intensive vehicles by Sujit Das at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) found that an aluminum-intensive vehicle can achieve up to a 32% reduction in total lifecycle energy consumption, and up to a 29% reduction in CO2 emissions, compared to a typical vehicle on the road today which uses traditional and high-strength steel in the body construction.
The study, underwritten by The Aluminum Association, performed a full cradle-to-grave analysis (primary metal production; autoparts manufacturing and assembly; use; semi-fabrication material production; transportation; and end-of-life metals recycling) on three modeled vehicle types: a baseline steel vehicle; a lightweight steel vehicle (LWSV); and an aluminum intensive vehicle (AIV).
Nissan project in Beijing demonstrates Dynamic Route Guidance reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions
September 13, 2013
Results from Nissan’s New Traffic Information System Model Project in Beijing (earlier post) have demonstrated that Dynamic Route Guidance System (DRGS) can help alleviate traffic congestion and reduce fuel consumption. A simulation based on the project results suggested that when 10% of all traffic in Beijing used DRGS, due to reduced traffic congestion, travel speed throughout the city would increase by approximately 10% and both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions would decrease by approximately 10%.
DRDS distributes real-time traffic information from the traffic information center to onboard devices via telematics; the onboard devices show drivers the fastest route on the display. This large-scale project, involving 12,000 vehicles, is the first to demonstrate and measure traffic dispersion effects in a real setting.
Tenneco/Gentherm showcasing prototype of thermoelectric generator for waste heat recovery; targeting 5% fuel economy improvement
September 11, 2013
|TEG component (cartridge) and TEG architecture concept. Source: Crane (2013).Click to enlarge.|
Tenneco and Gentherm (formerly BSST/Amerigon) are part of a US Department of Energy (DOE) consortium actively developing a thermoelectric generator (TEG) for capturing waste exhaust heat in vehicles and converting it to electrical energy to be used to power electrical systems within the vehicle. The first rapid prototype of their Thermoelectric Generator (TEG) for light vehicle applications is on display at Tenneco’s booth at the 2013 Frankfurt IAA Motor Show.
Partnering with Tenneco and Gentherm are BMW and Ford, as well as CalTech and NREL. Gentherm is supplying modular, cylindrical-shaped thermoelectric cartridges that convert waste heat from the exhaust into electricity. Tenneco then integrates the cartridges inside a thermoelectric generator (TEG) that includes a unique heat exchanger.
Continental presents new “48 Volt Eco Drive” system; orders received and production begins in 2016
September 10, 2013
|Components of the 48 Volt Eco Drive system and the demonstrator. Click to enlarge.|
Continental presented its new “48 Volt Eco Drive” system at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The new system supplements the traditional 12V electrical network with a 48V electrical system and components, bridging the gap between low-end hybridization based on present-day 12V start/stop systems and more sophisticated high-voltage hybrid solutions.
Installed in a demonstrator vehicle, the 48 Volt Eco Drive system offers NEDC fuel savings of around 13%. First orders have been received, and production will begin in 2016, according to José Avila, Head of the Powertrain Division and Member of the Continental Executive Board.
ICCT report assesses domestic fuel efficiency performance of US airlines for 2010; Alaska Airlines on top, Allegiant on the bottom
|Relative fuel efficiency for the domestic operations of the 15 largest US airlines in 2010 across each carrier’s entire network (higher score means greater efficiency). Zeinali et al. Click to enlarge.|
The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, DC, released a report assessing and comparing the fuel efficiency of airlines serving the US domestic market in 2010. The study is the first to quantify that performance gap using publicly available data and accounting for differences in business operations across airlines.
The analysis compares the efficiency of all airlines independent of size, network structure, or type of service using fuel-consumption data reported annually by the airlines to the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics. It employs a new methodology, developed by a team of researchers (Zou et al.) at FAA’s National Center of Excellence for Aviation Operations Research (NEXTOR) at the University of California, Berkeley, to evaluate an airline’s fuel efficiency relative to both the mobility (straight-line passenger miles between origin and destination) and access (airports served and/or flight frequency) it provides.
Jaguar announces new advanced aluminium monocoque architecture; C-X17 concept
September 09, 2013
|The C-X17 concept is the first revealed implementation of the new iQ[Al] architecture. Click to enlarge.|
Along with the unveiling of its C-X17 concept car on the eve of the Frankfurt Motor Show, Jaguar announced a new advanced aluminium monocoque architecture. The C-X17 concept sports crossover is a study to demonstrate the capabilities of this new architecture.
Codenamed iQ[Al], the architecture will form the basis for a new range of future Jaguars, the company said; the first product will be a mid-size premium C/D segment sedan on sale in 2015. This will be the first aluminium monocoque product in the segment. Using the new architecture, Jaguar expects to deliver vehicles with class-leading performance, including top speeds of more than 300 km/h (186 mph), and emissions lower than 100g of CO2 per km.
3.0L I-4 EcoDiesel to make North American debut in 2014 Ram ProMaster van
|Fred Diaz, President and CEO - Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico, introduces the 2014 Ram ProMaster at the Chicago Auto Show. Click to enlarge.|
The Chrysler Group’s 2014 Ram ProMaster van, developed from the Fiat Ducato, will mark the the North American introduction of the 174 hp (130 kW) 3.0-liter inline 4-cylinder EcoDiesel engine that generates peak torque of 295 lb-ft (400 N·m) as early as 1,400 rpm. The engine is paired with the new M40 electronically controlled six-speed automated manual transmission—exclusive to the EcoDiesel.
Designed by Fiat, which employs the engine in numerous applications including Class 2, 3 and 4 commercial vehicles, the 16-valve, dual-overhead cam I-4 has been adapted for the North American market with a wide range of modifications that enable regulatory compliance, while also enhancing performance. The 2014 Ram ProMaster also offers a 280 hp 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 gasoline engine option.
Georgia Tech study suggests unlinking EVs from CAFE and coordinating with power sector for low-cost benefits
September 08, 2013
A team from Georgia Tech suggests, based on their modeling of electric vehicle (EV) adoption scenarios in each of six regions of the Eastern Interconnection (containing 70% of the US population), that coordinating EV adoption with the adoption of controlled EV charging, unlinking EVs from consideration in the CAFE fuel economy regulations; and implementing renewable electricity standards would deliver low-cost reductions in emissions and gasoline usage. (For the study, they define EVs as including both battery-electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) vehicles.
Only in the case of high EV market share and a high renewable electricity standard (RES) do EVs make a material contribution to greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, they found. However, managed EV adoption can reduce the cost of achieving GHG reductions through a RES, they concluded in their paper published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.
GKN Driveline on-demand all-wheel drive system contributes to improved fuel consumption in 2014 Range Rover Evoque
September 05, 2013
|2014 Range Rover Evoque. Click to enlarge.|
In August, Land Rover introduced the 2014 Range Rover Evoque, equipped with several new technologies which, combined, can lower fuel consumption by up to 11.4% and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 9.5%. In addition to the new 9-speed transmission (earlier post), the new Evoque offers as an option an Active Driveline—an on-demand four-wheel drive system which operates in front-wheel drive only during steady-state driving at speeds above 22 mph (35 km/h).
A GKN Driveline all-wheel drive system is basis for the the Active Driveline disconnect all-wheel drive system.
ADEPT project to apply gasoline engine HyBoost system to diesel; 48V architecture; full hybrid fuel economy at much lower cost
September 04, 2013
The developers of the successful gasoline-engine HyBoost project (earlier post)—Ricardo, Ford Motor Company, Control Power Technologies (CPT) and the European Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (EALABC)—will be joined by Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies UK Ltd and University of Nottingham to apply the intelligent electrification concept for the first time to a diesel vehicle (a Ford Focus).
The Ricardo-led Advanced Diesel Electric Powertrain (ADEPT) project will apply 48V “intelligent electrification” concepts, mild hybridization and waste heat recovery in a Ford Focus diesel demonstrator. The project aims to deliver full hybrid equivalent fuel economy and performance with less than 70 g/km CO2 emissions as measured over the European Drive Cycle, but at a significantly lower cost.
VW introducing 1.8L EA888 Gen 3 engine in 2014 Jetta, Passat and Beetle; driving impressions
August 29, 2013
Volkswagen of America is introducing the Group’s third-generation EA888 1.8-liter TSI four-cylinder engine in the 2014 Jetta and Passat, followed by the 2014 Beetle. The 1.8-liter unit produces 170 hp (127 kW) and 184 lb-ft (250 N·m) of torque as early as 1,500 rpm. The horsepower is the same as the outgoing 5-cylinder 2.5-liter engine, but it delivers 7 lb-ft more torque at 2,750 fewer revs (see chart at right).
Mated to an automatic or a manual transmission, the new EA888 offers up to a 17% decrease in fuel consumption while providing even better acceleration. In a presentation at Volkswagen of America’s 2014 line drive in St. Helena, California, Hubertus Lemke, Head of Technical Project Management for Volkswagen AG, described the advances in the new third-generation engines. (The 2.0-liter version of this engine has already made its debut in the 2013 Beetle and Jetta GLI, delivering a 10 hp improvement.)
ZF and start-up Levant Power partnering on first fully active, regenerative suspension for automobiles
August 28, 2013
|The first fully active and regenerative suspension is based on a pioneering electrohydraulic functional unit fitted to the exterior of the damper. Photo: ZF. Click to enlarge.|
ZF Friedrichshafen AG has entered into a partnership with Levant Power Corp. to build the first fully active suspension system with energy recovery function. GenShock technology is a fully active system for passenger cars which combines dynamics, safety and comfort characteristics with minimum energy consumption.
Levant Power Corp., founded in 2009 out of MIT (earlier post), is an emerging technology company headquartered working to develop the first fully active, regenerative suspension for the automotive, trucking, mass transit, and defense industries. The company holds several patents focused primarily on vehicle dynamics, and is the originator of GenShock and Activalve technology.
Using ozone injection to control HCCI combustion
HCCI (homogeneous charge compression ignition) has been extensively studied in recent years due to its potential to maintain strong efficiency similar to compression ignition (CI) engines but also to produce very low emissions of NOx and particulate matter. Control of HCCI autoignition and combustion phasing is challenging, however. Unlike CI and spark ignition (SI) engines, HCCI cannot be easily controlled by external means (e.g., injectors or spark plugs), because the process is mainly governed by chemical kinetics.
Accordingly, many strategies have been studied to control combustion. Now, researchers in France have added to that body of work by showing that ozone seeding in the intake of an HCCI engine can control HCCI combustion.
Audi banking on Gen 2 3.0L TDI diesel for US sales; calls for a “fair shot” for diesel (update w/ rally results)
August 23, 2013
|Audi's Gen 2 3.0L TDI. Click to enlarge.|
Audi of America introduced four new TDI clean diesel models for the US market this year—the Audi A8, A7, A6, Q5—along with an updated Q7 TDI, all equipped with a second-generation 3.0L V6 TDI diesel engine. (Earlier post.) This week in Washington, the company held a series of media drives (“TDI Efficiency Rally”) for the Q5, A6 and A7 diesel models to highlight their efficiency and performance, and also offered up its—as well as several other experts’—perspectives on the potential for diesel in the US market.
“If we are going to reward efficiency, and that’s the goal,” said Joe Jacuzzi, Chief Communications Officer, Audi of America in opening remarks, “then diesel really needs a fair shot. Not only is it more powerful and contains up to 30% better efficiency than traditional gasoline, etc. The fact of the matter is [it requires] very little infrastructure change and secondly, its a very simple driving behavior change. You move from one pump to the other.”