Australian study finds VW diesel using up to 14% more fuel in real world driving after emissions upgrade

Emissions analysis commissioned by the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has found an affected VW diesel vehicle to be using up to 14% more diesel after being recalled for the mandated emissions system fix. Conducted in partnership with the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the real world testing was commissioned to... Read more →

The all-new 2019 Volkswagen Jetta, unveiled in January at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit (earlier post) will offer improved EPA-estimated fuel economy for the model: 30 mpg city (7.8 L/100km) and 40 mpg (5.88 L/100km) highway, for a combined 34 mpg (6.91 L/100km), two mpg higher... Read more →

Renault is presenting the new turbocharged gasoline 1.3 TCe engine, co-developed by the Alliance and Daimler, at the Geneva Motor Show. The new unit will feature under the hoods of Captur and Scénic, and will become available for other Renault models in the course of 2018. The new 1.3-liter powerplant... Read more →

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have used on-board catalytic fuel reforming to increase the brake efficiency of a multicylinder, stoichiometric spark-ignited (SI) engine by increasing EGR dilution tolerance. In an open-access paper published in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels, they report that under an engine operating condition of... Read more →

Audi unveiled the eighth generation of its successful A6 full-size sedan; all engines feature Audi’s 48V mild-hybrid (MHEV) system (earlier post) as standard equipment. In Audi’s new mild-hybrid technology, a belt alternator starter (BAS) works together with a lithium-ion battery. The Audi A6 can coast between 55 and 160 km/h... Read more →

Nissan Serena e-POWER goes on sale in JapanThe Nissan Serena e-POWER will go on sale in Japan on 1 March, combining the exceptional driving performance of the e-POWER electrified powertrain (earlier post) with the family-friendly features of the popular Serena minivan. The Serena will be the second model with the... Read more →

Toyota Motor Corporation has developed a new continuously variable transmission (CVT) featuring a launch gear; a new 6-speed manual transmission; a new 2.0-liter engine with 40% thermal efficiency (41% in hybrid applications); a new 2.0-liter hybrid system; and new 4WD systems—one for gasoline-engined cars, one for hybrids—based on the Toyota... Read more →

A new study by researchers at the Bourns College of Engineering, University of California, Riverside (UCR) and colleagues at the Manufacturers of Emission Controls Association (MECA) has found that catalyzed gasoline particulate filters (GPF) are effective not only at reducing particulate mass, black carbon, and total and solid particle number... Read more →

Study suggests that as few as 5% autonomous cars can enable flow control to dampen traffic waves

Stop-and-go traffic waves—“phantom traffic jams”—emerge when small perturbations—such as a lane change, merge, or just because of natural osciallations in human driving—amplify and grow backwards along the road. A new study to be published in Transportation Research - part C provides experimental evidence that these waves can be reduced by... Read more →

Volvo Cars launched its new three-cylinder Drive-E powertrain in the XC40, the company’s first entry into the compact SUV segment. The new powertrain is the first three-cylinder engine in the company’s 91-year history. The new three-cylinder powertrain has been deliberately designed for integration into Twin Engine plug-in hybrid cars. A... Read more →

Kia Motors revealed the new Ceed ahead of its world debut at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show. Among its enhancements, the new Ceed is available with Lane Following Assist, a ‘Level Two’ autonomous driving technology. Lane Following Assist tracks vehicles in front of the Ceed in traffic, and identifies... Read more →

Researchers at the University of Michigan and Ford Motor Company have found that using a Level 4 connected and automated vehicle (CAV) subsystem could increase vehicle primary energy use and GHG emissions by 3–20% due to increases in power consumption, weight, drag, and data transmission. However, when potential operational effects... Read more →

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has released two studies from the Co-Optimization of Engines & Fuels initiative (Co-Optima) (earlier post). The first study, Fuel Blendstocks with the Potential to Optimize Future Gasoline Engine Performance, identifies eight representative high-octane blendstocks across five chemical groups that could be blended into gasoline... Read more →

Alongside the A-Class, the G-Class and the new four-door Mercedes-AMG GT Coupé, Mercedes-Benz will hold the world premiere of the new facelifted C-Class Saloon and Estate models featuring new gasoline and diesel engines, and plug-in hybrid versions. The C-Class in its current generation was Mercedes-Benz’s top-selling model in its fourth... Read more →

Audi has unveiled the second-generation A7 Sportback, which is the essence of Audi‘s new design language. The four-door coupé brings the show car design of the prologue studies (earlier post) to production. The drive system features a new mild-hybrid system (MHEV) as standard. At market introduction the coupé will be... Read more →

Forerunner and historical leader of the leisure activity vehicle (LAV)—i.e., small vans—segment in Europe, Groupe PSA will introduce three latest-generation models designed for its different brands: Peugeot, Citroën and Opel/Vauxhall. The new line-up stems from a single development program aimed at increasing the efficiency of investments and resources devoted to... Read more →

President’s 2019 budget request cuts DOE Energy programs 43%; EERE, 65%; kills Loans program and ARPA-E

President Trump unveiled his FY 2019 budget request, including $30.6 billion for the Department of Energy (DOE)—a more than 3% decrease from the 2017 enacted level. The bulk of DOE funding would flow to the National Nuclear Security Administration ($15.1 billion, +$2.2 billion over FY 2017 Enacted) and Environmental Management... Read more →

Ford unveiled the redesigned Transit Connect Wagon at the Chicago Auto Show. The wagon, which comes in 5- or 7-passenger models, offers a choice between a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with direct injection with Auto Start-Stop as standard equipment, or the new 1.5-liter EcoBlue diesel, both paired with a... Read more →

Mercedes‑Benz unveiled the latest generation of its successful Sprinter model at an event held at a logistics center in the Duisburg, Germany docks. (Duisburg is home to the world’s largest inland port.) As the first fully connected integral system solution, the third generation of the Sprinter demonstrates the development of... Read more →

Hyundai Mobis to begin production of iMEB (integrated MOBIS Electronic Brake) and RSPA (Remote Smart Parking Assist)

Hyundai Mobis will begin mass-producing iMEB (integrated MOBIS Electronic Brake) and RSPA (Remote Smart Parking Assist) systems respectively at its Cheonan plant and Jincheon plant in Korea. Hyundai Mobis is working to elevate its status from a late starter to a global leader in braking and parking assist technologies. The... Read more →

Ricardo has created a company—Dolphin N2 Ltd—to commercialize its CryoPower cryogenic split-cycle engine technology (earlier post, earlier post.) The Ricardo CryoPower concept aims to increase the fuel efficiency while reducing operating costs and CO2 emissions for long haul trucks and other heavy-duty applications. The technology has been the subject of... Read more →

ExxonMobil’s newly released Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040 anticipates that global energy needs will rise about 25% over the period to 2040, led by non-OECD countries. While the mix shifts toward lower-carbon-intensive fuels, the world will need to pursue all economic energy sources, the report says. The Outlook... Read more →

In an event in Amsterdam, Mercedes-Benz unveiled its new A-Class compact line. The new fourth-generation A-Class vehicles are larger than their predecessors, and feature the MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience with a number of functions that were previously the preserve of the luxury class. In certain driving situations, the new... Read more →

Lightning Systems using predictive analytics to calculate vehicle fleet fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions

Engineers from Colorado-based Lightning Systems are using artificial neural networks to predict accurately the fuel economy and tailpipe emissions of fleet vehicles. Artificial neural networks are computing systems comprising a number of highly interconnected processing elements that process information and predict outcomes. A global developer of efficiency and emissions improvement... Read more →

After testing truck platooning in Europe (earlier post) and the US (earlier post), Daimler Trucks has begun testing platooning in Japan with its FUSO brand. During these tests, a heavy-duty FUSO Super Great operates electronically connected and semi autonomously in a platoon with trucks of other Japanese commercial vehicle manufacturers.... Read more →

At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Achates Power and new development parter Aramco Services (earlier post) showcased a Ford F-150 fitted with a 3-cylinder, 2.7-liter Opposed-Piston Gasoline Compression Ignition (OPGCI) engine. (Earlier post.) Fabien Redon, Vice President, Technology Development at Achates, said they estimate that the OPGCI pickup... Read more →

A new study by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) has analyzed the fuel efficiency of 20 airlines operating nonstop flights between the mainland United States and East Asia and Oceania in 2016. The ICCT team found that the difference in efficiency performance between two co-leaders and the least... Read more →

At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Kia Motors America (KMA) unveiled the third-generation 2019 Forte compact sedan. With a number of improvements, Forte now offers drivers a higher level of comfort, fuel efficiency and advanced driver assistance technologies. Housed underneath the Forte’s longer hood is a second-generation 2.0-liter... Read more →

Infiniti unveiled its Q Inspiration Concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Previewing a new generation of Infiniti vehicles, the Q Inspiration Concept proposes how an innovative VC-Turbo variable compression ratio engine powertrain (earlier post), next-level autonomous drive technologies, and a unique human-centric interior could enrich the... Read more →

EPA recently released the latest edition of its annual report Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Fuel Economy Trends. The report is the authoritative reference for real-world fuel economy, technology trends and tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions, for new personal vehicles sold in the US every year since 1975. The... Read more →

Continental is supplying the 48V belt-starter generator with integrated power electronics that is at the heart of the mild-hybrid (MHEV) system that is standard on Audi’s new A8. (Earlier post.) The system replaces a conventional starter pinion and is driven by a belt connected to the engine crankshaft. Together with... Read more →

FCA pulled the wraps off the new 2019 Ram 1500 at the Detroit Auto Show. Overall weight for the Ram 1500 has been reduced by 225 pounds (102 kg). As the truck’s backbone, the frame uses advanced materials and engineering to eliminate 100 pounds while increasing stiffness and durability for... Read more →

Achates Power, Inc. and Saudi Aramco’s US-based subsidiary Aramco Services Company (ASC) have signed a joint development agreement providing the framework for the two companies to work together on a series of Opposed-Piston (OP) Engine projects, which will speed the development of new efficient, low-emissions powertrain choices. The joint development... Read more →

Volkswagen of America, Inc., unveiled the new 2019 Jetta at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The Jetta is one of the world’s most successful sedans, with more than 17 million models sold worldwide since it was introduced in 1979; more than 3.2 million of those vehicles have... Read more →

Chevrolet and Ford each are entering the Detroit Auto Show this week on the heels of major truck introductions: for Chevrolet, the next-generation Silverado full-size pickup; for Ford, the return of the Ranger mid-size pickup. Silverado. The introduction of the next-generation Silverado comes 100 years after the brand delivered its... Read more →

Ford dealers will begin taking orders for the 2018 F-150 with all-new 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel engine (earlier post) this month. Deliveries begin this spring. The F-150 Power Stroke diesel features a targeted EPA-estimated 30 mpg (7.83 l/100 km) highway rating; a best-in-class 11,400 pounds (5,171 kg) of towing capacity... Read more →

Split injection Miller cycle with boost decreases knock tendency and increases torque in downsized engine

Researchers at Tianjin University in China report that combing split injection to the Miller cycle with boost pressure can effectively decrease the knock tendency and increase the engine torque in a downsized spark-ignition engine. Their paper is published in the journal Fuel. The Miller cycle is generally achieved through early... Read more →

Hyundai’s 2018 Plug-in Hybrid Ioniq (earlier post) is heading to dealerships now—joining the Hybrid and Electric models—with an aggressive starting price of $24,950—$5,000 less than the full battery-electric version of the Ioniq but with more than five times the range. Depending upon the carbon intensity of the electricity used to... Read more →

ARPA-E issues $100M OPEN funding opportunity announcement to support early-stage energy R&D

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $100 million in funding for new projects as part of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s (ARPA‑E) latest OPEN funding opportunity. (DE-FOA-0001858) ARPA-E issued previous OPEN solicitations in 2009, 2012, and 2015. Open solicitations enable ARPA-E to support transformational projects outside the... Read more →

AAA tests show premium fuel benefits some vehicles, but comes at a high cost

Last year, nearly 1.5 million new vehicles sold in the United States recommend, but do not require, premium gasoline. The trend toward recommending or requiring higher-octane fuel continues to rise as manufacturers work toward meeting stringent CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards. According to new research from AAA, premium gasoline... Read more →

Renault has introduced a new direct injection turbocharged 1.3 gasoline engine co-developed by the Alliance and Daimler. Inaugurated on the Scénic and Grand Scénic, it will be progressively offered in the Renault range beginning in 2018. This new engine offers significant improvement in driving performance, with better torque at low... Read more →

The updated Mazda6 (earlier post) introduced at the Los Angeles Auto Show this past week offers two powertrain options in the US: an upgraded SKYACTIV-G 2.5 naturally aspirated engine and the turbocharged SKYACTIV-G 2.5T engine, first unveiled at the 2015 LA Auto Show for the 2016 CX-9. Mazda6’s 2.5-liter, four-cylinder... Read more →

At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Jeep unveiled the 2018 Wrangler, with new mild hybrid (eTorque) and diesel options to be available. The 2018 Jeep Wrangler 2-door model is available in three different trim configurations: Sport, Sport S and Rubicon. Wrangler 4-door models are available in four different trim configurations:... Read more →

At the Los Angeles Auto Show, INFINITI revealed the all-new QX50—a premium mid-size SUV featuring the first production application of the VC-Turbo variable compression ratio engine, transforming on demand. (Earlier post.) An innovative combustion engine design, the 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine adjusts its compression ratio to optimize power and efficiency. It... Read more →

In a new study, IHS Markit forecasts that vehicle miles traveled (VMT) will by 2040 grow to an all-time high of around 11 billion miles per year (a 65% increase since 2017) in China, Europe, India and the United States—the key markets examined for the study—and will keep growing. At... Read more →

The average gap between official fuel consumption figures and actual fuel use for new cars in the EU has reached 42%, according to the latest update by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) to its on-going research into vehicle fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. A companion analysis by the... Read more →

A team of researchers at Sandia’s Combustion Research Facility and the Technical University of Denmark have developed an optical setup for quantitative, high-temporal resolution line-of-sight extinction imaging in harsh optical environments. The diagnostic tool can now quantify the formation of particulate matter as a function of time and space for... Read more →

In a new report (its fourth on electric car adoption) the Boston Consulting Group forecasts that a combination of hybrid and fully electric powertrains will cut the global market share of pure internal combustion engines (ICEs) by about 50% by 2030. ICEs will continue to play a major but changing... Read more →

Researchers in China have developed a novel free-piston linear generator (FPLG) to recover exhaust waste heat efficiently from a vehicle engine. The FPLG can be used in a small-scale organic Rankine cycle (ORC) system and can directly convert the thermodynamic energy of working fluid into electricity. In a paper published... Read more →

New “50 by 50” Commission seeks to halve US transportation energy use by 2050

The Alliance to Save Energy has chartered a national commission of business, government and civil society leaders that will work together to develop a pathway and recommendations to reduce energy use in the US transportation sector by 50% by 2050 while meeting future mobility needs. The “50 by 50” Commission,... Read more →