[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.]
Lawrence Livermore Lab researchers significantly boost truck fuel efficiency through improved aerodynamics
March 23, 2017
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers, as part of a Navistar SuperTruck I team, helped design a new type of tractor trailer truck that improves fuel economy by 124%, compared to heavy vehicles on the road today.
Seventy-four percent out of the 124% improvement comes from aerodynamic enhancements, while the rest comes from engine efficiency, tire rolling resistance, light weighting and other advancements. On a track test, the new SuperTruck I vehicle achieved 13 mpg (18.1 l/100 km), compared to a typical truck on the road that gets around 5.8 mpg (40.5 l/100 km).
ICCT: incremental technology can cut vehicle CO2 by half and increase fuel economy >60% through 2030 with ~5% increase in price
March 22, 2017
With the EPA re-opening its Mid-Term Review of GHG standards for 2022-2025 for light-duty vehicles (earlier post), and with NHTSA yet to weigh in on its Mid-Term evaluation of fuel economy standards for the same period, a team from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) has published a report analyzing emerging vehicle efficiency technologies; their ability to achieve lower emission levels; and their costs in the 2025–2030 timeframe.
Starting from a baseline 26 mpg (9.04 l/100 km) in 2016, the The ICCT team assessed increased consumer label fuel economy (as opposed to the regulatory test fuel economy) to 35 mpg (6.71 l/100 km) in 2025 and to 42–46 mpg (5.6-5.11 l/100 km) (under three scenarios) by 2030. These fuel economy levels are achieved based on a sustained 4%–6% annual reduction of fuel use per mile with incremental technology additions that do not compromise vehicle size or utility at an incremental cost of $800–$1,300 from 2025 to 2030. The resulting trajectory would reduce CO2 emissions by half and increase fuel economy by more than 60% from 2016 through 2030. Based on a detailed analysis of the efficiency technologies used to achieve these lower CO2 emission levels, the ICCT study concludes that vehicle prices would increase by about 5% by 2030.
New Lotus Elise drops even more weight; Sprint edition at 798 kg
March 20, 2017
Lotus has unveiled a significant update for the Lotus Elise ahead of its arrival in showrooms this spring. The new Sprint edition features the biggest weight cut to the car since the introduction of the first-generation Elise. The Sprint edition of the Lotus Elise has removed 41 kg (90.4 lbs) from the previous model, to reach a benchmark dry weight of just 798 kg (1,759 lbs).
Integrating a new front and rear aesthetic with Lotus’ established design language, this latest Elise also receives a wide range of cabin enhancements, including the lightweight open-gate gear select mechanism first introduced on the Lotus Exige Sport 350. The Sprint is available in both the 1.6-liter naturally aspirated and 1.8-liter supercharged versions.
New MQB-based Volkswagen Arteon fastback debuts in Geneva; 1.5L TSI Evo with cylinder deactivation
March 08, 2017
Volkswagen introduced the new Arteon five-door fastback at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. Based on the Sport Coupe Concept GTE plug-in hybrid shown in 2015 at the Geneva show (earlier post), the new Arteon will sit above the Passat in the Volkswagen line-up, and will replace the CC.
The newly developed MQB-based fastback model initially offers a choice of three gasoline and three diesel engines. The base gasoline engine, the 1.5 TSI Evo, is a new design and offers features such as Active Cylinder Management (ACT) to increase its efficiency. (Volkswagen introduced a version of this Millerized 1.5L EA211 at the Vienna Motor Symposium in 2016, earlier post.)
Audi introduces new A4 Avant g-tron; Audi e-gas offered as standard
March 07, 2017
Audi has introduced the natural-gas-fueled A4 Avant g-tron; dealers in Europe will begin taking orders for the midsize model starting in early summer 2017. It can be selected with climate-friendly Audi e-gas (synthetic natural gas produced with renewable energy in a Power-to-Gas process, earlier post) or compressed natural gas (CNG), or can be powered with gasoline.
Additionally, Audi is now offering e-gas to power the A3 Sportback g-tron as standard; customers will pay only the regular natural gas price. With this deal, Audi is reducing the CO2 emissions of the g-tron fleet when running on gas by 80%. When the new A4 Avant g-tron and the A5 Sportback g-tron come on market later this year, the e-gas offer as standard will apply to these models as well.
Audi unveils Q8 sport concept with 48V mild hybrid system (mHEV); drive system coming to “many” Audi models
At the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show, Audi is presenting the Audi Q8 sport concept, a new performance-oriented take on the Q8 concept study introduced at the 2017 Detroit Motor Show. Equipped with a 3.0 TFSI six-cylinder engine featuring a 48V mild hybrid system (mHEV) and an electric compressor, the SUV delivers a total 350 kW (476 hp) output and 700 N·m (516.3 lb-ft) of torque, and sprints from 0 - 100 km/h (0 ‑ 62.1 mph) in 4.7 seconds. Top speed is 275 km/h (170.9 mph). Its range of more than 1,200 kilometers (745.6 miles) ensures it is also suitable for long journeys.
Compared with a model equipped with a regular TFSI six-cylinder engine without the mHEV system, the Q8 sport concept with its 20 kW greater performance consumes around one liter less fuel per 100 km —corresponding to a reduction in CO2 emissions of 25 g/km (40.2 g/mi).
GKN Driveline develops new lightweight propshaft for Audi Q5; more compact, lighter, more efficient; MLB Evo
March 02, 2017
GKN Driveline created a new lightweight, high-speed propshaft joint for the all-new Audi Q5. The PVL joint is smaller, lighter and more refined than predecessor technology, and represents a bespoke solution by GKN engineers to create a more compact joint. Its outer diameter is reduced by 7mm, representing an 8% reduction in the width and height of the space it occupies in the driveline.
The smaller joint is also 350g lighter, representing a 23% weight reduction, yet there is no negative impact on torque capacity. With a smaller rotating mass, the PVL joint improves performance and efficiency, and helps to lower vehicle emissions.
Volvo Trucks testing long-haul hybrid powertrain in Concept Truck
February 28, 2017
With the Volvo Concept Truck, Volvo Trucks has developed its first hybrid vehicle designed for long-haul applications. In combination with the vehicle’s other improvements, the total reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 is around 30%. (Earlier post.)
Volvo Trucks estimates that in long haul operation, the hybrid powertrain will allow the combustion engine to be shut off for up to 30% of the driving time. This will save between 5-10% in fuel, depending on the vehicle type or specification, and its drive cycle. It also offers the ability to drive in full electric mode for up to 10 kilometers, enabling the vehicle to operate with zero emissions and low noise.
Next-Gen Ford Fiesta St with new 200 PS 3-cylinder, 1.5L Ecoboost with 3 drive modes; cylinder deactivation
February 24, 2017
Ford Performance unveiled the next generation Ford Fiesta ST, powered by an all-new three-cylinder, 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine. Shown for the first time ahead of its global public debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month, the next generation Fiesta ST will deliver 200 PS, 290 N·m of torque, and anticipated 0-100 km/h (0‑62 mph) acceleration in 6.7 seconds.
The third generation of Fiesta ST will be the first Ford Performance model ever powered by a three-cylinder engine, and will be the first Fiesta ST to feature selectable Drive Modes—enabling engine, steering and stability controls to be configured to Normal, Sport and Track settings.
Strong honeycomb cargo shelf in new Ford EcoSport SUV made of recycled paper; 6lb floorboard holds ~700 lbs of cargo
February 18, 2017
The adjustable cargo floorboard in the all-new 2018 Ford EcoSport is made of high-strength 100% recycled paper honeycomb. Constructed from all-natural paper and water-based glue, the six-pound honeycomb floorboard is both eco-friendly and strong enough to handle nearly 700 pounds of cargo across its 38.5-inch by 25.25-inch surface.
Ford introduced the EcoSport for North America in November 2016 (via the first Snapchat reveal). The EcoSport is intended to combined space-saving convenience, SUV capability and connectivity. The adjustable floorboard will debut as an all-new feature when EcoSport arrives early next year.
GKN, SDS begin production of all-wheel drive disconnect system in China; up to 4% improvement in fuel economy
February 16, 2017
GKN Driveline’s Chinese Joint Venture partner SDS has commenced production of its complete all-wheel drive (AWD) Disconnect system for small- to medium-sized vehicles in China. The system will initially feature on the Jeep Renegade built for the Chinese market by GAC Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Co., Ltd. (GAC FCA) in Guangzhou City, southern Guangdong Province.
GKN’s Disconnect function enables vehicles to combine the enhanced traction, dynamics and stability of all-wheel drive with improved on-highway fuel efficiency. The system reacts to driver inputs and road conditions to seamlessly switch between two-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. During steady state cruising, the clutch system disengages the rear section of the driveline, eliminating rotating losses and improving highway fuel economy by up to 4%—compared to standard AWD. If the driver or conditions require more traction, the system reconnects within just 300 milliseconds.
Ford investing $200M in next-gen wind tunnel complex
February 15, 2017
Ford is investing $200 million in a new aerodynamic testing complex that will house a next-generation rolling road wind tunnel and state-of-the-art climatic chamber. The new wind tunnel complex will sit on 13 acres next to Ford’s current Driveability Test Facility in Allen Park, Michigan. The complex will house new innovative technology that delivers state-of-the-art real-world driving simulations to advance improvements in fuel economy. Construction starts this year.
Ford’s new wind tunnel complex better positions its engineers to conduct testing that proves out advancements in vehicle design. A new five-belt conveyor system can replicate real-world drag through a rolling road aerodynamic tunnel that enables Ford to bring the road to the vehicle, rather than the vehicle to the road.
ARPA-E awards SwRI-led team up to $2.9M for connected and automated vehicle technology; NEXTCAR program
February 14, 2017
A team led by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has been awarded up to $2.9 million in funding to develop connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technologies aimed at improving fuel economy by more than 20%. The project is part of ARPA-E’s Next-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Autonomous On-Road Vehicles (NEXTCAR) program. (Earlier post.)s
The three-year project, “Model Predictive Control for Energy-Efficient Maneuvering of Connected and Automated Vehicles,” calls for the team to develop optimal control algorithms that leverage vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), and other vehicle-to- everything (V2X) technologies to simultaneously optimize the vehicle’s route, speed profile, and power flows from the hybrid system.
Extensive rollout for GM 9-speed transmission in China
General Motors said it will rapidly and extensively deploy its new nine-speed automatic transmission in China, which is debuting in a high-volume SUV later this year. The state-of-the-art transmission, which optimizes efficiency, performance and refinement, will be adopted in 13 models in China from the Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac brands by 2020.
The new nine-speed automatic offers a fuel efficiency improvement of up to 2% compared to a six-speed transmission. It supports stop/start technology, which further helps save fuel by allowing the engine to shut down in certain stop-and-go driving conditions. It was developed globally and tested in various road conditions worldwide, including China.
Chevrolet 2017 Cruze Diesel EPA-rated at 52 mpg highway, 37 mpg combined; Tier 3 Bin 125
February 13, 2017
The 2017 Cruze Diesel Sedan (earlier post) fitted with the six-speed manual transmission offers an EPA-estimated highway mileage of 52 mpg (4.52 liters/100 km)—the highest highway fuel economy of any non-hybrid/non-EV in the US. The six-speed manual model returns an EPA-estimated city mileage of 30 mpg (7.83 l/100 km), resulting in 37 mpg (6.35 l/100 km) combined. Cruze Diesel with the nine-speed automatic achieves an EPA-estimated highway economy of up to 47 mpg and 31 city mpg, which results in 37 mpg combined.
The 2017 Cruze Diesel Sedan, due to go on sale this spring, features a new B20-capable Ecotec 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine—already proven in Europe and other global markets—offering an SAE-certified 137 horsepower (102 kW) and 240 lb-ft of torque (325 N·m). Cruze Diesel passed all stringent US environmental standards and validation, including Tier 3 Bin 125 emissions standards.
Dearman doubling size of tech center for engine powered by liquid nitrogen
February 10, 2017
Dearman, the clean cold technology company, will double the size of its technology center ahead of further trials of its engine powered by liquid nitrogen. The Dearman Engine is zero emission, emitting no NOx or particulate matter (PM), and delivering significant carbon dioxide savings compared to diesel. (Earlier post.)
The first application of the technology is a zero-emission alternative to diesel powered transport refrigeration units (TRUs). (Earlier post.) The Dearman transport refrigeration system is currently undergoing advanced road trials with Sainsbury’s, and further international trials are set to begin later this year.
Study suggests GTL-naphtha-gasoline-ethanol blends can function as well as gasoline with lower emissions
February 05, 2017
Results of a study by a team from the University of Birmingham (UK) and Shell Global Solutions suggest that blends of gasoline with gas-to-liquids (GTL) naphtha can perform comparable combustion and full power output to conventional gasoline, with less than 2% difference in normalized ISFC (indicated specific fuel consumption) and gaseous emissions similar to, if not lower than that of conventional gasoline. A paper on their study is published in the journal Fuel.
The GTL Fischer-Tropsch process produces GTL diesel (the cleaner combustion and emissions qualities of which have been well studied), GTL naphtha, GTL kerosene, GTL normal Paraffin and GTL base oils. GTL naphtha mainly contains C4 to C11 hydrocarbons with a high proportions of straight chain paraffins. Although it has a consistent quality and near-zero sulfur and heavy metals, GTL naphtha has a low octane rating, making it unsuitable for blending in gasoline. (GTL naphtha currently is used as an alternative high-quality feedstock for plastics.) However, that low octane rating can be addressed by using ethanol as an octane booster.
Study: splash blended ethanol fuels with higher ethanol percentage enable higher thermal efficiency in SI engine
February 03, 2017
A team from the University of Birmingham (UK) and Shell Global Solutions has investigated the effect of RON, octane sensitivity and charge cooling in splash-blended ethanol fuels with different volume percentages of ethanol on a single-cylinder direct-injection spark ignition (DISI) research engine.
In a paper published in the journal Fuel, the researchers report that at the knock-limited engine loads, splash-blended ethanol fuels with a higher ethanol percentage enabled higher engine thermal efficiency through allowing more advanced combustion phasing and less fuel enrichment for limiting the exhaust gas temperature under the upper limit of 850 °C, which was due to the synergic effects of higher RON and octane sensitivity, as well as better charge cooling.
DLR working with Yamaha on thermoelectric generators for vehicles; seeking 3-5% gain in fuel economy
February 02, 2017
The Institute of Vehicle Concepts at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt, DLR) is, together with the Japanese company Yamaha Corporation, developing special vehicle systems based on thermoelectric effects. The aim of the cooperation is to develop prototype thermoelectric generator modules for on-road and rail vehicles. Yamaha is mainly contributing its know-how in the procurement and manufacture of the thermoelectric modules made of semiconductor materials, and DLR is contributing its broad knowledge in design, vehicle concepts, as well as the design and optimization of vehicle energy systems.
Internal combustion engines in vehicles use only about one-third of the potential energy in the fuel for propulsion; the remaining two-thirds are lost as waste heat. Thermoelectric generators use this heat and convert it into electricity. The power can then be used in the vehicle for control units or convenience electronics and thus reduces the load on the alternator, which would otherwise have to generate this power itself.
McLaren Automotive launches collaborative strategic project on next-gen powertrains; part-funded by UK government
January 31, 2017
McLaren Automotive has launched a strategic project to design and develop technology for the next generation of powertrains. Working with a number of partners including BMW Group and Ricardo, the project intends to develop new combustion technology that will deliver a higher output per capacity than currently possible. It also aims to further facilitate CO2 reductions while simultaneously increasing engine output. The technology is destined for application in future McLaren engines.
The project, supported and part-funded by UK Government through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), is intended to deliver improvements in thermal system efficiency using a modular combustion system, lightweight castings and composite materials. The project will also improve the UK’s development and production capabilities of low-CO2 internal combustion engine technology. The project will be led by McLaren Automotive but involves a total of six partners.
Saudi Aramco R&D proposes SuperButol as new low-cost high-octane blend component
January 27, 2017
A team from Saudi Aramco Research and Development Center has developed a novel low-cost, high-octane gasoline blend component it calls SuperButol. SuperButol is made from low-value mixed butenes using a new process the team has named Butenes to Butanol (BTB); it has slightly lower blending RON compared to MTBE but has lower blending vapor pressure and higher energy content compared to ethanol.
It also has an insignificant effect on key gasoline specifications, including potential and actual gum; oxidation stability; intake valve deposits; port fuel injector fouling; haze formation; and water extractability performance. The team suggests that SuperButol is thus a viable and affordable gasoline component, which can help to meet future demands for high-octane gasoline. In addition, the process helps to optimize refinery operations by valorizing low-value products. The team describes SuperButol in a paper in the journal Fuel.
Viking Grace LNG ferry to install rotor sail; first LNG/wind electric propulsion hybrid ship
January 26, 2017
Norsepower Oy Ltd., a provider of low- maintenance, software-operated, and data-verified auxiliary wind propulsion systems, signed an agreement with Finnish shipping company Viking Line to install its Rotor Sail Solution onboard the M/S Viking Grace, an LNG-fueled cruise ferry.
The 57,565 GT M/S Viking Grace currently operates in the archipelago between Turku (Finland) and Stockholm (Sweden), and is already one of the most environmentally-friendly cruise ferries in the global maritime industry. With the addition of Norsepower’s technology, the vessel will further reduce its emissions, fuel burn and fuel costs; reducing carbon emissions by around 900 tonnes annually; equivalent to cutting 300 tonnes of LNG fuel per year.
BP Energy Outlook: 30% growth in global demand to 2035; fuel demand continues to rise, even with EVs & fuel efficiency
January 25, 2017
The 2017 edition of the BP Energy Outlook, published today, forecasts that global demand for energy will increase by around 30% between 2015 and 2035, an average growth of 1.3% per year. However, this growth in energy demand is significantly lower than the 3.4% per year rise expected in global GDP, reflecting improved energy efficiency driven by technology improvements and environmental concerns. The Outlook looks at long-term energy trends and develops projections for world energy markets over the next two decades.
While non-fossil fuels are expected to account for half of the growth in energy supplies over the next 20 years, the Outlook projects that oil and gas, together with coal, will remain the main source of energy powering the world economy, accounting for more than 75% of total energy supply in 2035, compared with 86% in 2015.
DOE Co-Optima initiative publishes report reviewing first 12 months; progress on fuels and engines
January 16, 2017
The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Co-Optima initiative—a broad, joint effort to co-optimize the development of efficient engines and low greenhouse-gas fuels for on-road vehicles with the goal of reducing petroleum consumption by 30% by 2030 beyond what is already targeted (earlier post)—has published a year-in-review report for FY 2016—the initiative’s first 12 months.
Co-Optima’s premise is that current fuels constrain engine design—and thus engine efficiency. The researchers suggest that there are engine architectures that can provide higher thermodynamic efficiencies than available from modern internal combustion engines; however, new fuels are required to maximize efficiency and operability across a wide speed/load range. The report details the technical progress in a selection of projects across the initiative’s two main thrusts: spark ignition (SI) and advanced compression ignition (ACI).
Achates Power building 2.7L opposed-piston light-duty engine; exceeding CAFE 2025, Tier 3 targets at lower cost
January 13, 2017
Stemming from a major project partially funded with a $9-million grant from the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) to develop an opposed-piston two-stroke gasoline compression ignition engine (OPGCI) (earlier post), Achates Power announced it is developing a 2.7-liter, 3-cylinder (i.e., six-piston) light-duty version of its opposed piston engine (OPE) in both diesel- and gasoline-fueled versions. Achates will demonstrate the engine in 2018 in a driveable light-duty truck.
The 2.7-liter compression-ignition OPE will will be 30-50% more fuel efficient than comparable diesel and gasoline direct injection engines, reduce emissions and cost less than alternative technologies under development for meeting 2025 CAFE fuel economy and Tier 3 emission targets.
EPA to maintain light-duty vehicle GHG standards unchanged through 2025
In an expected ruling, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy finalized her decision to maintain the current greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for model years 2022-2025 cars and light trucks. (Earlier post.) The EPA says that a wide variety of effective technologies are available to reduce GHG emissions from cars and light trucks, and that automakers are well positioned to meet the standards through model year 2025 at lower costs than the agency earlier predicted.
The standards are projected to result in average fleet-wide consumer fuel economy sticker values of 36 miles per gallon (mpg) by model year 2025, 10 mpg higher than the current fleet average. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has yet to weigh in on the results of its midterm evaluation for fuel economy standards.
UCR team’s new evolutionary-algorithm-based EMS for PHEVs can deliver >30% fuel savings than conventional controls
January 11, 2017
Engineers at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) have developed a new online energy management system (EMS) based on an evolutionary algorithm for plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) that they say can improve PHEV fuel efficiency by more than 30%. A paper describing the research was recently accepted for publication in the journal IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems.
PHEVs, which combine an internal combustion engine (ICE) with an electric motor and a large rechargeable battery, offer advantages over conventional hybrids because they can be charged using grid electricity, which reduces their need for fuel. However, improving the efficiency of current PHEVs is limited by shortfalls in their energy management systems (EMS), which control the power split between engine and battery when they switch from all-electric mode to hybrid mode.
U Chicago study proposes market-based approach to fuel economy standards to deal with impacts of fuel price volatility
January 10, 2017
Volatile gasoline prices have caused some regulators and carmakers alike to question the cost and effectiveness of current fuel economy standards, with some arguing they are too stringent and others saying they should be even stronger. A new study by Ryan Kellogg, a professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and author of the study, evaluates the current approach and proposes a novel, market-based alternative: indexing the standard to rise and fall with the price of gasoline.
When the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) developed the joint regulations for light-duty CO2 emissions and fuel economy respectively, they developed their estimates of future achieved efficiency levels, program costs and benefits on government projections of continuously rising fuel prices.
DOE to award almost $20M to new research and development projects for advanced vehicle technologies
December 15, 2016
The US Department of Energy (DOE) is issuing a program-wide funding opportunity (DE-FOA-0001629) for the Vehicle Technologies Office of up to $19.7 million, subject to appropriations, to support research and development of advanced vehicle technologies, including batteries, lightweight materials, and advanced combustion engines, as well as innovative technologies for energy efficient mobility.
The funding opportunity seeks projects in four areas of interest that apply to light, medium, and heavy-duty on-road vehicles, energy efficient mobility, and transportation infrastructure systems Battery500 Seedling Projects; Integrated Computational Materials Engineering Predictive Tools for Low-Cost Carbon Fiber; Emission Control Strategies for Advanced Combustion Engines; and Energy Efficient Mobility Research and Development.
DARPA awards LiquidPiston $2.5M to advance further X4 rotary engine prototype
December 14, 2016
LiquidPiston, a developer of advanced combustion engine technology, received the award for the first phase of a program to realize the full capability of its patented high-efficiency hybrid cycle (HEHC) engine. This is the second award DARPA has made to LiquidPiston in the past 18 months, following an earlier test program for a different LiquidPiston rotary engine prototype, which achieved promising results. (Earlier post.)
NASA testing new boundary layer ingesting (BLI) propulsor; 4-8% fuel burn savings over current advanced engines
December 12, 2016
Engineers at NASA Glenn are testing a new boundary layer ingesting (BLI) inlet-fan combination—the first of its kind ever to be tested. Originally conceived of as a propulsion system for generation-after-next (N+2), the BLI system could increase fuel efficiency by 4-8% more than the advanced engines airlines are beginning to use.
On today’s jet aircraft, the engines are typically located away from the aircraft’s body to avoid ingesting the layer of slower flowing air that develops along the aircraft’s surfaces, called boundary layer. Aerospace engineers believe they can reduce fuel burn by embedding an aircraft’s engines into these surfaces and ingesting the boundary layer air flow to propel the aircraft through its mission.
Honeywell Transportation Systems Forecast: turbocharged vehicles to account for 48% of annual global sales by 2021; electric boosting emerges
December 09, 2016
Honeywell’s Transportation Systems Forecast projects that turbocharged vehicles will acount for 48% of annual global sales by 2021, up 9 percentage points from 2016. This annual sales estimate, combining both passenger and commercial vehicles, would add more than 232 million turbocharged vehicles globally between 2017 and 2021—an increase of 35% from today.
This year’s forecast recognizes an industry trend for slightly bigger engine sizes in Europe and China as automakers adapt powertrain strategies to tackle updated emissions regulations developed for real-world driving conditions. In these regions, a typical powertrain is a three- or four-cylinder engine with a displacement size between 1.2 liters and 1.7 liters. By rightsizing engines with available technologies, automakers are able to continue applying the benefits of smaller turbocharged engines while fine-tuning powertrain systems to further optimize fuel economy, emissions and performance.
New Lexus LC 500h with Multi Stage Hybrid System
December 08, 2016
Following the world premiere of the V8-powered LC 500 at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in January 2016, Lexus introduced its hybrid variant, the new LC 500h. (Earlier post.) The LC is a new flagship 2+2 performance coupe for Lexus’ global model range, and will go on sale in the US in Spring 2017.
The LC 500h is the first model to feature the new Multi Stage Hybrid system. (Earlier post.) Adding a multi stage shift device to the 3.5-liter V6 hybrid powertrain delivers greater torque, more usable power across a wider range of engine speeds and rhythmic, linear acceleration that gives the driver the sensation of working with a 10-speed automatic gearbox.
Global Automakers calls on EPA to withdraw proposed determination on MY 2022-2025 GHG standards, get back in alignment with NHTSA, provide more time
Global Automakers, the trade association representing the US divisions of 12 international automakers (Aston Martin, Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Isuzu, Kia, Maserati, McLaren, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota), has called on the EPA either to withdraw its proposed determination on MY 2022-2025 light duty vehicle greenhouse gas standards or to extend the comment period. On 30 November, EPA proposed leaving the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for those model years in place, based on its technical analysis that shows automakers are well positioned to meet the targets, and proposed a 30-day comment period. (Earlier post.)
The final standards are projected to result in an average industry fleet-wide level of 163 grams/mile of CO2 in model year 2025, which is equivalent to 54.5 mpg (4.31 l/100 km), if achieved exclusively through fuel economy improvements.
Chevrolet’s 1st 9-speed automatic to debut in 2017 Malibu; available in 2017 Cruze Diesel and 2018 Equinox
December 06, 2016
Chevrolet’s first nine-speed automatic transmission makes its debut in the 2017 Malibu and will be available in the 2017 Cruze Diesel and 2018 Equinox, with another Chevrolet model to follow by the end of 2017. The new, General Motors-developed Hydra-Matic 9T50 nine-speed is paired with the available 2.0L Turbo engine in the Malibu, contributing to an EPA-estimated 33 mpg highway (7.12 l/100 km)—a 3% increase over the 2016 model with the eight-speed automatic.
The new nine-speed has a wider 7.6:1 overall ratio compared to the eight-speed transmission, with a “deep” 4.69 first gear that supports excellent off-the-line acceleration and a “tall” 0.62 top gear for low-rpm highway cruising. That balance optimizes acceleration and fuel economy and reduces engine noise during cruising.
Toyota unveils new TNGA-based engines and transmissions and improved hybrid systems; deployment begins in 2017
In Japan, Toyota Motor Corporation unveiled new advanced engines and transmissions and further evolved hybrid systems based on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). Toyota intends to deploy these new powertrain units in a rapidly broadening range of vehicle models, starting in 2017. The new units will feature in 60% or more of vehicles sold annually in Japan, United States, Europe and China in 2021, reducing CO2 emissions in those markets by 15% or more.
Within the five years to the end of 2021, Toyota plans to introduce 17 versions of nine new engines; 10 versions of four transmissions, including multi-geared automatic transmissions and a new kind of continuously variable transmission; and 10 versions of six hybrid systems.
ORNL study finds even low penetration of CAVs delivers significant fuel economy benefits, but increases travel time slightly
December 01, 2016
A new study by a team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) suggests that low penetration rates of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) can deliver significant fuel consumption benefits, but that the total travel time increases slightly. The study, presented presented at the 9th ACM SIGSPATIAL on Computational Transportation Science, also found that benefits in travel time increase with higher penetration rates of CAVs.
The study—one of the first that captures the impact of different penetration rates of CAVs on fuel consumption and travel time—builds off of earlier work done by the team of Jackeline Rios-Torres and Andreas Malikopoulos to develop an optimization framework and an analytical closed-form solution that addresses the problem of optimally coordinating connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) at merging roadways to achieve smooth traffic flow without stop-and-go driving. (Earlier post.)
NREL report finds hydrogen fuel cell bus fuel economy up to 1.4x that of diesel, 1.9x CNG
The US Department of Energy (DOE) Fuel Cell Technology Office (FCTO) has released the latest edition of an annual report showing that the average fuel economy of fuel cell electric buses from three fleets is 6.8 miles per diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) (ranging from 5.56 - 7.71 DGE), 1.4 times higher than conventional diesel buses (~4.2 miles per DGE) from one fleet and up to 1.9 times higher than compressed natural gas buses (~3.3 miles per DGE) in another fleet.
This demonstrates significant fuel economy improvement toward the DOE and Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) target of 8 miles per DGE. FCEB durability has reached 23,000 hours, surpassing FCTO’s 2016 target of 18,000 hours, and range has reached up to 340 miles (547 km), more than 13% above the 2016 target of 300 miles (483 km).
EPA proposes leaving light-duty vehicle GHG standards for MY 2022-2025 unchanged
November 30, 2016
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed leaving the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for light-duty vehicle model years 2022-2025 in place, based on its technical analysis that shows automakers are well positioned to meet the targets. The final standards are projected result in an average industry fleet-wide level of 163 grams/mile of CO2 in model year 2025, which is equivalent to 54.5 mpg (4.31 l/100 km), if achieved exclusively through fuel economy improvements.
As part of the rulemaking establishing the model year 2017-2025 light-duty vehicle GHG standards, EPA committed to conduct a Midterm Evaluation of standards for model years 2022-2025. The public comment period for this action begins today and will end on 30 December 2016. After the comment period has ended and consideration of the input, the Administrator will decide whether she has enough information to make a final determination on the model year 2022-2025 standards.
Ford to offer cylinder deactivation for 1.0L EcoBoost in 2018; 6% fuel economy boost; global first for a 3-cylinder
Ford will offer the multi-award-winning 1.0‑liter EcoBoost gasoline engine with innovative cylinder deactivation technology for further reducing CO2 emissions and improving fuel efficiency by up to 6%. Ford had been investigating different cylinder deactivation approaches for the 1.0L EcoBoost in collaboration with the Schaeffler Group. (Earlier post.)
The 1.0L EcoBoost with cylinder deactivation will debut in early 2018, becoming the first production three-cylinder engine with that fuel-saving feature. The accomplishment is delivered through innovative engineering by Ford engineers across Europe, and counters industry opinion that a three-cylinder, variable capacity engine could not deliver the refinement needed for passenger car applications.
Update on DOE Co-Optima project to co-optimize fuels & engines; goal of 30% per vehicle reduction in petroleum
November 28, 2016
In October 2015, the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) launched a broad, joint effort to co-optimize the development of efficient engines and low greenhouse-gas fuels for on-road vehicles with the goal of reducing petroleum consumption by 30% by 2030 beyond what is already targeted. (Earlier post.) The intended application is light-, medium-, and heavy-duty markets including hybrid architectures.
The Co-Optima project team, which is leveraging the technical contributions of nine of DOE’s 17 national laboratories, has grown to more than 130 researchers, according to Robert Wagner, Director of the Fuels, Engines, and Emissions Research Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and a member of the Co-Optima leadership team, in a briefing at the lab earlier this month. In August 2016, DOE announced funding of up to $7 million further to support the initiative.
Volvo Cars’ 90 Series cars receive powertrain, safety and connectivity updates including Android Auto
November 23, 2016
Volvo Cars is updating its 90 series cars with new powertrain, safety and connectivity updates. The new Drive-E powertrain variants include a D3 4-cylinder diesel engine coupled to a new manual 6-speed transmission; estimated fuel economy is 4.3 l/100 km (54.7 mpg US) NEDC in the S90 with emissions down to 114 g/km CO2.
A new automatic 6-speed transmission coupled to the D3 will deliver 114 g/km CO2 and 4.3 l/100 km. The D3 will also now be available with All-Wheel Drive.
ICCT: 2025 target average of 70 g/km CO2 for new cars in EU feasible and economical; more so with electric drive
November 22, 2016
A 2025 CO2 target of an average 70 g/km for new cars in the EU could be met with very little electrification and with an average payback period of less than 4 years, according to a new study by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). However, transitioning soon to electric drive could lower manufacturers’ compliance costs by as much as €500 (US$532) per vehicle in 2025.
Under current European Union regulations, average new car CO2 emissions must decrease from the present 120 grams per kilometer (g/km) to 95 g/km by 2021. Although no further reductions are presently mandated, new targets for 2025 and 2030 are under discussion in Brussels. In 2013 the European Parliament recommended an “indicative range” of 68–78 g/km for 2025, while holding out the possibility that even lower targets should be considered if justified.
Qoros Auto unveils drivable engineering development car with QamFree engine; near +50% boost in power & torque, -15% fuel consumption
November 20, 2016
At the 2016 Guangzhou Auto Show, Qoros Auto introduced the first drivable engineering development car—a modified Qoros 3 hatchback—equipped with the QamFree engine featuring FreeValve’s Pneumatic-Hydraulic-Electric-Actuator (PHEA) technology. (Earlier post.) FreeValve AB is a sister company to Koenigsegg Automotive.
Qoros debuted the Qamfree engine with FreeValve technology in a concept car at the Beijing Motor Show in April 2016. “Called QamFree” in the Qoros application, FreeValve uses PHEA technology to replace the traditional camshaft-based method of controlling valve operation in an internal combustion engine. This results is much more precise and completely customizable control over valve duration and lift, on both the intake and exhaust sides.
ICCT/TNO study: Real-world vehicle fuel consumption discrepancy widens to 42% in Europe
November 17, 2016
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.
Since 2001, the discrepancy between official measurements of vehicle efficiency and actual performance of new cars in everyday driving has more than quadrupled—a discrepancy that translates into €450 per year in extra fuel costs for the average vehicle. As a result, less than half of the on-paper reductions in CO2 emissions since 2001 have been realized in practice.
Peloton in ARPA-E NEXTCAR project to cut HD truck fuel use by 20% with smart powertrains and platooning
November 15, 2016
Peloton Technology, a connected and automated vehicle technology company developing platooning technology for heavy-duty trucks (earlier post), is participating in the Next-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Autonomous On-Road Vehicles (NEXTCAR) program sponsored by the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). (Earlier post.)
The Peloton project, led by Purdue University (earlier post) will apply next-generation truck platooning technology and concepts for smart, cloud-connected powertrains to achieve 20% fuel savings for tractor-trailers.
Study finds CO2 emissions trading more effective path to automotive CO2 reduction in Europe than tailpipe standards
November 11, 2016
A new study by researchers at MIT and colleagues in Europe has found that rather than adopting a standard for automotive fuel economy ratings, as the United States has done with its CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) standards for many years, the EU could achieve the same results for CO2 emission reduction at far lower cost to the economy by simply extending their existing emissions-trading system to encompass transportation rather than just electricity generation and energy intensive industry.
The European Union (EU) recently adopted CO2 emissions mandates for new passenger cars, requiring steady reductions to 95 gCO2/km in 2021. Switching from the automotive standards to the trading scheme could save as much as €63 billion, says the study’s lead author Sergey Paltsev, deputy director at MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change and senior research scientist at the MIT Energy Initiative. The results are published in the journal Transportation.
Volkswagen unveils updated Golf; Millerized engines, semi-automated driving, digital cockpit and gesture control
November 10, 2016
Volkswagen presented a major update of the Golf in an event at the Autostadt in Wolfsburg. In addition to some design enhancements, the new Golf features new engines (including the Millerized 1.5L EA211 introduced at the Vienna Motor Symposium in April, earlier post), new assistance systems and a new generation of infotainment systems. As a world-first in the compact class, the top-of-the-range “Discover Pro” infotainment system can be operated by gesture control.
With its 9.2-inch screen it forms a conceptual and visual entity with the Active Info Display (digital instrument panel), which is also new to the Golf. (earlier post) The updated Golf is also one of the first compact cars to be available with semi-automated driving functions—the new Traffic Jam Assist function can guide the Golf at speeds of up to 60 km/h (37 mph) in strenuous stop-and-go traffic. It steers, brakes and accelerates the new Golf.
Argonne study on optimizing gasoline compression ignition at idle and low loads
November 09, 2016
Gasoline compression ignition—i.e., igniting gasoline purely by compression, as with a diesel, rather by using a spark—is a promising, high-efficiency, low-temperature combustion mode that offers low engine-out NOx and soot. (Earlier post.) GCI, however, is challenged by stable idle- to low-load operation (i.e., 0-2 bar BMEP) because it is challenging to ignite the low-reactivity gasoline purely through compression.
One way to address that challenge is through optimizing the injection system and injection strategy to ensure that the air-fuel mixture maintains a high level of reactivity. A team from Argonne National Laboratory now reports in a paper published in the International Journal of Engine Research on the effects of injector nozzle inclusion angle, injection pressure, boost, and swirl ratio on gasoline compression ignition combustion.
ORNL-led team developing breakthrough high-temperature, high-strength Al alloy for advanced light-duty engines
November 08, 2016
A team led by researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is developing a lower-cost cast aluminum (Al) alloy capable of at least a 50 ˚C temperature increase over the current cylinder head alloys 319 and 356 for use in light duty engines. The new alloy is also targeting a better than 25% increase in strength at 300 ˚C compared to the older alloys at 250 ˚C, as well as excellent hot tearing resistance.
The work, led by Dr. Amit Shyam at ORNL, is part of a 4-year project consisting of a CRADA partnership with FCA and foundry giant Nemak. (Earlier post.)
Ricardo’s low-cost, fuel-efficient automatic transmission concept for motorcycles
November 07, 2016
Ricardo has developed and demonstrated an advanced and cost-effective motorcycle Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) concept that offers the comfort and convenience of automatic and semi-automatic operation with better-than-manual fuel efficiency.
Manual transmissions predominate in almost all non-scooter two-wheeler categories; automated alternatives can be expensive and bring efficiency penalties. BY contrast, the Ricardo concept avoids these drawbacks and is comparatively simple to integrate into an existing product range.
SAE REX: PHEVs and REEVs could open door for advanced combustion regime engines
Increased market penetration of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and range-extended electric vehicles (REEVs) across vehicle segments could present an opportunity for emerging advanced combustion regime engines, such as those using various low-temperature combustion modes, according to a number of presentations at the SAE 2016 Range Extenders for Electric Vehicles Symposium held last week in Knoxville.
The REEV or PHEV also may present opportunities for more novel power sources such as turbines (Wrightspeed), fuel cell stacks (Nissan) or aluminum-air batteries (Phinergy and Arconic), speakers suggested. The REX symposium was sponsored by Mahle; the organizers were from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Mahle.
ARPA-E awards $32M to 10 new projects to improve connected and automated vehicle efficiency
November 03, 2016
The Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced up to $32 million in funding for 10 innovative projects as part of the Next-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Autonomous On-Road Vehicles (NEXTCAR) program. (Earlier post.) With a goal of reducing individual vehicle energy usage by 20%, NEXTCAR projects will take advantage of the increasingly complex and connected systems in today’s—and tomorrow’s—cars and trucks to improve their energy efficiency.
Connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technology utilizes on-board or cloud-based sensors, data and computational capabilities to help a vehicle better process and react to its surrounding environment. This knowledge could include the location of stop signs and intersections, the actions of nearby vehicles, the location of congested areas, and much more. Currently, CAV technologies predominantly improve upon vehicle safety and add driving convenience. NEXTCAR projects will leverage these rapidly evolving technologies to greatly reduce vehicle energy use.
Nissan introduces series-hybrid powertrain with Note e-POWER in Japan; small pack, small engine, LEAF motor, low price
November 02, 2016
In Japan, Nissan Motor introduced its new series-hybrid drive system called e-POWER along with its application in the Note. This marks the first availability of e-POWER technology for consumers, marking a milestone in the electrification strategy under Nissan Intelligent Mobility.
e-POWER borrows from the EV technology in the Nissan LEAF. Unlike the all-battery-electric powertrain of the LEAF, e-POWER adds a small gasoline engine to charge the high-output battery when necessary, eliminating the need for an external charger while offering the same high-output. Nissan says that although e-POWER uses a much smaller battery than the LEAF (1.5 kWh vs 30 kWh), it delivers the same driving experience as a full EV.
Ricardo’s “deep” Miller cycle concept: Magma
November 01, 2016
In its new report on downsized and boosted gasoline engine technologies (earlier post) the ICCT highlighted Ricardo’s work on an “extreme” Miller cycle concept with high (13:1) compression ratio (CR) and central direct injection in a downsized boosted engine.
The basic architecture of “Magma” concept is a boosted four-stroke gasoline engine with four valves per cylinder. The Magma concept architecture closes the inlet valve early to reduce pumping losses. A mechanical supercharger and fixed-geometry turbocharger fill cylinders effectively. A long exhaust stroke then extracts maximum efficiency.
ICCT-led analysis of turbocharged, downsized engine tech finds lower costs and greater benefits than 2012 EPA/NHTSA analysis; 48V, e-boost, Miller
October 31, 2016
A new white paper published by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), in collaboration with Eaton, Ricardo, JCI, BorgWarner, Honeywell, and the ITB Group, analyzes current turbocharged, downsized gasoline engine technology developments and trends.
The assessment, which relies on data from publicly available sources and data and information from the participating automotive suppliers, provides an update to the technology assessments performed by US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to inform the 2017–2025 fuel economy and GHG rule.
Mercedes-Benz powering ahead with €3B strategic engine initiative; increasing electrification, 48V; diesel and gasoline; cylinder deactivation
October 30, 2016
Following the launch of the new Mercedes-Benz four-cylinder OM 654 diesel engine in spring 2016 in the E 220d (earlier post), 2017 will see the addition of four more members to the all-new family of engines: six-cylinder in-line engines in both diesel (OM 656) and gasoline (M 256) versions; a new four-cylinder gasoline engine (M 264); and a new biturbo V8 (M 176) with cylinder deactivation. Mercedes-Benz is investing a total of around €3 billion (US$3.3 billion) in its strategic engine initiative.
The scaling of state-of-the-art technologies and electrification options from 12 V to 48 V to high-voltage plug-in applications makes it possible to configure the appropriate powertrain for every vehicle. There will be world premieres for new advanced technologies, such as the Integrated Starter-Alternator (ISG); the 48 V electrical system; and the electric auxiliary compressor (eZV).
MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 plug-in hybrid on sale in June 2017
October 26, 2016
MINI has officially unveiled the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4, the brand’s first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, as one of the three variants of the new MINI Countryman. (Earlier post.) All three of the new MINI Countryman variants will make their World Premiere at the Los Angeles International Auto Show at a press conference on 16 November.
Propulsion is shared between a 134 hp (100 kW) 3-cylinder gasoline engine and a 65 kW synchronous electric motor. Together they produce a system output of 221 hp (165 kW) with system torque of 385 N·m (284 lb-ft). Average fuel consumption on the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles is 112 mpg US, with CO2 emissions of 49 grams per kilometer; 0–62 mph time is 6.9 seconds.
Japan researchers successfully synthesize new lightweight thermoelectric material
October 25, 2016
Researchers at the Materials Function Control Laboratory at the Toyohashi University of Technology and the Nagoya Institute of Technology have successfully synthesized a new thermoelectric material, CaMgSi, an intermetallic compound. The key to this development was the synthesis procedure; bulk CaMgSi intermetallic compound was synthesized by combining mechanical ball-milling (MM) and pulse current sintering (PCS) processes.
The new thermoelectric material is lightweight, with a low density of 2.2 g/cm3. One of the possible applications of the material is in automobiles to utilize waste heat emitted from engines, the research team suggested. A paper on the work is published in the Journal of Alloys and Compounds.
2017 Audi A3 replaces 1.8L with Millerized 2.0L TFSI; better fuel economy, power and torque
The 2017 Audi A3 Sedan and Cabriolet models in the US are now available with Audi’s more efficient Millerized 2.0-liter TFSI engine (earlier post) and seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission. The A3 sedan with 2.0-liter engine replaces the 1.8-liter engine previously offered on A3 front-wheel drive models.
This new 2.0-liter engine offers an increase of 16 hp and 21 lb-ft of torque compared to the previous generation A3 1.8T, along with EPA-estimated combined cycle fuel economy of 29 mpg (8.1 l/100km), compared to an EPA-rated 27 mpg (8.7 l/100 km) from the 2016 A3 with the 1.8-liter engine (a 7.4% improvement).
Divergent 3D partners with Altran to deploy 3D printing for car manufacturing
Divergent 3D, a manufacturing technology company focused on the automotive sector, has entered into a global development partnership with engineering research and development (ER&D) firm Altran. The partnership comes shortly following Divergent 3D’s signing a strategic partnership letter of intent with top-ten global automaker PSA Group. Divergent 3D is commercializing a software-hardware platform for manufacturing that leverages 3D metal printing.
Under the agreement, Altran has invested in Divergent 3D and will provide support to accelerate implementation and licensing of its manufacturing technology platform across the continent as part of Altran’s new vehicle architecture initiatives. Together, the companies intend to help automakers leverage 3D printing to unleash design innovation while cutting costs, time-to-market and environmental impact.
Honda Clarity Fuel Cell EPA-rated with 366-mile range; longest of any ZEV
October 24, 2016
The Honda Clarity Fuel Cell sedan (earlier post), launching later this year, received an EPA driving range rating of 366 miles (589 km) and fuel economy rating of 68 mpg of gasoline-equivalent combined, giving it the best range rating of any electric vehicle without a combustion engine, including fuel cell and all-electric vehicles, in the United States.
Honda will introduce the new 5-passenger, hydrogen-powered Clarity Fuel Cell sedan by the end of 2016, beginning with retail leasing to customers through its expanded network of 12 approved fuel cell vehicle dealerships located in select California markets.
Continental puts first 48V hybrid assist system into production with Renault diesels
October 21, 2016
From the end of 2016, diesel variants of the Renault Scénic and Grand Scénic models will be equipped with Continental’s 48-volt hybrid drive—the first application of the 48V “Hybrid Assist” in production vehicles.
The first production solution combines an efficient, water-cooled induction motor with an integrated inverter. The electric motor transmits power via a belt drive directly to the crankshaft of the combustion engine—an arrangement referred to as “P0 topology.” Further production ramp-ups are soon to be set in motion on the basis of a modular system for 48-volt drives.
2017 Audi Q7 now available with 2.0-liter TFSI turbo-charged four-cylinder engine; lower entry point to premium SUV
October 20, 2016
Audi of America is offering a new 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder engine on 2017 Audi Q7 models. This new model, when equipped with the 2.0-liter engine, is half a second faster on the 0-60 mph sprint; nearly 500 pounds lighter; and up to 22% more fuel-efficient than the previous generation Q7 3.0T V6.
With the 2.0 TFSI, Audi is creating a value proposition that makes entry into the luxury full-size SUV more accessible. The starting MSRP ($49,000) (Premium trim) is $5,800 below the current entry point of $54,800 for the Premium 3.0 TFSI; pricing for the 2.0L Premium Plus trim starts at $53,000 ($1,800 below the current entry point and $5,800 below the Premium Plus 3.0 TFSI). The specifications of the 2.0- and 3.0-liter engined cars are virtually the same except for the engine; the inlays which are a mix of aluminum and wood on the lower and upper dash vs all wood; and 18-inch wheels instead of 19-inch wheels.
Daimler Buses to offer electrohydraulic power steering to reduce fuel consumption
October 19, 2016
Daimler Buses will offer electrohydraulic power steering (EHPS) to reduce fuel consumption in coming bus models. The fully integrated system replaces the conventional power steering pumps used currently in all buses with a gross weight of more than 7.5 t.
Conventional hydraulic power steering (HPS) is driven directly by the internal combustion engine via belts or gear trains with a fixed gear ratio which results in a pump speed that is directly proportional to the engine speed. To provide sufficient power for the steering in every situation, the pump must be able to deliver the full volumetric flow rate even when the engine speed is low—meaning that it is over-dimensioned for most operating situations. For this reason, higher engine speeds require a restriction of the volumetric flow rate by means of a bypass, which, however, entails unnecessary losses.
NASA to test in-flight folding spanwise adaptive wing (SAW) to enhance aircraft efficiency; advanced actuators
October 18, 2016
NASA is developing and validating a system that will allow part of an aircraft’s wing to fold in flight to increase efficiency through wing adaptation.
Engineers at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, Langley Research Center in Virginia, and Glenn Research Center in Ohio, are working on the Spanwise Adaptive Wing concept, or SAW. The concept would permit the outboard portions of the wings to move to the optimal position during operation. This could increase efficiency by reducing drag and increasing lift and performance.
Aeristech develops advanced 12V electric supercharger
October 14, 2016
UK-based electric forced induction specialist, Aeristech, has developed an advanced 12V electric supercharger system, eCharger. The new system makes use of Aeristech’s motor control technology to derive maximum pressure charging utility from the power available in conventional 12V vehicle architectures. The company introduced a 48V electric supercharger capable of continuous operation at high boost levels in 2015. (Earlier post.)
Designed to provide transient boost to support traditional mechanical forced induction systems, the 12V architecture enables the system to be integrated into existing driveline technologies. The product is currently in development, with validation testing set to begin in November 2016 and prototypes available for customer trials from January 2017.
BMW unveils Gen7 5 Series; more efficient gasoline and diesel units; plug-in hybrid 530e in 2017
October 13, 2016
BMW has unveiled the seventh generation of the BMW 5 Series Sedan, which will go on-sale in markets around the world in February 2017. The 5 Series has been a major hit for BMW, selling 7.6 million units since its first introduction in 1972. Further enhanced dynamics, assistance systems, connectivity and a new and innovative operating system are important new features in the latest generation, in addition to the new, more efficient powertrains.
The new 5 Series features TwinPower Turbo gasoline and diesel engines from the modular BMW EfficientDynamics family of power units. Two diesel engines and two gasoline variants will be available from launch, working in tandem with either rear-wheel drive or BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive. In March 2017, a BMW 5 Series Sedan with plug-in hybrid drive system—the BMW 530e iPerformance—will join the line-up, offering extremely low CO2 emissions of just 46 g/km (2.0 l/100 km), based on the EU test cycle. System output is 185 kW/252 hp.
VanDyne SuperTurbo and Allison Transmission collaborating to maximize benefits of downspeeding, supercharging and turbo compounding
October 12, 2016
VanDyne SuperTurbo Inc. and Allison Transmission Inc. are collaborating to co-develop a vehicle demonstrator. The companies plan to leverage the unique performance benefits of VanDyne’s mechanically driven turbocharger in combination with Allison’s TC10 transmission in a Class 8 tractor.
Through the deployment of advanced control techniques, the two technologies will maximize the benefits of engine downspeeding, efficient supercharging and turbo compounding. The primary objective of the collaboration is to demonstrate how these two products, when paired with an intelligently controlled vehicle, can reduce carbon dioxide emissions and improve fuel efficiency without sacrificing performance.
PSA Group, NGOs T&E and FNE, and Bureau Veritas publish their protocol for measuring real-world fuel consumption
October 11, 2016
Following the official release of real-world fuel consumption figures for 30 Peugeot, Citroën and DS models in July 2016, the PSA Group; the NGOs Transport & Environment (T&E) and France Nature Environnement (FNE); and Bureau Veritas are fulfilling their commitments and publishing the test protocol, as well as a spreadsheet tool.
The protocol for measuring real-world fuel consumption defines the means (necessary equipment) and methods (measurement and processing) that should be systematically applied to calculate the average real-life fuel consumption of the average customer. The protocol, which is valid for Europe, is carried out in three stages:
Testing confirms Torotrak V-Charge variable drive mechanical supercharger enables more ambitious downsizing; 1.0L demo at Aachen
October 10, 2016
Independent on-engine test results have verified the simulation predictions that a Torotrak V-Charge variable drive mechanical supercharger enables more ambitious levels of engine downsizing. Compared to a current 1.5L GTDI engine producing 240 N·m torque, a 1.0L GTDI engine of the same Ford EcoBoost family outperformed the 1.5L version when fitted with a V-Charge unit.
The tests were carried out by the University of Bath Powertrain and Vehicle Research Centre (PVRC), using a Ford 1.0L EcoBoost engine, in a part-government funded program. The 1.0L engine with V-Charge delivered 250 N·m (184 lb-ft) torque, corresponding to a BMEP (Brake Mean Effective Pressure) of 31 bar.
Navistar SuperTruck demo vehicle CatalIST exceeds DOE freight efficiency goal; 50.3% BTE, path to 55%
October 02, 2016
Navistar unveiled its innovative SuperTruck demonstration vehicle, CatalIST, which has achieved a freight efficiency improvement of 104% compared to the control vehicle, exceeding the improvement goal set by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the SuperTruck program. In addition, the Navistar vehicle has achieved fuel efficiency of 13 miles per gallon, and demonstrated 50.3% Brake Thermal Efficiency (BTE) and a path towards 55% BTE.
The last three letters of the vehicle’s name, the CatalIST, stand for “International SuperTruck,” referencing the company’s International commercial truck brand. The CatalIST concept underscores the company’s conviction that the innovations achieved through the program will serve as the catalyst for significant improvements in future commercial vehicles.
Infiniti unveils I4 Variable Compression Turbo engine; targeting 27% improvement in fuel efficiency over V6 engines of similar output
September 30, 2016
At the Paris Motor Show, Infiniti unveiled the new VC-Turbo (Variable Compression Turbo)—the first production-ready variable compression ratio engine. (Earlier post.) VC-Turbo technology combines the power of a high-performance 2.0-liter turbo gasoline engine with the torque and efficiency of an advanced diesel powertrain without the equivalent emissions.
Transforming on demand, Infiniti’s VC-Turbo technology uses an advanced multi-link system to raise or to lower the reach of the pistons, detecting the car’s driving condition and driver inputs, and instantly selecting the most suitable compression ratio. The engine is able to offer any compression ratio between 8:1 (for high performance) and 14:1 (for high efficiency).
New ICCT study identifies significant potential to reduce aviation fuel consumption by up to 40% by 2034
September 27, 2016
A new report from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) identifies significant potential to reduce aviation emissions through emerging fuel efficiency technologies.
The study summarizes the results of the first independent, bottom-up cost assessment of near- (2024) and mid-term (2034) technologies to improve new aircraft fuel efficiency. Carried out in cooperation with a panel of top technical experts and consultants using NASA and DoD-approved models to evaluate aviation technology programs, the study concludes that the rate of fuel efficiency improvement for new aircraft can be more than doubled through 2034, from about 1% today to 2.2% annually, by the adoption of cost effective technologies to improve engine efficiency, reduce aerodynamic drag, and trim aircraft empty weight.
Chevrolet introduces 2018 Equinox SUV with turbo diesel option in N. America
September 23, 2016
Chevrolet has introduced the all-new 2018 Equinox compact SUV with a choice of three turbocharged engines—including the segment’s first turbo-diesel in North America. The choices are a 1.5L turbo, a 2.0L turbo—matched with GM’s new nine-speed automatic transmission—and a 1.6L turbo-diesel.
The new Equinox is the first Chevrolet model in North America to use an all-turbocharged, multi-engine powertrain lineup. The 2018 Equinox goes on sale in the first quarter of 2017 in North America and rolls out to approximately 115 additional global markets later in the year.
DEKRA-certified tests: Mercedes-Benz HD trucks cut fuel consumption 22% in 20 years while meeting more stringent emissions rules; VECTO
September 22, 2016
Despite drastically more stringent emission standards for nitrogen oxides and particulates, the fuel consumption of Mercedes-Benz heavy trucks has been reduced by 22% over the last 20 years, according to the results of a comparative test drive certified by the test organization DEKRA.
The August 2016 testing by commercial vehicle magazine Lastauto Omnibus (LaO) compared the latest generation of the Mercedes-Benz Actros long-distance truck compared to the basic model of 1996—a Mercedes-Benz from the SK model series and therefore one of the last representatives of the pre-Actros era. The model 1844 was certified according to the Euro II standard valid in 1996, and was therefore allowed to emit 7 grams of NOx per kilowatt hour (kWh) while staying within the limiting value of 0.15 g/kWh for particulate matter. The number and size of the soot and other particles was not prescribed.
Cummins introduces next-gen X-series Euro 6 engines; up to 605 hp
At the IAA Show in Germany, Cummins Inc. revealed the next generation X Series for heavy-duty truck applications with 15-liter and 12-liter displacements to meet Euro 6 (VI) and equivalent emissions standards as they become globally adopted from 2019 onward.
Across a broad 350 hp to 605 hp (260-451 kW) range, the X Series introduces an innovative approach to duty-cycle optimization with a medium-bore X12 engine and two big-bore configurations, available as the X15 Efficiency Series and the X15 Performance Series.
Bentley introduces its first diesel: Bentayga Diesel with 48V system & electric supercharger
Bentley Motors has introduced its first diesel model: the Bentayga Diesel SUV. At its core is an all-new, technologically advanced, triple-charged, 4.0-liter, 32-valve V8 engine. Developing 435 PS (429 bhp) and 900 N·m (664 lb. ft.) of torque, the Bentayga Diesel hits a top speed of 270 km/h (168 mph) and can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 4.8 seconds (0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds). Peak torque is available from very early in the rev range (just 1,000 rpm).
The Bentayga Diesel, equipped with a start-stop system, has the lowest CO2 emissions of any Bentley (210 g/km), as well as a range of more than 1,000 km (621 miles)—allowing owners to, for example, drive from London to Verbier, Bordeaux or the Scottish Highlands on a single tank.
Ford showcases Transit line-up powered by new Ford EcoBlue diesel at Hannover; 6-speed auto, AWD and SYNC 3
September 21, 2016
The 2.0-liter Ford EcoBlue engine powers every vehicle displayed on Ford’s Hannover stand, and provides commercial vehicle operators with fuel efficiency improved by up to 13% compared with the outgoing 2.2-liter TDCi engine, with CO2 emissions from 157 g/km. EcoBlue also delivers significant improvements in low-rpm torque for enhanced driveability.
CALSTART survey of major auto suppliers finds 70% don’t want US to change CAFE targets; split on amount of electrification needed
September 15, 2016
Major automotive suppliers see national fuel economy standards as important for long-term planning and investment and don’t want to see them altered by US policymakers, according to a first-of-its-kind industry survey commissioned by CALSTART and conducted by Ricardo Energy & Environment.
The firm polled and interviewed 23 suppliers, almost all of them global Tier 1 suppliers that sell parts directly to automakers. According to the survey:
Volvo Trucks SuperTruck demonstrator improves freight efficiency by 88%, fuel efficiency by 70%
Volvo Trucks North America unveiled an innovative SuperTruck demonstrator whose combination of advanced aerodynamics, vehicle and powertrain technologies achieved a freight efficiency improvement of 88%—exceeding the 50% improvement goal set by the US Department of Energy (DOE) Supertruck I program.
The sleek tractor-trailer combination boosted fuel efficiency by 70%—exceeding 12 mpg, with some test runs showing more than 13 mpg—in road tests, and powertrain brake thermal efficiency reached 50%.
Jaguar Land Rover expanding Ingenium powertrain family; new gasoline engine, TRANSCEND transmission
September 12, 2016
This week, Jaguar Land Rover will expand its Ingenium powertrain family (earlier post), unveiling new technologies for both current and future vehicles. The new additions will support the company’s long-term commitment to reduce vehicle emissions and improve fuel economy across its range through the introduction of more efficient engines along with alternative powertrains, lighter vehicles and improved vehicle energy conservation.
At the heart of its low-emissions strategy, the new four-cylinder Ingenium gasoline engine is now in production at Jaguar Land Rover’s £1-billion (US$1.33-billion) Engine Manufacturing Centre. Designed, engineered and manufactured in the UK, these engines will deliver up to 25% more power than the engines they replace and offer fuel consumption reductions of up to 15%.
Nissan introducing Rogue Hybrid model for 2017; one-motor, two-clutch system
September 10, 2016
The newly announced 2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid, the latest addition to the popular Rogue crossover lineup, offers a second powertrain choice for Rogue buyers for the 2017 model year in both FWD and AWD applications. Like the MY2017 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder gasoline engine-equipped standard Rogue models, the Rogue Hybrid offers freshened exterior and interior styling, additional safety, security and driving aid technology and a wide range of standard and available comfort, convenience and utility features. Rogue Hybrid will join the lineup by the end of 2016.
The 2017 Rogue Hybrid produces projected fuel economy of 33 mpg city, 35 mpg highway and 34 mpg combined (estimated) (7.12, 6.71 and 6.91 l/100km respectively) for the front-wheel drive model. Rogue Hybrid all-wheel drive models are projected at 31 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 33 mpg combined (estimated) (7.58, 6.91 and 7.12 l/100km, respectively). Rogue Hybrid does so with virtually no compromise of performance, interior roominess or cargo space (compared to standard Rogue models).
Torotrak to present extreme engine downsizing solution at Dresden supercharging conference
September 08, 2016
At the 21st Supercharging Conference in Dresden next week, Torotrak Group will present results from engine testing that verify previous claims for V-Charge, a variable drive mechanical supercharger.
In comparison with the incumbent fixed-ratio positive-displacement supercharger on a 1.0L GTDI engine, V-Charge achieved improved BSFC (brake specific fuel consumption), better transient performance and a maximum BMEP (brake mean effective pressure) of 31 bar.
Kia introducing its first FWD 8-speed automatic
September 06, 2016
Kia Motors has revealed some details of its advanced new eight-speed automatic transmission (8AT), engineered for use in front-wheel drive vehicles.
Kia developed the new front-wheel drive 8AT (FWD 8AT) in-house; the new FWD 8AT occupies the same space as a conventional six-speed automatic transmission, and weighs 3.5 kg less. Under development since 2012, the development program for the breakthrough transmission led Kia to patent 143 new technologies to ensure a high level of performance and efficiency in a compact structure.
Study finds isopropanol-n-butanol-ethanol and gasoline blend viable as alternative fuel
September 05, 2016
Researchers from the University of Illinois and colleagues in China investigating the performance, combustion and emission characteristics of a port fuel-injection SI engine fueled with isopropanol-n-butanol-ethanol (IBE)-gasoline blends have concluded that an IBE30 blend could be a good alternative to gasoline.
Bio-n-butanol itself is a promising alternative fuel, produced conventionally from the fermentation of carbohydrates by Clostridium bacteria in a well-established process referred to as ABE fermentation, after its major chemical products: acetone, butanol and ethanol. However, ABE fermentation production suffers from relatively low production efficiency as well as the high cost of component recovery; the product mixture typically has an A:B:E ratio of 3:6:1.
Daimler Trucks NA presents new Class 8 Freightliner Cascadia with fuel efficiency improved up to 8%
September 02, 2016
Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) has presented its new heavy-duty truck flagship: the new Freightliner Cascadia.
When developing the new Cascadia, the engineers set a priority goal of achieving significant fuel savings. A fresh, aerodynamic shape with dozens of new updates and advanced powertrain components contribute to increased fuel efficiency by up to 8% over a 2016 Cascadia Evolution. One key benefit of the new Cascadia is its integrated powertrain. Unlike in Europe, it is quite common in the North American commercial vehicle market that the customer has third party aggregates in its trucks.
Cummins and Peterbilt to team up on SuperTruck II
September 01, 2016
For SuperTruck II, the Cummins–Peterbilt team will focus on breakthrough advances in Class 8 vehicle freight efficiency technologies that are cost-effective enough to be used in everyday real-world applications. Building on the solid foundation of SuperTruck I, Cummins will develop and demonstrate 55% or greater engine Brake Thermal Efficiency (BTE) at a 65 mph cruise condition and the full team will demonstrate a greater than 100% improvement in vehicle Freight-Ton Economy (FTE) over the 2009 baseline vehicle.
Bosch more broadly commercializing water injection system; up to 13% fuel savings under some conditions
Bosch is now more broadly commercializing its water injection system for turbocharged engines (earlier post). Bosch currently supplies water injection parts for the BMW M4 GTS—the first production vehicle to feature a water injection system. (Earlier post.) In the vehicle’s turbocharged six-cylinder engine, it offers improved performance and consumption even at full load.
Bosch’s WI system comprises a water pump; a water rail; and injectors which have been designed to handle the specific challenges arising as a result of operation with water. Particularly when accelerating quickly or driving on the freeway, the injection of additional water makes it possible to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 13% in highway conditions and 4% in normal driving (WLTC).
Volvo Group selected to participate in DOE’s SuperTruck II Program; 55% BTE
August 31, 2016
Under a SuperTruck II award announced by the US Department of Energy (DOE) (earlier post), Volvo Group North America is scheduled to receive $20 million in federal funding that it will use to improve the freight-moving efficiency of heavy-duty trucks. The Volvo Group and its partners will match the development funds dollar-for-dollar.
The Volvo Group’s team of researchers and engineers will use alternative engine designs and an integrated system approach to build a lightweight tractor-trailer concept that exceeds the freight efficiency goal of 100% improvement on a ton-mile-per-gallon basis compared with a 2009 baseline. The team also will demonstrate a powertrain capable of 55% brake thermal efficiency.
XL Hybrids awarded DOE Small Business Vouchers Pilot; testing of first diesel/XL3 combo at Argonne
August 30, 2016
XL Hybrids, Inc. has been awarded test funding from the US Department of Energy (DOE) Small Business Vouchers Pilot (SBV). Testing validation and analysis of its XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive System for Reach walk-in commercial vans will be performed at Argonne National Laboratory. The goal of the SBV-funded project is to overcome specific technical challenges, the company said.
The Reach van from Utilimaster is a high-roof Class 3 delivery van that comes with a standard 151.4 inch wheelbase and the high efficiency 3.0L, 150 hp, Isuzu DOHC I-4 diesel engine. The XL3 hybrid system is available on the Reach van with 2,500 pounds payload capacity with the XL3 system installed. (Hybrid system weight is 385 lbs / 175 kg.)
Select truck fleets boosted fuel economy 3% in 2015 compared to national Class 8 average
August 28, 2016
Seventeen trucking fleets operating more than 62,000 tractors and 217,000 trailers recorded a 3% increase in fuel economy in 2015, saving an accumulative $501 million on fuel when compared to the 2015 national average fuel spend of 1.7 million over-the-road class 8 trucks. They achieved these gains by purchasing a variety of fuel efficiency technologies, according to the Annual Fleet Fuel Study released by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE).
As a result of these investments, fleet-wide mpg increased from 6.87 to 7.06 in 2015, the largest margin of improvement in eight years of consecutive improvements. The trade cycle for these fleets is a little over five years, meaning that the new trucks are about 16% more efficient than the 2010 model year trucks they replaced.
USDOT proposes speed limiters for large commercial vehicles; potential savings up to ~$1B in fuel each year depending on limit
August 26, 2016
The US Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) are proposing equipping heavy-duty vehicles with devices that limit their speeds on US roadways, and requiring those devices be set to a maximum speed, a safety measure that could save lives and more than $1 billion in fuel costs each year.
Specifically, NHTSA is proposing to establish a new Federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) requiring that each new multipurpose passenger vehicle, truck, bus and school bus with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 11,793.4 kilograms (26,000 pounds) be equipped with a speed limiting device.
2017 Audi A4 ultra with Millerized 2.0 TFSI offers 31 mpg combined; highest EPA-estimated fuel economy in competitive segment
August 17, 2016
Audi’s 2017 A4 ultra leverages the Millerized 2.0-liter TFSI engine (earlier post) to achieve 27 mpg (8.7 l/100 km) city, 37 mpg (6.35 l/100 km) highway, and 31 mpg (7.58 l/100 km) combined EPA-estimated fuel economy. No other luxury sedan in its non-hybrid competitive segment offers higher EPA-estimated city or highway mileage.
The efficiency of the 2.0 TFSI is the result of Audi’s Millerized combustion method with shorter compression and longer expansion phases as well as increased compression. The Miller cycle uses a higher expansion ratio than compression ratio (i.e., over-expansion) obtained by either early or late closing of the intake valves (EIVC and LIVC, respectively), and results in a smaller effective compression stroke; combustion and expansion proceed normally.
DOE to award up to $137M for SuperTruck II, Vehicle Technology Office programs
August 16, 2016
The US Department of Energy (DOE) will invest up to $137 million in two programs, subject to appropriations, to develop next-generation technologies that will support industry in going beyond the newly announced Phase II standard for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (earlier post) and also accelerating technology advances for passenger cars and light trucks.
One initiative, SuperTruck II (earlier post), will award $80 million to four projects to develop and to demonstrate cost-effective technologies that more than double the freight efficiency of Class 8 trucks. Through the other initiative, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Vehicle Technologies Office Program Wide Funding Opportunity Announcement (earlier post)selections, 35 new projects will receive $57 million to develop and deploy a wide array of cutting-edge vehicle technologies, including advanced batteries and electric drive systems, to reduce carbon emissions and petroleum consumption in passenger cars and light trucks.
EPA and DOT issue final Phase 2 GHG and fuel efficiency rulemaking for medium- and heavy-duty trucks
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) jointly released the finalized Phase 2 greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks.
The product of four years of testing and research and outreach to industry, environmental organizations, labor unions, and other stakeholders, the vehicle and engine performance standards will cover model years 2021-2027, and apply to semi-trucks, large pickup trucks and vans, and all types and sizes of buses and work trucks. These standards will result in significant GHG emissions reductions and fuel efficiency improvements across all of these vehicle types. For example, when the standards are fully phased in, tractors in a tractor-trailer will achieve up to 25% lower CO2 emissions and fuel consumption than an equivalent tractor in 2018.
Infiniti introducing production-ready variable compression ratio engine at Paris Motor Show
August 15, 2016
Infiniti will introduce a production-ready variable compression ratio engine VC-T (Variable Compression-Turbocharged) at the 2016 Paris Motor Show (Mondial de l’Automobile) in September. Infiniti said that the new four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline VC-T engine has been in development for more than 20 years. (Nissan was awarded a patent in 1995 on compression ratio control for an engine.)
Interest in variable compression engines stretches back more than 40 years. In a 1976 SAE paper, Grundy et al. described the Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM) AVCR 1360-2 variable compression ratio (VCR) diesel engine, the culmination of fifteen years of VCR piston and high specific output research. Two main types of variable compression ratio systems have been proposed over the years: continuous and two-stage.
CALSTART white paper shows nationwide tech supplier industry ready to support more efficient heavy-duty trucks and buses
August 12, 2016
A new high-level white-paper from clean transportation industry group CALSTART shows that US companies that develop and manufacture high-efficiency, low-carbon technologies for heavy-duty vehicles are ready to support more efficient trucks and buses.
In a first attempt to gauge the scope of the United States’ high-efficiency technology supplier sector for heavy-duty trucks and buses, CALSTART conducted an initial scan of businesses and identified and mapped 255 companies. The firms range from vehicle manufacturers to component suppliers to technology developers, and operate from 535 facilities in 40 states, impacting 80% of the nation.
Argonne team discovers self-regenerating DLC tribofilm
August 05, 2016
Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory have discovered an ultra-durable, self-lubricating tribofilm that regenerates in the presence of oil, heat, and pressure—meaning that it will not wear away over the life of an engine. The film, reported yesterday in the journal Nature, develops when a new catalytic coating that can be applied to engine parts interacts with lubricating oil to create an extremely tough coating that almost eliminates wear.
Tests revealed the diamond-like carbon (DLC) tribofilm reduced friction by 25-40% and that wear was reduced to unmeasurable values. The discovery could have implications for the efficiency and durability of future engines and other moving metal parts that can be made to develop self-healing DLC tribofilms.
Survey: Fuel efficiency top criterion for US buyers regardless of size of vehicle; good news for start-stop
August 03, 2016
American consumers are strongly influenced by fuel efficiency and the price of gas when purchasing a vehicle, according to a new survey conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of Johnson Controls. Of the 1,006 people surveyed, fuel efficiency (57%) is top of mind for consumers when they go to buy any size automobile, followed closely by cost (55%) and safety (54%).
That preference is consistent with a similar survey conducted five years ago, despite falling gas prices, which are down more than 37% from the national average in 2011. The new survey also found consumers are sensitive to the price of fuel when considering a new vehicle, with 64% saying it directly impacts their purchase. This is up 14% from 2011.