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 →


OP engine developer Achates Power closes $29.8M Series D; OGCI Climate Investments comes onboard

Achates Power, the developer of next-generation two-stroke compression-ignition opposed-piston (OP) engines (earlier post) announced that OGCI Climate Investments has invested in the company’s Series-D round. This investment closes the Series-D offering through which Achates Power has raised $29.8 million to accelerate the company’s growth, commercialization and continued technology development. The... Read more →


At the Tokyo Motor Show, Mazda is introducing the KAI CONCEPT compact hatchback (earlier post), powered by the next-generation SKYACTIV-X spark-controlled compression-ignition (SPCCI) gasoline engine (earlier post), SKYACTIV-Vehicle Architecture and a more mature expression of the KODO design language. The company is using the opportunity of the event to provide... Read more →


Hyundai Motor Group outlined its future powertrain development strategy at its International Powertrain Conference in Korea. More than 1,200 engineers and academics are participating in the two-day event, which features presentations exploring the core theme “Knock the Limit of Powertrain Technologies: To Enhance Value for Customers.” At the conference, Hyundai... Read more →


According to the US Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2015 total petroleum production exceeded all US transportation sector petroleum consumption. The EIA expects petroleum production to be greater than transportation consumption through 2040. Including non-petroleum sources such as ethanol, the production will exceed transportation demand by... Read more →


Emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from global shipping are on the rise again, according to a new study released by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). Overall, the study found that maritime fuel consumption increased from 291 to 298 million tonnes (+2.4%) from 2013 to 2015, compared to a... Read more →


Audi has unveiled the new A7 Sportback four-door coupe. All engines used in the A7 Sportback come standard with a new mild hybrid system (MHEV) for greater comfort and efficiency. With the two V6 engines, this uses a 48-volt primary electrical system. A belt alternator starter (BAS) works together with... Read more →


DOE to award up to $3M for R&D to improve efficiency of off-road fluid-power systems

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will provide up to $3 million of new funding (DE-FOA-0001815) for fluid-power systems research for off-road vehicles. Construction, mining, and agriculture equipment represent the majority of fuel consumption in off-road vehicles, and this equipment relies heavily on fluid-power systems (i.e. hydraulics) to actuate most... Read more →


Sandia National Laboratories mechanical engineer Jackie Chen and colleagues Alex Krisman and Giulio Borghesi recently identified novel behavior of a key, temperature-dependent feature of the ignition process called a cool flame in the fuel dimethyl ether. The researchers used a two-dimensional direct numerical simulation (DNS) to provide a fully resolved... Read more →


Allison Transmission recently introduced its first nine-speed model at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta. The innovative, fully automatic transmission, for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, will be available globally and is targeted for release in 2020. With its deep first gear ratio and industry-leading ratio coverage, the Allison... Read more →


General Motors revealed its new-generation ECOTEC 1.0T and 1.3T dual injection engines that are being launched in China. The turbocharged engines were developed as a global architecture with the support of GM’s worldwide manufacturing and supply chain networks. They will power Buick and Chevrolet models built and sold in the... Read more →


Cummins and Achates Power awarded $47.4M NAMC contract to develop advanced combat vehicle engine

Cummins has been awarded a $47.4 million contract from the National Advanced Mobility Consortium (NAMC) to develop and demonstrate a technologically advanced engine for the next generation of US combat vehicles. The Advanced Combat Engine (ACE) project, led by Cummins Corporate Research and Technology and supported by Achates Power—the developer... Read more →


Researchers find consumers compensate for fuel-efficient car by buying bigger second vehicle; losing 60% of fuel economy savings

An analysis by a team from the University of California, Davis, MIT and Yale suggests that households that buy a fuel-efficient vehicle tend to compensate for that purchase by buying a bigger, more powerful second vehicle. This unintended effect could erode goals of fuel economy standard policies by up to... Read more →


BorgWarner showcasing electrification technologies for commercial vehicles; expects 32% CAGR in hybrid and electric CV market from 2017 to 2020

BorgWarner, is showcasing its range of combustion, hybrid and electric technologies at the North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) Show in Atlanta, Georgia. A forecast by Knibb, Gormezano and Partners (KGP), cited by BorgWarner, predicts the hybrid and electric commercial vehicle market will experience a 32.9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR),... Read more →


Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. has licensed its Nissan Machining Roughening Process (NMRP), a proprietary technology used in making automotive engines, to German machine tool manufacturer Gebr. Heller Maschinenfabrik GmbH. By using HELLER machinery that incorporates NMRP, carmakers can mass-produce engines with highly energy-efficient cylinder bores with iron spray coating at... Read more →


Gasoline HCCI (homogenous charge compression ignition) has been of interest to automakers for years, as the low-temperature combustion mode offers significant improvements in thermal efficiency and fuel consumption along with a reduction in NOx emissions compared to conventional spark ignition gasoline engines. However, traditional HCCI combustion has been realized only... Read more →


CMU study highlights lower-cost design path to fuel economy compliance: acceleration trade-off

A team at Carnegie Mellon University has found that engineering design modifications that compromise other performance attributes—specifically acceleration—offer a pathway to reduce the cost to automakers of compliance with fuel economy standards. Their study also found that acceleration tradeoffs can significantly reduce emissions associated with a particular level of the... Read more →


Groupe PSA, clean transportation NGO Transport & Environment (T&E); France Nature Environnement (FNE); and Bureau Veritas have collaborated to develop an accurate real-world fuel consumption test protocol. Unlike most other fuel economy measurements, these tests are performed on the road using a Portable Emissions Monitoring System (PEMS). The development of... Read more →


PACCAR joins DOE SuperTruck II initiative; 5 teams now in program

PACCAR Inc. is joining four other SuperTruck II teams to develop innovative technologies that more than double the freight efficiency of Class 8 trucks. Funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE), the SuperTruck II program is a follow-on to the successful $240-million SuperTruck I initiative (earlier post), the goal... Read more →


At this year’s IAA in Frankfurt, Federal-Mogul Powertrain will launch a new, smaller version of its proven Rotocap valve rotator, the first such for 4 valve per cylinder light vehicle engines. The miniaturized design features an outer diameter in the range of 20-25 mm and allows the Rotocap to package... Read more →


EMA concerned that EPA’s revisiting Phase 2 GHG rules could lead to misaligned regulatory requirements

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its intent to revisit provisions of the second phase of the greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency rules for medium- and heavy-duty on-highway trucks and engines that were finalized last year. (Earlier post.) The Phase 2 program builds on the Phase 1 regulations... Read more →


EPA to revisit trailer and glider provisions of Phase 2 GHG and fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty engines

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) intends to revisit provisions of the Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines, citing “concerns” raised by stakeholders in the trailer and glider industry. In September 2011, EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued... Read more →


Chevy Equinox diesel offers EPA-rated 39 mpg hwy; starts at $31,435

The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox offers an EPA-certified 39 mpg (6.03 l/100 km) on the highway (FWD model) with the available 1.6L turbo-diesel engine. (Earlier post.) GM expects that number to top the segment in highway fuel economy, with greater highway mileage than the 2017 Toyota RAV4 hybrid (30 mpg) and... Read more →


New Federal-Mogul Powertrain high thermal conductivity seats and guides keep engine valves cooler; improved combustion, lower emissions

Federal-Mogul Powertrain will debut new materials for valve seats and guides with improved thermal conductivity at the 2017 IAA Show in Frankfurt, Germany next month. Suitable for series production, the new High Thermal Conductivity (HTC) materials and Thermal Interface Material (TIM) coating can reduce valve head temperatures by up to... Read more →


VW offering new variant of Millerized 1.5 TSI on Golf and Golf Variant with coasting function

Volkswagen is now offering the latest member of its gasoline engine family—the 1.5 TSI delivering 96 kW/130 PS—for the Golf and Golf Variant. (Earlier post.) Volkswagen previewed the introduction of this variant of the 1.5 TSI—which supports a coasting function for the first time in a Golf—back in March, along... Read more →