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Renault Introduces B30 Logan eco2 Concept; Headed for Challenge Bibendum

Loganeco
The technologies of the Logan Renault eco² Concept. Click to enlarge. Credits: Hubert Vincent

Renault has unveiled the Logan Renault eco2 Concept, the experimental car it will take to the upcoming Challenge Bibendum in Shanghai, China. The Logan Renault eco2 has estimated CO2 emissions of 97 g/km.

The Logan Renault eco2 Concept is powered by a B30-compatible 1.5 dCi diesel engine (63kW/85hp) and benefits from a set of technical solutions and optimizations that serve as development pathways for future Renault vehicles.

The powertrain features modified pistons and injection system for enhanced combustion; detail work on tolerances and lubrication to minimize friction; and new gearbox ratios.

The combination of a VORTEX generator (a small, drag-reducing, roof-mounted feature); a flexible splitter under the front bumper; wheel fairings and a rear lip spoiler have enabled the Cd to be cut from the 0.36 of a standard Logan to 0.29.

The Logan Renault eco2 Concept is equipped with low rolling resistance Michelin Pure tires (185/65 R15). The camber and toe settings, as well as the braking system, have also been optimized as part of the effort to combat friction.

The work accomplished on those three fronts enables Logan Renault eco2 Concept to offer CO2 emissions of 97g/km (NEDC combined cycle), equivalent to fuel consumption of 3.8 liters/100km.

The dashboard of Logan Renault eco2 Concept is also equipped with a gearshift indicator which permits the driver to make an active contribution to the optimization of fuel consumption and reduce CO2 emissions. By taking full advantage of this feature’s benefits, it is possible to take Logan Renault eco2 Concept's CO2 emissions performance below its homologated score of 97g/km.

The eco2 appellation, introduced earlier this year, requires the vehicle to be produced in an ISO 14001-certified factory; to emit less than 140g of CO2/km, or else run on biofuel; and to be 95% end-of-life reusable, while at least 5% of the plastics in the vehicle must be sourced from recycling. (Earlier post.) Renault now has eco2 models in 40% of the versions that make up its range.

Renault manufactured the Logan Renault eco2 Concept was made in the Romanian factory of Pitesti, which received ISO 14001 certification in 2005. 8.3 per cent of the plastics it contains come from recycling and 95 per cent of its mass is reusable.

Comments

Rafael Seidl

This is essentially Renault's answer to VW's Polo BlueMotion, except that it's still a concept rather than an already available product.

Of course, the Logan is built by Renault subsidiary Dacia in Romania so it may be able to better compete on price if/when it goes into production.

Nick

3.8 L/Km = 62mpg (US). Ought to be a market for that.

Lucas


Would be easy to use modern developments to get 100+mpg.

Spare us the re-invention of the wheel.

Am I getting impatient?

You bet!

B100 is not hard for a diesel engine, what so great about B30?

clett

A handful of bits of plastic adding up to about £50 in total reduced the Cd from 0.36 to 0.29.

It makes me so mad that the car industry can do such simple and cheap things like this but choose not to bother.

Rem

Back in the 70's, French government broadcast an ad to promote its alternative energy policy (nuclear among others..): "en France, on n'a pas de petrole mais on a des idees" (in France, we do not have oil but do have ideas).
Taking the current situation, this motto should be refreshed and apply on the international stage. Not sure that would be so difficult?

patrice lebeouf

"A handful of bits of plastic adding up to about £50 in total reduced the Cd from 0.36 to 0.29.

It makes me so mad that the car industry can do such simple and cheap things like this but choose not to bother."

the placement and configuration of the bits of plastic is crucial to get the desired effect, so thorough wind tunnel testing is required, so the cost is not just the £50 for the splitter and v-generators, but yes, generally aerodynamic improvements are a relatively cheap way to improve performance/economy.

Rafael Seidl

@ Clett -

the question is not just how much fuel economy gains cost to develop and produce but how much extra the customer is willing to pay for them. Car makers are for-profit businesses.

Traditionally, the most effective strategy for increasing revenue per sale and therefore profits has been to add more power, more space, more luxury, more style, more safety. Car makers had to learn to love that last one, but in the end all of these features are benefits that accrue primarily to the owner.

Meanwhile, most consumers do appreciate the need for clean air, reducing CO2 emissions, improving energy security etc. and, they are willing to pay a little to do their bit. Any fuel savings translate do accrue directly to the owner, the main reason why diesels are so popular in Europe.

However, the primary connotation of "saving fuel" is still "penny-pinching", so to some extent this vehicle choice advertises that the owner simply couldn't - or else chose not to - afford a car with higher performance. Profit margins on econoboxes are low, so European car makers are careful to position their thriftier models as good for the environment - an emotional appeal - rather than as easy on the wallet.

Other than fuel cost, the benefits of greenery accrue to society as a whole. Consumers therefore do not consider them premium features and won't pay extra for them unless they either have to by law, are shamed into compliance or, society offers financial incentives such as tax breaks and co-pays. No-one wants to be the sucker that paid more for less just so the neighbor can buy himself a polluting or gas guzzling vehicle.

This aversion to free riders is perhaps particularly strong in Europe, but it exists in the US as well. It is ultimately the reason why fleet average fuel economy isn't coming down and why especially green models - like the concept discussed in the article - tend to do poorly in the market. Consumers simply aren't particularly altruistic when it comes to buying big-ticket items like cars. However, all is not lost.

For example, BMW decided to make its high-falutin' Efficient Dynamics package a standard feature of virtually every model they produce, as part of the regularly scheduled product line refreshes. It's really just a stop-start system with a slightly beefier lead-acid battery, more intelligent control of the alternator load and an electric water pump. The company could never have achieved sufficient unit volume had it chosen to make the package merely an available option. However, perhaps by fortunate coincidence, they are also addressing the free rider problem: because it's standard equipment, virtually all buyers of these luxury vehicles can claim it's part of their bit for the common good.

Btw, Citroen is doing much the same with its C2, C3 and C4 models.

Conclusion: car makers won't have much luck selling especially green models, except in California where the combination of celebrity cult and techno-geekery has made them very fashionable. Elsewhere, the key is to elevate the whole brand image (a.k.a. general margins) by offering modest improvements as standard features across the product line. This actually also yields the greatest bang for buck in terms of the benefits to society as a whole, but it is a harder (i.e. less profitable) sell than traditional premium features.

Mario

The Logan is a comfortable car but rather "boxy" and ugly by the way, it`s hard to believe the Cx reduction from 0.36 to 0.29.
If those things like spoilers and vortex generators works so well it will be the paradise for the "tuning" market.
I think that the most important modification in aerodynamics in this car is the "inlet air flux reduction", better saying "inlet air flux management" because it depends on the car demand of power and cooling, the car speed and temperature of inlet air.

Peter Bursztyn

Hi Mario, it is hard to believe that a "boxy" vehicle can have an excellent drag coefficient. Please consider the following example.

The slick, sexy Dodge Viper's drag coefficient is a dismal 0.40. On the other hand, the dumpy-looking Toyota Yaris claims a superb Cd of 0.29!

Attention to small details like that probably explain why Chrysler (plus Ford & GM) are taking a drubbing in the marketplace, while Toyota can't make their stuff fast enough!

ecoangel

Driven my Audi A2 1.2 TDi for over 5 years now. 81g/km CO2 and 93 (UK) mpg. Even on autobahn at 90mph she'll return 66 (UK)mpg all day long.

So where is the progress?

Why aren't standard cars produced with low friction tyres, better Cd values and lighter body weights?

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