by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. This is the latest of my occasional updates on long-term trends in U.S. vehicle fuel economy. Specifically, this study examines actual fuel economy of cars and light trucks (pickup trucks, SUVs, and vans) from 1966 through 2019. (My previous update included data through 2017.)... Read more →


Norsepower Oy Ltd., the leading global provider of auxiliary wind propulsion systems, announced its first newbuild order—the installation of a record five tilting Rotor Sails (earlier post) on board a large bulk carrier. The agreement marks the first installation of Norsepower’s innovative Rotor Sails on a bulk carrier, demonstrating the... Read more →


Achates Power’s innovative 3-cylinder, 10.6L opposed-piston heavy-duty diesel engine has achieved performance results that comply with pending 2027 requirements of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California to reduce sharply emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx). Engine and aftertreatment system development and performance assessments were conducted at the Achates Power... Read more →


Tula Technology hits milestone of 1M vehicles produced with Dynamic Skip Fire

Tula Technology, Inc., a tech leader in improving propulsion efficiency and reducing emissions in passenger cars and commercial vehicles, announced that the one-millionth vehicle utilizing its award-winning Dynamic Skip Fire (DSF) technology (earlier post) was produced in November 2020. Unlike cylinder deactivation strategies that shut off a fixed number of... Read more →


BYD debuts DM-i PHEV technology and 1.5L Xiaoyun Engine; 43% BTE

BYD launched its DM-i hybrid technology alongside the official announcement of the high efficiency version of the 1.5L Xiaoyun engine, which is dedicated for plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs). After defining new performance standards for PHEVs with its DM-p technology, BYD is prioritizing ultra-efficient fuel consumption with the DM-i technology. The... Read more →


IAV and Louisenthal, a technology leader in the production of security foils and papers for banknotes, have developed an energy-efficient heating concept for electric vehicles that requires considerably less energy while increasing comfort for drivers and passengers. This increases cruising range by up to 6%. At the heart of the... Read more →


Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have used the Advanced Photon Source (APS), a DOE Office of Science User Facility located at Argonne, to generate the first 3D images of the fluid flow inside a steel fuel injector nozzle. The high-speed 3D visualization will help engine manufacturers and suppliers improve the... Read more →


To complement its work on real-world emissions in Europe, TRUE has compiled remote sensing data from the states of Colorado and Virginia and the University of Denver to investigate the emissions of US light-duty vehicles. FIA Foundation and the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) established The Real Urban Emissions... Read more →


The technology group Wärtsilä has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) tied to a License and Cooperation agreement with UK-based Anemoi Marine Technologies for the future sales and servicing of Rotor Sail solutions to the shipping industry. Rotor Sails, also referred to as Flettner Rotors, are vertical cylinders which, when... Read more →


Cargill and BAR Technologies bringing wind propulsion to bulk cargo ships

Cargill and BAR Technologies have embarked on a strategic project with naval architect Deltamarin to bring cutting edge wind propulsion technology to commercial shipping. The project will see BAR Technology’s WindWings—large, solid wing sails that measure up to 45 meters in height—fitted to the deck of bulk cargo ships to... Read more →


CALSTART survey finds Tier-1 suppliers want stronger post-2026 fuel economy targets

The third installment of a CALSTART-commissioned survey of Tier-1 US automotive suppliers found that a majority (62%) of the suppliers responding to the survey disagreed with the Trump administration’s rollback of national fuel economy standards. Only 15% of respondents agreed with the rollback, and the rest were undecided. The same... Read more →


Traxen, a metro Detroit-based technology, launched its intelligent adaptive cruise control system, iQ-Cruise, for traditional and electric commercial vehicles. The system will be available to both commercial vehicle aftermarket and OE customers. Through the use of artificial intelligence (AI), advanced algorithms and sensors, iQ-Cruise can reduce fuel consumption by an... Read more →


DOE issues RFI in support of medium- and heavy-duty truck research and development

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is announcing a request for information (RFI) from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders on issues related to medium- and heavy-duty freight trucking. (DE-FOA-0002372) Affordable freight movement is essential for the nation’s economy.... Read more →


A team led by Southwest Research Institute has applied connectivity and automation to achieve a 20% improvement in efficiency on a 2017 Toyota Prius Prime. Working with collaborators at the University of Michigan and Toyota Motor North America, the team is sponsored by the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy... Read more →


MAHLE Powertrain’s (MPT’s) latest development of its passive MAHLE Jet Ignition (MJI) technology (earlier post) can now be added into existing engine designs with only minimal changes to the final machining process. Continued work throughout the lockdown period means that passive MJI can now be installed as a press-in unit... Read more →


Volkswagen announced that the Taos compact SUV, which slots into the lineup below the Tiguan, will feature a new version of the EA211 turbocharged four-cylinder engine that currently powers the Jetta sedan. Making 158 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, the new engine increases in size from 1.4 to 1.5... Read more →


Tula Technology is presenting its diesel Dynamic Skip Fire (dDSF) technology (earlier post) at the 4th Future Diesel Powertrain Summit China 2020 on 24-25 September 2020 in Shanghai, China. In addition to providing an overview of dDSF technology, the presentation will address the Cummins-Tula 15L Heavy-Duty dDSF Project as well... Read more →


BYD has introduced the Song PLUS mid-size SUV at a launch event in Chengdu. The announced ICE versions of the SUV comes in four configurations, ranging from 115,800 to 143,800 CNY (US$17,133 to 21,263). BYD intends for the Song PLUS to attack the mainstream SUV market in China synergistically with... Read more →


LiquidPiston, Inc., a developer of advanced rotary internal combustion engines for diesel and jet fuels (earlier post), received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant from the US Army for the development of its X-Engine as a hybrid-electric propulsion platform for UAVs. The company showcased its X-Engine powered... Read more →


ARPA-E funds Ricardo-Achates partnership for improving efficiency and reducing emissions in full-size pickups; GCI engine, 48V

The newly-formed partnership between Ricardo North America (Ricardo) and Achates Power Inc. (API) of San Diego, Calif. (earlier post), has received its first assignment: an Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) grant to improve overall efficiency and reduce emissions in full-size pickup trucks. Ricardo, engineering specialists in advanced propulsion, software, thermal... Read more →


A new analysis of commercial aircraft fuel efficiency from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) finds that the UN’s aircraft CO2 standard lags current technology by more than a decade. The ICCT first analyzed the historical trends in fuel efficiency improvement of new commercial jet aircraft in 2009. In... Read more →


In one of the first comprehensive assessments of the fuel economy standards in the United States, researchers from Princeton University and the University of Tennessee found that, over their 40-year history, the standards helped reduce reliance on foreign oil producers, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and saved consumers money. Transportation Statistics... Read more →


The new Volkswagen ID.3 has set its first range record—the electric car covered the 531 kilometers (330 miles) from Zwickau to Schaffhausen (Switzerland) on a single charge. Officially, the model has a range of up to 420 kilometers (261 miles) (WLTP). This mark was topped by more than 100 kilometers—an... Read more →


California, 6 automakers finalize bilateral Clean Car Framework agreements

While California is challenging the Federal government in court to overturn the revocation of California’s waiver enabling the state to issue greenhouse gas restrictions on light-duty vehicles, it has finalized with six participating automakers individual bilateral agreements based upon a Framework unveiled last year. Under the framework agreements, gasoline and... Read more →


EPA OIG to evaluate EPA’s actions on final light-duty fuel efficiency rule

The Office of Inspector General of the US Environmental Protection Agency plans to begin an evaluation of the EPA’s actions on the final Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule Part 2. (Earlier post.) The SAFE rule reduces the increase in stringency of CAFE and CO2 emissions to about 1.5% each... Read more →


Jaguar Land Rover has now produced more than 1.5 million Ingenium engines at its Engine Manufacturing Center in Wolverhampton, UK. The UK manufacturer is now adding a new straight-six diesel to the family. The advanced Ingenium family, which includes a range of diesel, gasoline and electrified engines, are built to... Read more →


DOE announces $139M in funding for 55 projects to advance innovative vehicle technologies

US Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette announced $139 million in federal funding for 55 projects across the country that will support new and innovative advanced vehicle technologies (DE-FOA-0002197, earlier post). Funded through the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), projects will conduct research... Read more →


Porsche already uses 3D printing technology in prototype construction, manufacturing spare parts for classic sports cars and in other areas. Now, in cooperation with its partners MAHLE and Trumpf, Porsche is now establishing a new milestone in the use of additive manufacturing processes for highly-stressed drive components. For the first... Read more →


An author partnership from MAHLE Powertrain in the US has been recognized for its work on pre-chamber ignition, presented at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers’ Internal Combustion Engines and Powertrain Systems conference in December 2019. Pre-chamber ignition has been investigated since the early 1900s as a technology which promotes rapid... Read more →


A team at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) is proposing a new combustion mode—intelligent charge compression ignition (ICCI)—for ultra-high efficiency and low emissions simultaneously. A paper on ICCI is published in the journal Fuel. ICCI aims to realize flexible and controllable in-cylinder charge stratification fed by two complementary fuels: gasoline... Read more →


A team of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) has used a vehicle dynamics model to evaluate the trade-off between automation and electric vehicle range and battery longevity. The researchers compared vehicle-level energy use, range and battery life of a vehicle equipped to attain Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) levels... Read more →


Neste, HERE and PTV study finds navigators do not always propose the CO2-friendliest route

A collaboration between Neste, HERE Technologies, and PTV Group indicates that traffic-related CO2 emissions can be reduced by choosing the right driving route, especially in urban areas on short trips with private cars. Earlier this spring, Neste and its partners tested the emissions of different route options by installing measuring... Read more →


Lucid Motors announced that it has achieved a new mark in aerodynamic efficiency for its luxury electric car, the Lucid Air. With tests recently completed at Windshear’s advanced rolling-road wind tunnel, Lucid verified a coefficient of drag of 0.21, making the Lucid Air the most aero-efficient luxury car. As quick... Read more →


Ricardo partners with Achates Power to launch West Coast powertrain team

Ricardo North America (Ricardo), engineering specialists in advanced propulsion, software and thermal management, has added to its powertrain design and development expertise with the launch of a team in Southern California and a partnership with opposed-piston engine developer Achates Power. The announcement follows Ricardo’s recent partnership agreement with Excel Engineering... Read more →


Mercedes-AMG is moving ahead with electrification through innovative developments while also benefiting from motorsport know-how. An electric exhaust gas turbocharger, which in future will be used for the first time in a series production model, is already in the final stages of development. Developed in partnership with Garrett Motion, this... Read more →


The weight of heavy-duty trucks as they drive causes a slight deflection in the road surface under them—enough of a dip to make a difference to the trucks’ overall fuel efficiency (deflection-induced pavement-vehicle interaction). Now, a study by MIT researchers suggests that small changes in roadway paving practices could reduce... Read more →


South Australian manufacturer Hydrogen Direct Injection’s (HYDI) systems have been in various stages of development and testing since 2013 but are now on the verge of commercialization following encouraging testing results from the University of South Australia. The independent testing on a generator showed the unit reduced diesel consumption in... Read more →


NYC study of actual fuel economy of fleet finds hybrids more fuel efficient as compared to conventional vehicles than expected

Using telematics, NYC Fleet, part of New York City’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), recently analyzed actual fuel economy in its hybrid and non-hybrid vehicles and compared it to the EPA ratings for each make and model. The results showed that hybrids performed better against their EPA ratings than... Read more →


Scientists, engineers, and analysts with the US Department of Energy’s Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) initiative are examining how simultaneous improvements to fuels and engines can improve efficiency and reduce emissions and costs for the entire on-road fleet, including light-duty (LD), medium-duty (MD), and heavy-duty (HD) internal combustion vehicles... Read more →


Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed an onboard separation system that could support increased fuel economy and lower greenhouse gas emissions as part of an octane-on-demand fuel-delivery system. A paper on the team’s exploratory research, which was supported under the DOE’s Co-Optima... Read more →


FCA says that its latest Global Warming Potential (GWP) analysis found that the redesigned-for-2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited has an overall GWP 15% lower than that of its predecessor. The GWP improvement was calculated using industry-standard software that examines multiple factors associated with a vehicle’s design, production and on-road performance. These... Read more →


A team from the University of Tennessee and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has the fuel savings due to fuel economy improvements over the past 43 years amount to approximately two trillion gallons of gasoline. They further estimated that roughly one-fifth of the savings can be attributed to gasoline... Read more →


The average production-weighted fuel economy for all new light-duty vehicles in model year (MY) 2019 was 95% better than in MY 1975, while average horsepower was 78% higher and weight was 1% higher, according to the 2019 EPA Automotive Trends Report. From the late 1980s to the mid-2000s, fuel economy... Read more →


Cummins Inc. and Tula Technology, Inc., developer of Dynamic Skip Fire cylinder deactivation technology (earlier post), collaborated on a significant technical demonstration of diesel Dynamic Skip Fire (dDSF) cylinder deactivation. By using dDSF software to control cylinder deactivation in a diesel engine, Cummins and Tula demonstrated significant reductions in emissions... Read more →


Replacing dry biomass-derived fuels with biogas and biogas-derived fuels in certain sectors of the energy system can reduce dry biomass consumption by up to 16% when used for power, heat or industrial sectors, according to a new study by researchers By Aalborg University in Denmark. This paper analyses the role... Read more →


MECA: industry could exceed relaxed US efficiency standards as it has to meet tighter standards elsewhere

On 31 March, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released the final rule for The Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles for Model Years 2021-2026. The final rule requires a 1.5% year-over-year increase in fuel efficiency and reduction in GHG emissions standards, which... Read more →


DOT and EPA release revised fuel economy and GHG emission standards for MY 2021-2026 light-duty vehicles

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule setting corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) and CO2 emissions standards for model years 2021-2026 passenger cars and light trucks. These final rules follow... Read more →


For the past four years, the Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) National Laboratory consortium has focused research efforts primarily on turbocharged (boosted) spark-ignition (SI) engines for light-duty vehicles. This research involves identifying the fuel properties and engine parameters that mitigate knock and emissions, while maximizing boosted SI efficiency and... Read more →


Brought to the US market for the first time in the 2020 Audi S6 and S7, Audi’s Electric-Powered Compressor (EPC) comes paired to the 2.9-liter, twin-turbocharged TFSI V6 engine. It consists of an electric motor with a small turbine that helps quickly build turbo boost pressure, sharpening throttle response and... Read more →


Hyundai officially launched its all-new 2021 Elantra and Elantra Hybrid in West Hollywood, CA. The 2021 Elantra showcases Hyundai’s latest ambitions, including a Sensuous Sportiness design identity, hybrid-electric vehicle technology, and segment-first wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. Production of the 2021 Elantra starts in the fall in Ulsan,... Read more →