At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Toyota introduced its new plug-in hybrid (PHEV) RAV4 performance model with an estimated 302-horsepower, advanced all-wheel drive, sport-tuned suspension and exclusive design features. In addition to an ability to do 0-60 mph in a projected 5.8 seconds—the second quickest acceleration time in the Toyota... Read more →


California prohibits state purchase of ICE sedans, effective now; to stop buying from GM, Toyota, FCA and others over emissions fight

On Friday, the California Department of General Services (DGS) that, effective immediately, it is prohibiting purchasing by state agencies of any sedans solely powered by an internal combustion engine, with exemptions for certain public safety vehicles. A second policy, currently being developed by DGS, will require state agencies, starting on... Read more →


China-based Kolbenschmidt Huayu Piston Co. Ltd. (KSHP) (belonging to Rheinmetall Automotive AG) has received an order from one of the world’s biggest car producers with a lifetime volume totaling more than €200 million for modern lightweight pistons for gasoline engines with ring carrier and coolant gallery technology. Lightweight gasoline piston... Read more →


A study by Gentherm, a developer of innovative thermal management technologies, and General Motors has shown that Gentherm’s ClimateSense microclimate thermal comfort system significantly increases driving range and energy savings in electric vehicles. The results of the study were presented during the SAE Thermal Management Systems Symposium last week in... Read more →


Dutch start-up ECONAMIQ is developing a novel engine technology which saves up to 20% in fuel consumption. The “ECONAMIQ principle” uses flexible over-expansion in combination with cylinder deactivation technology to increase performance and efficiency without significantly changing the engine layout or architecture. By over-expanding into adjacent de-activated cylinders, ECONAMIQ creates... Read more →


A team from the University of Palermo and ICAR has developed an electric kinetic energy recovery system (e-KERS) for internal combustion engine vehicle (ICEVs) based on the use of a supercapacitor as energy storage, interfaced to a brushless machine through a power converter. In a paper in the Journal of... Read more →


Norsepower Oy Ltd., together with project partners Maersk Tankers, Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) and Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Ltd., announced successful trial results of two Norsepower Rotor Sails onboard the Maersk Tankers product tanker, Maersk Pelican. The Rotor Sails are large, cylindrical mechanical sails that spin to create... Read more →


Eaton says it has shown in regulatory test cycles and real-world use that its cylinder-deactivation (CDA) technology can play a key role in helping commercial vehicle manufacturers meet or exceed 2024 and 2027 US emissions regulations. The company will make the announcement at the North American Commercial Vehicle show (NACV)... Read more →


In Japan, Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) unveiled the new model Yaris. Scheduled to go on sale in Japan starting in mid-February 2020, the new Yaris will be exhibited at VenusFort in Odaiba, Tokyo during the Tokyo Motor Show 2019. The new Yaris will also be displayed in showrooms throughout Japan... Read more →


Modern piston assemblies are subject to high demands in terms of both loading and lifetime; in addition, there is the environment-friendly demand for low engine emissions. KS Kolbenschmidt has developed its LITEKS concept for particularly low-friction piston systems installed in highly loaded gasoline engines. The supplier is now introducing its... Read more →


A new Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) report describes the top ten biofuel-derived blendstock candidates. These top candidates, when blended with petroleum and used in a boosted spark ignition (BSI) engine, will offer environmental benefits and boost energy efficiency all while being available at a competitive price. One of... Read more →


Thirty-seven globally prominent scientists representing the International Journal of Engine Research have published an open-access editorial addressing the future of the Internal Combustion Engine, and stressing the importance for continued development of more efficient and even lower-emitting technologies. The article provides an assessment of the state of power generation in... Read more →


Ram Truck announced EPA fuel economy ratings for the 2020 Ram 1500 powered by the new 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel engine. The half-ton EcoDiesel will be rated at 32 miles per gallon (mpg) highway, 22 mpg city for 4x2 models; 29 mpg highway, 21 mpg city for 4x4 models. Ram 1500’s... Read more →


NYC Comptroller Stringer and investors with $1.1T urge GM to get on board with the California compromise agreement on vehicle standards

New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer and a coalition of 25 major investors with $1.1 trillion in collective assets under management called on General Motors (GM) to join other OEMs in the compromise agreement with California and other states on clean vehicle standards. In a letter sent to GM’s... Read more →


The rebooted Aptera Motors has teamed with Elaphe Propulsion Technologies on a long-range, volume production electric vehicle powered by in-wheel motors. Aptera, initially known as Accelerated Composites, formed in 2005 to bring highly efficient, three-wheeled vehicles to the market (earlier post), went out of business in 2011. Now resurrected, with... Read more →


Audi Sport GmbH has fine-tuned many details of the RS 4 Avant which was newly introduced in September 2017, including the addition of a new high-torque twin-turbo V6 with a power output of 331 kW (450 metric hp) and 600 N·m (442.5 lb-ft) of torque to the crankshaft in a... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. This is the latest of my occasional updates on retrospective, 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 2017. Calculated vehicle fuel economy is available going back to... Read more →


EPA, NHTSA issue One National Program Rule; EPA withdraws CA waiver for GHG and fuel economy

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final action entitled the “One National Program Rule,” which will enable the federal government to provide nationwide uniform fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards for automobiles and light duty... Read more →


EPA Administrator broadly outlines Trump Administration thinking on fuel economy standards and California

In a speech on Tuesday at the National Automobile Dealers Association meeting in Washington, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler outlined the Trump Administration’s thinking on national fuel economy standards and California. Wheeler said that the Administration will begin taking steps in the very near future to establish... Read more →


Argonne team developing MaLTESE for onboard realtime adaptive learning and controls

Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory are developing a deep learning framework—MaLTESE (Machine Learning Tool for Engine Simulations and Experiments)—to meet ever-increasing demands to deliver better engine performance, fuel economy and reduced emissions. The MaLTESE effort is a great example of how Argonne supercomputing resources enable researchers to combine large-scale simulations... Read more →


Delphi: Intelligent Driving technology achieves >10% CO2 reduction; predictive propulsion software and systems

Delphi Technologies, a global provider of propulsion technologies, is pairing vehicle electrification advances with existing and emerging automated and connected vehicle systems to boost fuel economy, lower emissions, and extend driving range. Initial testing of what it calls “Intelligent Driving” has demonstrated a greater than 10% reduction in CO2 compared... Read more →


Garrett Motion Inc., a leading differentiated technology provider in the automotive industry, has developed a new turbocharger boost control software that can significantly enhance turbo performance and health and help unlock optimized energy management in hybrid vehicles. Electrifying a turbocharger removes the constraint of needing a small turbine with excellent... Read more →


Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have shown that a certain class of ionic liquids (ILs), when mixed with commercially available oils, can make gears run more efficiently with less noise and better durability. Results were published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. Oil-soluble ionic liquids (ILs) have recently been... Read more →


Toyota is preparing to apply the philosophy and technology of the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) to elevate the design and driving performance of its small cars with the debut of the GA-B platform. The first TNGA platform—the GA-C platform for mid-sized cars—is the foundation for advances in the driving... Read more →


Transient Plasma Systems Inc. (TPS), which develops nanosecond pulsed plasma ignition systems to improve fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has achieved a new milestone in its internal combustion engine testing with its first multi-cylinder demonstration of the company’s nanosecond pulsed plasma ignition technology in a mass-manufactured, on-road natural-gas... Read more →


Researchers at Empa have developed an electrohydraulically actuated cam-less valve train that enables completely free adjustment of stroke and timing, while at the same time being robust and cost-effective. The new technology saves up to 20% fuel in typical passenger car low load operating conditions. The FlexWork valve train was... Read more →


Purdue University researchers are developing pre-chamber technology for automobiles to replace conventional spark plugs and enable more reliable ultra-lean combustion. In the pre-chamber approach, a tiny chamber—a pre-chamber—is filled with a mixture of fuel and air. The mixture ignites, producing combustion, and specialized nozzles in the bottom of the chamber... Read more →


California, 4 automakers reach framework agreement on GHG standards; slight FE weakening, no upstream emissions calculations

As the Trump administration prepares to freeze emission standards for light-duty cars and trucks, a consortium of four automakers—Ford, Honda, BMW of North America and Volkswagen Group of America—and California have agreed on a voluntary framework to reduce emissions that could serve as an alternative path forward for clean vehicle... Read more →


The 2020 Hyundai Accent features a new Smartstream G1.6 Dual Port Injection (DPI) engine and a Smartstream Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT). These changes increase Accent’s EPA estimated fuel economy to 33 mpg city, 41 highway, 36 combined, up considerably from the 28 city, 38 highway, 32 combined mpg rating with... Read more →


NREL/Volvo study demonstrates approach to quantify automated vehicle fuel savings

Automated control of cars may enable drivers to achieve more fuel savings than if they were completely in charge, according to a new study conducted by the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Volvo Cars. The study findings are detailed in a paper in the IEEE... Read more →


Volkswagen has developed a new generation manual gearbox; the MQ281 saves up to five grams of CO2 per kilometer depending on the engine-gearbox combination. The new Passat is the first vehicle to be equipped with the MQ281, followed by almost all vehicle classes of the brands Audi, SEAT, ŠKODA and... Read more →


Brunel University London is the first to begin researching future powertrain concepts using Camcon Automotive’s new Single Cylinder Intelligent Valve Technology (SCI). The system uses the company’s Intelligent Valve Technology (iVT) and is intended to speed up OEM and Tier 1 engine development significantly, helping meet upcoming emissions regulations while... Read more →


Hyundai Motor Group has developed the first Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) technology to feature in future Hyundai and Kia vehicles. The innovation was revealed at Hyundai Motorstudio Goyang on Wednesday alongside the Smartstream G1.6 T-GDi—the first engine to feature the technology. CVVD optimizes both engine performance and fuel efficiency... Read more →


EEA: average CO2 emissions from new cars and new vans in Europe increased in 2018

According to provisional data published by the European Environment Agency (EEA), the average CO2 emissions from new passenger cars registered in the European Union (EU) in 2018 increased for the second consecutive year, reaching 120.4 grams of CO2 per kilometer. For the first time, the average CO2 emissions from new... Read more →


In 2012, less than one percent of all cars and light-duty trucks were produced with a non-hybrid stop/start system. Through 2015, cars had the greatest share of stop/start systems installed. After 2015, the greatest share of start/stop systems was installed on light-duty trucks, rising to 35.7% of all light-duty trucks... Read more →


At the 2019 IAA Frankfurt in September, Tenneco’sPowertrain division will present its award-winning PRiME 3D simulation software which has been shown to cut development time for engine cylinder components by up to 70%. In an industry first, the software tool enables the generation of a physically realistic virtual model of... Read more →


With an output of up to 310 kW (421 hp), the completely newly developed Mercedes-AMG 2.0-liter M 139 engine is the world’s most powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine in series production. With this engine, Mercedes-AMG has even exceeded the previously most powerful M 133 by 30 kW (41 hp). Maximum torque... Read more →


Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, working in collaboration with Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Convergent Science Inc., have created a new numerical modeling tool that allows for a better understanding of rotating detonation engines that could one day propel the next generation of... Read more →


DENSO, with semi-conductor supplier Hitachi Power Semiconductor Device, Ltd., has developed a high-efficiency diode for alternators for gasoline and diesel engine vehicles. Production of alternators equipped with the newly developed diodes will start for vehicles to be sold in Europe in FY2019, and will be rolled out to manufacturing group... Read more →


In 2018, 27% of new light-duty vehicles sold in the US had fuel economies of more than 30 miles per gallon (783 l/100 km), according to the US Department of Energy (DOE). By contrast, none of the light-duty vehicles produced in 1975 had fuel economy greater than 30 miles per... Read more →


Pierburg GmbH based in Neuss (Germany), a subsidiary of technology group Rheinmetall, has received an order worth more than €90 million for its new variable valve control system UpValve. Production of the valve trains, which are also manufactured at the automotive supplier’s Neuss plant, will start in 2019. The start-up... Read more →


Fuels market analyst Tammy Klein notes that more than 40 countries are developing light-duty vehicle fuel economy standards. Ten years ago, only four governments 10 years ago had introduced mandatory GHG emission and/or fuel economy standards: China, Japan, South Korea, and the United States. The European Union and Canada had... Read more →


Nissan’s Decherd assembly line is using a mirror bore process in the all-new 2019 Nissan Altima 2.5-liter engine. (At WCX SAE World Congress Experience this year in Detroit, Nissan presented a paper on the development of and technologies applied in the new 2.5L engine for the Altima, including the mirror... Read more →


A new study carried out by University College Dublin (UCD) academics has found that under typical Irish commuting conditions, the Toyota Prius IV (fourth-generation) hybrid (earlier post) drives in zero emissions mode (ZEV) for significantly more than half (62%) of the time and more than 40% (40.4%) of the distance... Read more →


Manufacturers have been adopting technologies that improve the efficiency of light-duty vehicles and allow them to achieve greater fuel economy. Of all the emerging technologies, gasoline direct injection (GDI) has seen the highest level of adoption among manufacturers, reaching 51% for the 2018 model year, according to the US Department... Read more →


Ford has revealed the new Transit Smart Energy Concept—a one-of-a-kind 10-seater minibus that is helping the company explore solutions for maximizing the energy efficiency and driving range of electrified vehicles. While one survey showed that 40% of Europeans say the next vehicle they buy will likely be electric, the distance... Read more →


The new Audi S6 and S7 models in Europe are making their entrance with a torquey V6 TDI engine. For the first time, Audi has combined an electric-powered compressor (EPC) with a 48-volt primary electrical system. The pairing of an electric compressor with a 48-volt primary electrical system takes the... Read more →


In a paper to be presented this week at WCX SAE World Congress Experience, researchers from KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science & Technology) show that probability of a pre-ignition event relies on (a) the likelihood of precursor generation (from fuel impinging the liner); (b) the likelihood of precursors being... Read more →


The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $59 million for new and innovative advanced vehicle technologies research. Funded through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, this funding opportunity (DE-FOA-0002014) seeks projects to address priorities in advanced batteries and electric drive systems, energy efficient mobility systems, materials... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. Compared with cars, SUVs consume more energy per vehicle mile. Consequently, SUVs emit more carbon dioxide per vehicle mile than do cars. However, in the United States, the typical occupancy is higher for SUVs than for cars. The issue of interest in this study was the resultant... Read more →