Browse Publications Technical Papers 2002-01-0628

Aggregating Technologies for Reduced Fuel Consumption: A Review of the Technical Content in the 2002 National Research Council Report on CAFE 2002-01-0628

The National Research Council (NRC) recently published a report entitled “Effectiveness and Impact of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards” intended to help U.S. policymakers in the formulation of CAFE policy. In the Report, the NRC projects fuel consumption reductions from the application of a wide range of engine, transmission, and vehicle technologies. The Report employs a simple multiplicative method to aggregate the effects of multiple technologies on fuel consumption. In this paper, a basic energy balance calculation is used to examine the NRC results against theoretical limits. Theoretical limits are calculated using measured and simulated breakdowns of system energy losses incurred during vehicle operation on EPA driving cycles. This analysis demonstrates the inherently optimistic results produced by simple aggregation methodologies. Methods for enhancing the accuracy of the technology-aggregation process are proposed.


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