Browse Publications Technical Papers 2002-01-1900
2002-06-03

Near-Term Fuel Economy Potential for Light-Duty Trucks 2002-01-1900

This paper assesses the technical potential, costs and benefits of improving the fuel economy of light-duty trucks over the next five to ten years in the United States using conventional technologies. We offer an in-depth analysis of several technology packages based on a detailed vehicle system modeling approach. Results are provided for fuel economy, cost, oil savings and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. We examine a range of refinements to body, powertrain and electrical systems, reflecting current best practice and emerging technologies such as lightweight materials, high-efficiency IC engines, integrated starter-generator, 42 volt electrical system and advanced transmission. In this paper, multiple technological pathways are identified to significantly improve fleet average light-duty-truck fuel economy to 27.0 MPG or higher with net savings to consumers. Our analysis also shows that the fuel economy potential for light-duty trucks can be much higher if more advanced technologies are adopted. To assist our analysis, we select a set of baseline vehicles representing three major light duty truck classes in model year 2001 - pickup trucks, SUVs and minivans.

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