Fuel Economy Sensitivity to Vehicle Mass for Advanced Vehicle Powertrains 2006-01-0665
In 2002, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched FreedomCAR, which is a partnership with automakers to advance high-technology research needed to produce practical, affordable advanced vehicles that have the potential to significantly improve fuel economy in the near-term. Advanced materials (including metals, polymers, composites, and intermetallic compounds) can play an important role in improving the efficiency of transportation vehicles. Weight reduction is one of the most practical ways of increasing vehicle fuel economy while reducing exhaust emissions. In this paper, we evaluate the impact of vehicle mass reduction for several vehicle platforms and advanced powertrain technologies, including Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) and fuel cell HEVs, in comparison with conventional vehicles. We also explain the main factors influencing the fuel economy sensitivity.