The Optimization of the Light-Duty Automotive Fleet for Cost Effective Fuel Efficiency 2009-01-0595
This paper describes the composition of the light-duty automotive fleet leading to 2020 and how it differs from today’s fleet. The most likely scenario for the fleet of 2020 is one where vehicle manufacturers strive to achieve the mandatory regulatory requirements at minimum investment and cost. Simultaneous achievement of multiple regulatory requirements with minimum investment and cost is actually just an optimization problem. What makes this particular optimization especially difficult is that California Air Resources Board (CARB), the National Highway Traffic Security Administration (NHTSA), and potentially the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have all chosen different standards and even different metrics that are inextricably linked to fuel efficiency but place different demands on the fleet and even separately on cars and trucks. Many manufacturers have migrated to a global engineering organizational model where product is engineered in one location for all or nearly all global markets. This means that automakers need to include both US and European regulations into product planning decisions. Combine the differing US regulations with the European Union CO2 standards that are based on weight, and identifying the optimum portfolio for global manufacturers is unequivocally difficult. Therefore, the answer to the question of which combinations of technologies will meet the regulatory requirements, achieve customer expectations, and minimize investment involves a comprehensive accounting of costs and benefits of technologies, potential pace of technology implementation, changing consumer behavior, and global requirements. Such an accounting of the variables are herein explored in Ricardo’s Total Vehicle Fuel Economy (TVFE) systems engineering toolset to determine the most likely outcomes affecting the light duty vehicles in the future.