1981-06-01

Fuel Used to Accelerate Vehicles from Rest to Cruising Speeds 810781

This research was performed to experimentally determine how the amount of fuel used to accelerate an initially stationary vehicle to a constant cruising speed depends on acceleration level. Initially stationary vehicles were accelerated at different rates to a constant cruising speed on a test track, and the amounts of fuel used to travel a fixed distance from the starting point were measured. By subtracting the amount of fuel that would have been required to travel this same distance at the cruising speed from the measured amounts, estimates of the additional fuel used to accelerate from standstill to the cruising speed were obtained. These estimates were then examined as a function of acceleration level, which was characterized by the time taken to reach the cruising speed. Tests were conducted for cruising speeds of 48 km/h, 64 km/h and 80 km/h. Factors investigated included different vehicles (8 in all), engines (L-4, V-6, V-8), and fuels (gasoline and diesel).
The experimental results suggest that, in order to save fuel when accelerating from rest to different cruising speeds, drivers should:
  1. 1.
    Take about 15 to 20 seconds to accelerate smoothly to a speed of 48km/h (use an average acceleration of about 0.8 m/s2 ).
  2. 2.
    Use only light pressure on the accelerator pedal while accelerating at speeds greater than 48 km/h (keep acceleration below 0.7 m/s2).
Drivers normally choose acceleration levels higher than those suggested above.

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