Characterization of Powertrain Technology Benefits Using Normalized Engine and Vehicle Fuel Consumption Data
Vehicle certification data are used to study the effectiveness of the major powertrain technologies used by car manufacturers to reduce fuel consumption. Methods for differentiating vehicles effectively were developed by leveraging theoretical models of engine and vehicle fuel consumption. One approach normalizes by displacement per unit distance, which puts both fuel used and vehicle work in mean effective pressure units, and is useful when comparing engine technologies. The other normalizes by engine rated power, a customer-relevant output metric. The normalized work/power is proportional to weight/power, the most fundamental performance metric. Certification data for 2016 and 2017 U.S. vehicles with different powertrain technologies are compared to baseline vehicles with port fuel injection (PFI) naturally aspirated engines and six-speed automatic transmissions.