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Technical Paper

What FutureCar MPG Levels and Technology Will be Necessary?

The potential peaking of world conventional oil production and the possible imperative to reduce carbon emissions will put great pressure on vehicle manufacturers to produce more efficient vehicles, on vehicle buyers to seek them out in the marketplace, and on energy suppliers to develop new fuels and delivery systems. Four cases for stabilizing or reducing light vehicle fuel use, oil use, and/or carbon emissions over the next 50 years are presented. Case 1 - Improve mpg so that the fuel use in 2020 is stabilized for the next 30 years. Case 2 - Improve mpg so that by 2030 the fuel use is reduced to the 2000 level and is reduced further in subsequent years. Case 3 - Case 1 plus 50% ethanol use and 50% low-carbon fuel cell vehicles by 2050. Case 4 - Case 2 plus 50% ethanol use and 50% low-carbon fuel cell vehicles by 2050. The mpg targets for new cars and light trucks require that significant advances be made in developing cost-effective and very efficient vehicle technologies.
Technical Paper

The Role of Alternative Fuels in the New Generation of Vehicles

The Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV) is linking the research efforts of a broad spectrum of U.S. Federal agencies and laboratories with those of the domestic auto manufacturers in pursuit of three specific, interrelated goals: 1) reduce manufacturing production costs and product development times for all car and truck production; 2) pursue advanced technologies for near-term vehicle improvements that increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions of standard vehicles; and 3) within the next decade, develop a new class of vehicle that will achieve up to three times the fuel efficiency of today's comparable vehicle, and, at the same time, cost no more to own and drive than today's automobile, maintain performance, size, and utility of comparable vehicles, and meet or exceed safety and emission requirements.
Journal Article

The Measured Impact of Vehicle Mass on Road Load Forces and Energy Consumption for a BEV, HEV, and ICE Vehicle

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy initiated a study that conducted coastdown testing and chassis dynamometer testing of three vehicles, each at multiple test weights, in an effort to determine the impact of a vehicle's mass on road load force and energy consumption. The testing and analysis also investigated the sensitivity of the vehicle's powertrain architecture (i.e., conventional internal combustion powertrain, hybrid electric, or all-electric) on the magnitude of the impact of vehicle mass. The three vehicles used in testing are a 2012 Ford Fusion V6, a 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid, and a 2011 Nissan Leaf. Testing included coastdown testing on a test track to determine the drag forces and road load at each test weight for each vehicle. Many quality measures were used to ensure only mass variations impact the road load measurements.
Technical Paper

The Fuel Economy Label-A Case Study in Government Rulemaking

On April 6, 1984, EPA announced a final rule (40 CFR Part 600, Vol. 49, No. 68) which amended the Federal Fuel Economy Information Program by prescribing adjustment factors for the Federal fuel economy numbers and by establishing a new format for the Federal fuel economy label displayed on new vehicles. This rule, one of over 5, 000 documents printed in the 1984 Federal Register rule section, presents some interesting lessons about development of government regulations. The contents of this rule amended an existing rule, did not have a “major” impact on the economy, and was not considered to be controversial. Nonetheless, this rule represents at least nine years of work, negotiations, and deliberations by Federal and private sector organizations. The history of this rule can provide insight into the Federal rulemaking process, and the forces affecting that process.
Technical Paper

The Cooperative Automotive Research for Advanced Technology Program (CARAT): Accelerating the Commercialization of Innovative Technology

The Cooperative Automotive Research for Advanced Technology (CARAT) program is designed to accelerate the commercialization of innovative technologies that will overcome barriers to achieving the goals of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles Program. Aimed at harnessing the creativity and capabilities of American small businesses and colleges and universities, this unique technology R&D program seeks to develop and bring advanced technologies into use in production vehicles at a faster rate. CARAT's focus is developing and commercializing technology that overcomes key technical barriers preventing the production of vehicles with ultra-high fuel efficiency. CARAT begins with technologies that already have a firm technical basis and, through a unique three-stage process, ends with fully validated technologies ready for mass production. The program is open to all U.S. entrepreneurs and small businesses, colleges, and universities.
Technical Paper

Predicting the Fuel Economy Impact of “Cold-Start” for Reformed Gasoline Fuel Cell Vehicles

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) appear to be a promising solution for the future of clean and efficient personal transportation. Issues of how to generate the hydrogen and then store it on-board to provide satisfactory driving range must still be resolved before they can compete with conventional vehicles. Alternatively, FCVs could obtain hydrogen from on-board reforming of gasoline or other fuels such as methanol or ethanol. On-board reformers convert fuel into a hydrogen-rich fuel stream through catalytic reactions in several stages. The high temperatures associated with fuel processing present an engineering challenge to warm up the reformer quickly and efficiently in a vehicle environment. Without a special warmup phase or vehicle hybridization, the reformer and fuel cell system must provide all power to move the vehicle, including ¼ power in 30 s, and ½ power in 3 min to satisfy the Federal Test Procedure (FTP) cycle demands.
Technical Paper

Impact of Consumer and Manufacturer Decisions on New Car Fuel Economy

The 90 percent improvement in new car fuel economy between 1973 and 1982 has resulted from many types of new car purchase and new car manufacture decisions. Some of these decisions, such as purchasing a smaller car, buying a car with less performance, choosing a manual transmission, and selecting a diesel engine can be viewed as primarily new car consumer decisions. Over the decade where the price of gasoline tripled, consumer decisions accounted for about a third of the MPG increase. With the prospect of stable or declining gasoline prices for the near future, consumers may take back some of their past contributions to new car fuel economy. If new car buyers returned to their 1978 choices in auto characteristics the MPG would have been 9.3 percent lower than it actually was recorded in model year 1982. If consumers returned to the 1973 auto characteristics, a 17.4 percent reduction in MPG would have resulted in model year 1982.
Technical Paper

Emission Control Research to Enable Fuel Efficiency: Department of Energy Heavy Vehicle Technologies

The Office of Heavy Vehicle Technologies supports research to enable high-efficiency diesel engines to meet future emissions regulations, thus clearing the way for their use in light trucks as well as continuing as the most efficient powerplant for freight-haulers. Compliance with Tier 2 rules and expected heavy duty engine standards will require effective exhaust emission controls (aftertreatment) for diesels in these applications. DOE laboratories are working with industry to improve emission control technologies in projects ranging from application of new diagnostics for elucidating key mechanisms, to development and tests of prototype devices. This paper provides an overview of these R&D efforts, with examples of key findings and developments.
Technical Paper

Consumer Response to Fuel Economy Information - Alternative Sources, Uses, and Formats

Abstract As part of a cooperative project with the Environmental Protection Agency the Department of Energy has conducted an analysis of consumer response to fuel economy information. The study examined consumer needs and level of understanding, alternative formats, fuel economy information in advertising and alternatives to the current Mileage Guide and Fuel Economy Label. The study techniques included a review advertising in the media, interviews with auto manufacturers' advertising departments, consumer surveys and focus group discussions with consumers and auto dealers. This paper presents the major quantitative and qualitative results with emphasis on (1) how the current Federal Fuel Economy Information Program fits into the overall fuel economy picture and (2) what kind of changes to the program could improve its effectiveness or reduce its cost.
Technical Paper

Class 8 Trucks Operating On Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel With Particulate Filter Systems: A Fleet Start-Up Experience

Previous studies have shown that regenerating particulate filters are very effective at reducing particulate matter emissions from diesel engines. Some particulate filters are passive devices that can be installed in place of the muffler on both new and older model diesel engines. These passive devices could potentially be used to retrofit large numbers of trucks and buses already in service, to substantially reduce particulate matter emissions. Catalyst-type particulate filters must be used with diesel fuels having low sulfur content to avoid poisoning the catalyst. A project has been launched to evaluate a truck fleet retrofitted with two types of passive particulate filter systems and operating on diesel fuel having ultra-low sulfur content. The objective of this project is to evaluate new particulate filter and fuel technology in service, using a fleet of twenty Class 8 grocery store trucks. This paper summarizes the truck fleet start-up experience.