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Journal Article

A Comparative Assessment of Electric Propulsion Systems in the 2030 US Light-Duty Vehicle Fleet

This paper quantifies the potential of electric propulsion systems to reduce petroleum use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the 2030 U.S. light-duty vehicle fleet. The propulsion systems under consideration include gasoline hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs), fuel-cell hybrid vehicles (FCVs), and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs). The performance and cost of key enabling technologies were extrapolated over a 25-30 year time horizon. These results were integrated with software simulations to model vehicle performance and tank-to-wheel energy consumption. Well-to-wheel energy and GHG emissions of future vehicle technologies were estimated by integrating the vehicle technology evaluation with assessments of different fuel pathways. The results show that, if vehicle size and performance remain constant at present-day levels, these electric propulsion systems can reduce or eliminate the transport sector's reliance on petroleum.
Journal Article

A Forward-Looking Stochastic Fleet Assessment Model for Analyzing the Impact of Uncertainties on Light-Duty Vehicles Fuel Use and Emissions

Transport policy research seeks to predict and substantially reduce the future transport-related greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption to prevent negative climate change impacts and protect the environment. However, making such predictions is made difficult due to the uncertainties associated with the anticipated developments of the technology and fuel situation in road transportation, which determine the total fuel use and emissions of the future light-duty vehicle fleet. These include uncertainties in the performance of future vehicles, fuels' emissions, availability of alternative fuels, demand, as well as market deployment of new technologies and fuels. This paper develops a methodology that quantifies the impact of uncertainty on the U.S. transport-related fuel use and emissions by introducing a stochastic technology and fleet assessment model that takes detailed technological and demand inputs.
Technical Paper

Aggregate Vehicle Emission Estimates for Evaluating Control Strategies

Currently, states that are out of compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards must, according to the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (CAAA), develop and implement control strategies that demonstrate specific degrees of reduction in emissions-with the degree of reduction depending upon the severity of the problem. One tool that has been developed to aid regulators in both deciding an appropriate course of action and to demonstrate the desired reductions in mobile emissions is EPA's Mobile 5a emission estimation model. In our study, Mobile 5a has been used to examine the effects of regulatory strategies, as applied to the Northeast United States, on vehicle emissions under worst-case ozone-forming conditions.
Technical Paper

Alternative Fuels: Gas to Liquids as Potential 21st Century Truck Fuels

Modern natural gas-to-liquids (GTL) conversion processes (Fischer-Tropsch liquid fuels (FTL)) offers an attractive means for making synthetic liquid fuels. Military diesel and jet fuels are procured under Commercial Item Description (CID) A-A-52557 (based on ASTM D 975) and MIL-DTL-83133/MIL-DTL-5624 (JP-8/JP-5), respectively. The Single Fuel Forward (single fuel in the battlefield) policy requires the use of JP-8 or JP-5 (JP-8/5). Fuel properties crucial to fuel system/engine performance/operation are identified for both old and new tactical/non-tactical vehicles. The 21st Century Truck program is developing technology for improved safety, reduced harmful exhaust emissions, improved fuel efficiency, and reduced cost of ownership of future military and civilian ground vehicles (in the heavy duty category having gross vehicle weights exceeding 8500 pounds).[1]
Technical Paper

Benefits of a Higher Octane Standard Gasoline for the U.S. Light-Duty Vehicle Fleet

This paper explores the benefits that would be achieved if gasoline marketers produced and offered a higher-octane gasoline to the U.S. consumer market as the standard grade. By raising octane, engine knock constraints are reduced, so that new spark-ignition engines can be designed with higher compression ratios and boost levels. Consequently, engine and vehicle efficiencies are improved thus reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the light-duty vehicle (LDV) fleet over time. The main objective of this paper is to quantify the reduction in fuel consumption and GHG emissions that would result for a given increase in octane number if new vehicles designed to use this higher-octane gasoline are deployed. GT-Power simulations and a literature review are used to determine the relative brake efficiency gain that is possible as compression ratio is increased.
Technical Paper

Comparative Analysis of Automotive Powertrain Choices for the Next 25 Years

This paper assesses the potential improvement of automotive powertrain technologies 25 years into the future. The powertrain types assessed include naturally-aspirated gasoline engines, turbocharged gasoline engines, diesel engines, gasoline-electric hybrids, and various advanced transmissions. Advancements in aerodynamics, vehicle weight reduction and tire rolling friction are also taken into account. The objective of the comparison is the potential of anticipated improvements in these powertrain technologies for reducing petroleum consumption and greenhouse gas emissions at the same level of performance as current vehicles in the U.S.A. The fuel consumption and performance of future vehicles was estimated using a combination of scaling laws and detailed vehicle simulations. The results indicate that there is significant potential for reduction of fuel consumption for all the powertrains examined.
Technical Paper

Future Light-Duty Vehicles: Predicting their Fuel Consumption and Carbon-Reduction Potential

The transportation sector in the United States is a major contributor to global energy consumption and carbon dioxide emission. To assess the future potentials of different technologies in addressing these two issues, we used a family of simulation programs to predict fuel consumption for passenger cars in 2020. The selected technology combinations that have good market potential and could be in mass production include: advanced gasoline and diesel internal combustion engine vehicles with automatically-shifting clutched transmissions, gasoline, diesel, and compressed natural gas hybrid electric vehicles with continuously variable transmissions, direct hydrogen, gasoline and methanol reformer fuel cell hybrid electric vehicles with direct ratio drive, and battery electric vehicle with direct ratio drive.
Technical Paper

Real World Performance of an Onboard Gasoline/Ethanol Separation System to Enable Knock Suppression Using an Octane-On-Demand Fuel System

Higher compression ratio and turbocharging, with engine downsizing can enable significant gains in fuel economy but require engine operating conditions that cause engine knock under high load. Engine knock can be avoided by supplying higher-octane fuel under such high load conditions. This study builds on previous MIT papers investigating Octane-On-Demand (OOD) to enable a higher efficiency, higher-boost higher compression-ratio engine. The high-octane fuel for OOD can be obtained through On-Board-Separation (OBS) of alcohol blended gasoline. Fuel from the primary fuel tank filled with commercially available gasoline that contains 10% by volume ethanol (E10) is separated by an organic membrane pervaporation process that produces a 30 to 90% ethanol fuel blend for use when high octane is needed. In addition to previous work, this paper combines modeling of the OBS system with passenger car and medium-duty truck fuel consumption and octane requirements for various driving cycles.
Technical Paper

The Dispersion of Pollutants from Aircraft

Two aspects of the dispersion of pollutants from aircraft are reviewed. The first is the dispersal of aircraft exhaust emissions in the vicinity of airports; the second is the dispersal of exhaust trails in the upper atmosphere. Techniques available for modeling this dispersal and how they might be applied to the airport problem are discussed. Field studies of airport pollution are then reviewed to assess current pollutant levels around airports and the aircraft's contribution to those levels. The possibility of contrail formation from jet emissions at high altitude is then considered and the effect of uncertainties in the trail mixing processes evaluated.
Technical Paper

The Performance of Future ICE and Fuel Cell Powered Vehicles and Their Potential Fleet Impact

A study at MIT of the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from advanced technology future automobiles has compared fuel cell powered vehicles with equivalent gasoline and diesel internal combustion engine (ICE) powered vehicles [1][2]. Current data regarding IC engine and fuel cell vehicle performance were extrapolated to 2020 to provide optimistic but plausible forecasts of how these technologies might compare. The energy consumed by the vehicle and its corresponding CO2 emissions, the fuel production and distribution energy and CO2 emissions, and the vehicle manufacturing process requirements were all evaluated and combined to give a well-to-wheels coupled with a cradle-to-grave assessment. The assessment results show that significant opportunities are available for improving the efficiency of mainstream gasoline and diesel engines and transmissions, and reducing vehicle resistances.
Journal Article

The Trade-off between Automobile Acceleration Performance, Weight, and Fuel Consumption

This paper evaluates how the fuel consumption of the average new U.S. passenger car will be penalized if engine and vehicle improvements continue to be focused on developing bigger, heavier and more powerful automobiles. We quantify a parameter called the Emphasis on Reducing Fuel Consumption (ERFC) and find that there has been little focus on improving fuel consumption in the U.S. over the past twenty years. In contrast, Europe has seen significantly higher ERFC. By raising the ERFC over the next few decades, we can reduce the average U.S. new car's fuel consumption by up to some 40 percent and cut the light-duty vehicle fleet's fuel use by about a quarter. Achieving substantial fuel use reduction will remain a major challenge if automobile size, weight and power continue to dominate.