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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

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

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.