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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.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Fuel Behavior in the Spark-Ignition Engine Start-Up Process

An analysis method for characterizing fuel behavior during spark-ignition engine starting has been developed and applied to several sets of start-up data. The data sets were acquired from modern production vehicles during room temperature engine start-up. Two different engines, two control schemes, and two engine temperatures (cold and hot) were investigated. A cycle-by-cycle mass balance for the fuel was used to compare the amount of fuel injected with the amount burned or exhausted as unburned hydrocarbons. The difference was measured as “fuel unaccounted for”. The calculation for the amount of fuel burned used an energy release analysis of the cylinder pressure data. The results include an overview of starting behavior and a fuel accounting for each data set Overall, starting occurred quickly with combustion quality, manifold pressure, and engine speed beginning to stabilize by the seventh cycle, on average.
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

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.