Efficiency Technologies

Hannu Jääskeläinen

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Abstract: Improvement in vehicle efficiency is achieved through a combination of powertrain and vehicle efficiency technologies. Powertrain technologies include a wide range of engine efficiency technologies, as well as alternative power plants, hybridization, and electrification. Vehicle efficiency technologies include aerodynamics, tires, reductions of vehicle mass, auxiliary loads, and idling, as well as driver assistance and intelligent vehicle technologies.

Introduction

Figure 1 provides an overview of how fuel energy is used in a vehicle powered by an ICE—in this case, a Class 8 tractor trailer travelling on a level road at about 104 km/h (65 mph) [5019]. While the values shown are representative of 2010 North American on-road heavy-duty diesel technology, it is still a useful illustration of how fuel energy is distributed.

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Figure 1. Distribution of fuel energy for a heavy-duty truck

Class 8 tractor trailer travelling on a level road at about 104 km/h (65 mph)

In the case of constant speed on a level road, the primary role of the powertrain is to propel the vehicle at a given velocity by overcoming aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance. These two boxes then represent the useful work; all other boxes can be considered as losses. In the case of a vehicle climbing a grade or accelerating, additional boxes would be needed to account for overcoming the force of gravity and inertia.

In order to minimize fuel consumption, it is important not only to minimize losses but also the amount of energy required to overcome aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance.

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