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    William Maley

    Upcoming Study Questions Fuel-Efficiency Technologies

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      On paper is one thing, the real world is another matter

    Automakers have been trying different technologies and ideas in an effort to boost fuel economy and reduce emissions. On paper, the new technologies do make a difference. But in the real world, it is a completely different matter. 

    Emissions Analytics, an independent U.K.-based company has been investigating what technologies actually make a difference in reducing emissions and fuel consumption. For the past four years, the company has tested over 500 vehicles in the U.S. since 2013 in real-world driving situations. Globally, it has tested over 1,000 vehicles. Next month, the company will be releasing a study showing which of those technologies help and hurt.

    "You can only decide if you have the right information. The EPA sticker is — I would say — good up to a point, but we can give a lot more information," said Nick Molden, Emissions Analytics' founder and CEO.

    Their data shows that over four years of testing in the U.S., there is "no actual improvement in overall fuel economy and no decrease in CO2 emissions," despite new technologies and complex powertrains.

    Quote

    Vehicles with engines smaller than 2 liters have seen essentially no change in fuel economy; vehicles with engines 2 to 3 liters (the most common) have seen fuel economy decrease by around 8 percent, while vehicles with engines 3 liters or larger have seen an 8 percent increase in fuel economy.

    This decrease among the most common vehicles is magnified in the U.S. because Americans are commuting longer distances without switching to smaller vehicles.

    "If like-for-like the vehicles are not becoming cleaner, those other two shifts are actually going to drag up total CO2 emissions," Molden said.

     

    EA's data also revealed that downsized turbo engines show huge discrepancies between the EPA's findings and the real world. In the lab, the engines aren't put under stress and can produce high fuel economy figures. But it is a different story out in the real world when the turbos are engaged to keep up with traffic and becomes less efficient than a non-turbocharged engine.

    "Downsizing is a good thing up to a point. You go past a certain inflection point and actually you can find that the real-world mpg will actually get worse if you go too small," said Molden.

    "As soon as you start going below 2 liters, that's where we start seeing the gaps open up between EPA sticker and real world."

    The study did deliver some good news for hybrids. EA found traditional hybrid vehicle provided high fuel economy figures and reduced emissions. Other technologies such as multispeed transmissions, adding lightness, and picking the right tires provide a meaningful impact.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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    This is all pretty much no shit sherlock to at least folks like us on this forum.

    I will say this.  The tiny turbos EPA out at great mpg.  If conditions are favorable, they will deliver some great results to live up to the tested numbers.  And if driven such.

    Need big acceleration, or if conditions are not right (winter blend gas and freezing cold, load up with extra weight, bad stop and start traffic, etc.) and you see big drops.

    Still i think biggest factors to basic mpg improvements are aerodynamics and vehicle weight.  A light teardrop shaped sedan will pull better than a similar sized CUV that sits higher and probably weighs a bit more.

    After that, gearing and power torque/ where it is, are next.  AWD loses mpg no matter how you slice it.

    There is likely an optimal point for each vehicle that would find an ideal balance between raw displacement, boost, vehicle weight, size, and aero, and gearing.....factored against desired acceleration and what speeds most frequently driven.

    One of these days I will get my lifetime gas log made out on my Malibu.  At 15,000 the DIC was right on the combined EPA pretty much (31).  But wide swings, like 24 in winter, and 25 mile averages of 47+ and a 10 mile leg of 53+, so many things make huge impact.

    With these small motors for me what kills mpg the fastest is stop and go stoplight to stoplight, start stop, even with auto shutoff it KILLS gas mileage.  Getting going again with little displacement, from a dead stop, the thing DRINKS gas like kids drinking Hawaian Punch at a birthday party.

    I think I would like a plug in hybrid with a turbo gas motor, I'd have it all.

     

    What's sad is that our manufacturers have guns held to their head to meet these tested EPA regs, so these tiny motors, that's what they put in the cars......they can't put in the cars the engines people REALLY want.  If you want a v6 these days its getting to the point you need to go 40k-50k on the MSRP.  

    Edited by regfootball
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    best i've gotten was ~42.3, worst was 28ish. but i don't do a ton of stop and go and don't speed excessively.
    wondering how the skyactiv-x will add to this data..

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    But you're not in a downsized turbo that this article is talking about. If Mazda did a 180hp turbo 1.6 liter.... you'd probably get different results. 

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    18 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    But you're not in a downsized turbo that this article is talking about. If Mazda did a 180hp turbo 1.6 liter.... you'd probably get different results. 

    yeah. if they got the 100HP/L they get in the CX-9, be interesting if they did that to the 1.5L to compare with the 2.0L, but that'll probably never happen.
    EPA should really just post numbers at several MPH increments and then a "city" cycle and agressive Highway driving cycle.

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    2 hours ago, loki said:

    yeah. if they got the 100HP/L they get in the CX-9, be interesting if they did that to the 1.5L to compare with the 2.0L, but that'll probably never happen.
    EPA should really just post numbers at several MPH increments and then a "city" cycle and agressive Highway driving cycle.

    EPA cycle needs to be more in tune with real world driving. 

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    @Drew Dowdell @regfootball

    I have read this posted by different members and I guess I do not see what the benefit would be of the following:

    Plugin Hybrid with generator.

    A few members have said they would love a Plugin Hybrid with a turbo 4 motor.

    WHY? Since it is a Plugin, the powertrain is electric and so I see no reason the generator would need a turbo? Am I missing something here or are they really wanting a hybrid where the engine does do some actual work and not the plugin part?

    :scratchchin:

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    Because it's a blend of performance and power. The Volvo T8 engines are turbo and supercharged hybrids and get crazy good mpg while delivering over 400 lb ft of torque. The Cadillac CT6 PHEV has more range thanks to a larger battery and has a lot of torque also.

    Even the Pacifica Hybrid which goes with a normal V6 with cylinder shutoff instead of a turbo 4 gets 86 MPGe and has more power than any minivan needs. That sucker is fast for a minivan yet sips fuel.

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    On 9/14/2017 at 8:13 PM, regfootball said:

     A light teardrop shaped sedan

    People tend to complain too much about how all sedans are shaped the same.. there's a reason for that. They're not all just copying the first to do it. They have a reason they're all "coupe" shaped now. 

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    8 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    People tend to complain too much about how all sedans are shaped the same.. there's a reason for that. They're not all just copying the first to do it. They have a reason they're all "coupe" shaped now. 

    Yet I will challenge that the same bland boring design really saves that much in the long run. 

    I believe most people are willing to give up a little efficiency for a design that is found to be desirable. 

    Jelly Beans might taste good but their design is boring.

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    When there's a corporate average that needs to be met every tenth of a mpg is worth cash. So it's worth it for them, obviously. 

    Who? It seems like people buy these so called jelly beans.. There are only a few non-jelly bean shaped vehicles out there left. Trucks(and even the Colorado has a soft/rounded front end), Wrangler, G Wagen, GM/Ford/Dodge/Jeep largest SUVs they offer and that's about it.. Kia Soul as well.I can't think of many non-rounded vehicles left out there. 

    But look what Tesla did with the X. That thing has some pretty incredible range for the size of the vehicle and the battery capacity and that's probably a good part due to it's aero efficiency. 

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    8 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    When there's a corporate average that needs to be met every tenth of a mpg is worth cash. So it's worth it for them, obviously. 

    Who? It seems like people buy these so called jelly beans.. There are only a few non-jelly bean shaped vehicles out there left. Trucks(and even the Colorado has a soft/rounded front end), Wrangler, G Wagen, GM/Ford/Dodge/Jeep largest SUVs they offer and that's about it.. Kia Soul as well.I can't think of many non-rounded vehicles left out there. 

    But look what Tesla did with the X. That thing has some pretty incredible range for the size of the vehicle and the battery capacity and that's probably a good part due to it's aero efficiency. 

    Valid True points but then you have the Brick from Bollinger Motors which is 200 miles on their SUV, very real world capable off road and still 200 miles of range. I am good with that.

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    Just now, dfelt said:

    Valid True points but then you have the Brick from Bollinger Motors which is 200 miles on their SUV, very real world capable off road and still 200 miles of range. I am good with that.

    That's just fantasy vaporware, though...do you think it will really ever see production?   

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    2 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    That's just fantasy vaporware, though...do you think it will really ever see production?   

    The guy has the money, I suspect we will see it at least in limited production as he then goes after startup capital investments. I also think this was a proof of concept to allow them to sell the tech solution to an Auto OEM who wants to get a real off road EV SUV into the market place. Be interesting as we have a number of EV startups. 

    I suspect only 10-20% will survive with the rest selling off their patents and folding up or being bought out. I also expect some ICE OEMs to fold shop over the next 5-10 years especially in China and Europe.

    Interesting times we live in. 

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    8 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    When there's a corporate average that needs to be met every tenth of a mpg is worth cash. So it's worth it for them, obviously. 

    Who? It seems like people buy these so called jelly beans.. There are only a few non-jelly bean shaped vehicles out there left. Trucks(and even the Colorado has a soft/rounded front end), Wrangler, G Wagen, GM/Ford/Dodge/Jeep largest SUVs they offer and that's about it.. Kia Soul as well.I can't think of many non-rounded vehicles left out there. 

    But look what Tesla did with the X. That thing has some pretty incredible range for the size of the vehicle and the battery capacity and that's probably a good part due to it's aero efficiency. 

    Which is why we need to get rid of CAFE or seriously curtain its never ending noose tightening.

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