The pressure to reduce vehicle carbon emissions is exacting an influence on the automotive industry beyond the handful of ultra-compact and EV/HEV announcements around the world. The calendar year 2009 installation rate for gas hungry V-6 and V-8 engines, for example, fell to 57.1% from 63.9% in 2008 in the U.S., according to Ward’s Automotive, continuing a five-year decline from a peak of 76.2% in 2004.
But the impacts are more wide ranging, as detailed by the president of the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers at a luncheon of the Washington Automotive Press Association this week. AIAM quotes U.S. government estimates that automobiles are responsible for 20% of carbon emissions.
Most governments around the world seek to discourage driving and thereby reduce carbon emissions with taxes on gasoline or via road charging – a solution being pursued most recently in The Netherlands. The U.S. is unique in the world in mandating Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency standards – known as CAFÉ.
With the ultimate goal in mind of reducing vehicle emissions to near zero carbon, the CAFÉ standards were recently updated (May 9, 2009) by the Obama administration in the U.S. to a 2016 target of 35.5 miles per gallon. The mandate became law April 1 and partially harmonized ruled from the Department of Transportation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Administration.
One of the more unusual elements of CAFÉ is the different goals for each OEM as well as its basis in vehicle footprint – originally defined and codified in 2007. The vehicle footprint is defined as the vehicle’s wheelbase multiplied by its track width – or the area enclosed by the points at which the wheels meet the ground. The new guidelines will show Porsche needing to improve its overall efficiency by 9.9 miles per gallon by 2016 while the overall average improvement per OEM will be 7.4 miles per gallon, based on existing forecasts of production and sales.
Using this footprint attribute, the government has been able to define targets by vehicle type as a way to get around the need for OEMs to offset sales of larger cars with sales of smaller cars. Each vehicle footprint has its own efficiency targets under the current guidelines and all face their own requirements to improve between 2012 and 2016.
Complete harmonization of all government green house gas (GHG) reduction policies has not yet been achieved. CAFÉ is defined by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act while CO2 emissions are also governed by the Clear Air Act. The EPCA concerns itself with vehicles as they are produced, for example, while the CAA concerns itself with the emissions of vehicles during their entire operating life.
The impact of these efforts are, in fact, pushing car makers to improve efficiency and technologies that respond to that need will benefit from these initiatives. Everything from stop/start to clean diesels and EVs are expected to see wider deployment and consumer acceptance. Strategy Analytics research shows consumers in Europe and the U.S. are more interested in electric vehicles than they are in shifting to smaller vehicles.
With that goal in mind, AIAM described the range of fuel efficiency initiatives reflected in the government guidelines as including:
Types of Engine Technology:
- Low friction lubricants
- Reduction of engine friction losses
- Cylinder deactivation
- Variable valve timing
- Discreete variable valve lift
- Stoichiometric gasoline direct-injection technology
- Combustion restart
- Turbocharging and downsizing
- Exhaust-gas recirculation boost
- Clean diesel engines
Types of Transmission Techology:
- Improved automatic transmission controls
- Six-, seven-, eight-speed automatic transmissions
- Dual clutch or automated shift manual transmission
- Continuously variable transmission
- Manual 6-speed transmission
Vehicle Technologies Considered:
- Low rolling resistance tires
- Low drag brakes
- Front or secondary axle disconnect for four wheel drive systems
- Aerodynamic drag reduction
- Mass reduction and material substitution
Electrification/Accessory and Hybrid Technologies:
- Electric power steering
- Improved accessories
- Air conditioner systems
- 12-Vole micro-hybrid (MHEV)
- Higher Voltage stop-start/belt integrated starter generator (BISG)
- Integrated motor assist (IMA)/Crank integrated starter generator (CISG)
- 2-Mode hybrid (2MHEV)
- Power-split hybrid (PSHEV)
- Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)
- Electric vehicles
Longer-Term Technology Solutions Include:
- Battery R&D is still critical
- Cost and durability are factors
- Plug-in HEVs need about 5-8 times the battery capacity of a current HEV
- Current goal is up to a 40 mile all-electric range
- Remain an attractive target
- Need battery capacity of 12-15 times a current HEV to provide adequate range
- Same battery issues (cost, durability) plus operation in extreme weather (hot and cold temperatures)
- Nissan has announced having BEVs in California market in 2010. White House regarding removing barriers
- Use hydrogen to generate electricity to run the vehicle, so they are a type of EV
- Internal combustion engines can also be designed to use hydrogen
- There are major hydrogen infrastructure issues – where do we get it; hot to distribute it?
- Compressed natural gas
- Ethanol – CAFÉ credit
Further Strategy Analytics insights:
http://bit.ly/cP39II - Hybrid Technologies Legislation/Support - Kevin Mak
http://bit.ly/bplBqV - EV/HEV Technologies Supply & Fitment Database - Kevin Mak
http://bit.ly/bv3Q0B - Hybrid and Electric Vehicles: OEM Strategies Reviewed - Kevin Mak