By 2025, every automaker will need to boost its corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) to 54.5mpg. That's not an easy task, so most manufacturers are already working with suppliers on products to help squeeze the most out of every gallon of gas. The obvious way to do that is to use electrified powertrains. But not all vehicles can do that, so automakers are building new engines, and vendors are dreaming up fuel-stingy components.
From fuel injectors and air conditioning compressors to tires and power steering systems, we offer a potpourri of technologies aimed at boosting CAFE to 54.5mpg.
Click the image below for a slideshow of 19 lesser-known mileage boosters.
Low-rolling resistance tires, like those on the Chevy Cruze Eco, use a silica compound and a revised tread design to provide a solid road feel and improved fuel efficiency. (Source: GM)
Andrae Rossi's 1MW E-cat has recently received SGS safety certification for industrial use. One unit sold and delivered to an unknown military client, 13 on order pending certification. Several other companies plus US Navy and NASA are within a few years of commercially viable versions of the tech.
The bumper really works good on deer. I don't know about elk, horses, or cattle. (I hope I don't ever test that.( But yes, I have to obey the laws of physics and go slower sometimes. Not as slow as a redi-mix truck but, slower than a light car might travel.
I think the real solution to the dangers of trucking is to go back more to rail, which not only uses less fuel, but could even be put into tunnels for safety and asthetics. In tunnels they could use electrical rails without danger, and then rely more on things like hydro-electric or solar as an energy source. Trucking was never a really good idea, and was only sold to us by oil companies.
Think about the liability of that 300 lb bumper? If you are trying to take a tight turn on rain, snow, or ice, isn't that bumper going to make you want to keep going straight? And when you have to stop quick, isn't that bumper going to want to make you take a longer stopping distance? Even accelerating, that bumper is going to be working against you. Then if you do have an accident, what good is that bumper going to be if you hit an immobile object? If you run into a concrete wall for example, that bumper is not going to absorb any impact, so does you no good at all. In fact, the back bumper is likely of equal weight, and is going to try to crush the passenger compartment onto the already flattened front bumper.
If you think about it, I think you will discover that most of what people think about vehicle safety is a myth, deliberately designed to sell larger cars that are more profitable. Areas like Europe and Asia that have always had much smaller cars, simply have much better accident survival rates than we do in the US, because of our larger and more dangerous cars.
Yes you would use a heavier gauge steel, but 8pt roll cages for SCORE trucks (not unlimited class) and dirt track late models dont' cost too much more than a dune buggy frame. Same basic design but the steel is gauged to the application considering weight and potential speeds (F= MxA).
I was just trying to point out that the cages are similar in size and construction with only the material cost being different. I wouldn't think the difference would be more than 10% - 20% of the cost.
I would think that a roll cage integrated into serial production of a vehicle would only add a couple $K to the price with a varience of a few hundred $* for vehicle size.
* - Disclaimer, I will not sign up to provide roll cages at these prices and am not responsible if someone who knows more says I am wrong.
We have already done the studies and found the solution as well. The thickness of the wire requirement is based on current, not voltage, and for a given work, one can just increase the voltage, and the current and wire size reduces propotionally.
So if you want half the wire weight, just increase the voltage from 12 to 24.
There is no reason not to go to 48 even.
The added advantage is that then it will be much easier to provide clean 12 volt DC for electrical components that have great difficulty with dirty 12 volt systems we have now.
Dune buggies can easily take high speed roll overs with no problem or damage to the roll cage. If you used the same material to make a roll cage for a large luxury car, it would never hold up. It could not even take the weight, much less impact.
The Smartcar is an example of how the smaller a vehicle gets, the greater the strenght to weight ratio. Another was the old aircooled VW, which had amazing strength to weight ratio advantages, and is why it is still the basis for most dune buggies. When you examine larger vehicles, like Cadillacs or limosines, you find that they are weaker in all aspects, because of all the extra weight. It is not possible to scale up the strength to keep up with the weight increases caused by the strengthening attempt itself.
Just examine actual accident damage. You will find with heavier vehicles, there is often total penetration of passenger compartments, with things like side intrusion, etc. While with lighter vehicles, the main structure tends to stay more intact, and the danger to the passengers is more from whiplash as the vehicle tends to bounce off of impacts.
Or you can just study the animal kingdom to see the physics. You won't see animals larger than the elephant on land, because they simply exceed the practical strength to weight ratio. While anyone who has tried to crush a flea knows how difficult that can be.
I agree that mpg is on everyone's mind when gas prices go up, but not ahead of time when it could make a difference. We have had over 3 major gasoline shortages and price spikes in the last 40 years, and each time US auto makers were totally unprepared, nearly failed, and required expensive taxpayer bailouts.
The rest of the world has also already tried the free market, and it has always failed when it comes to vehicle mileage. Everyone only wants everyone else to use less gasoline, so that it will be cheaper for their beheamoth. So I see no way around regulations at the means.
If vehicle buyers had any sense at all, they would not be buying silly, heavy, fragile, and expensive things like power seats, power windows, power locks, remote start, keyless entry, etc. Although car makers have to take part of the blame for not being honest about how these things harm reliability and mileage.
Yes, I agree. Things like more gears, higher reving, variable supercharging, and direct injection to eliminate pre-ignition, would allow a smaller and lighter engine to still have sufficient hp potential, without all the extra weight of a larger engine. Deactivation does not make the wasted weight of the deactivated cylinders to go away.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.