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Engineering Materials
Survey: Battery, Engine, Materials Are Top CAFE Techs
9/19/2012

A DuPont-sponsored survey has found that automakers are focused almost equally on improving battery performance, breakthroughs in combustion engine performance, and lighter materials.   (Source: DuPont)
A DuPont-sponsored survey has found that automakers are focused almost equally on improving battery performance, breakthroughs in combustion engine performance, and lighter materials.
(Source: DuPont)

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Rob Spiegel
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Re: How real are combustion engine breakthroughs?
Rob Spiegel   9/24/2012 9:24:52 PM
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I agree, Chuck. weak sales of EVs make EVs a weak contributor to CAFE standards. Of course that could change quickly if battery technology breakthroughs bring down the cost of EVs and hybrids. What do you think the chances of that are?

Charles Murray
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Re: How real are combustion engine breakthroughs?
Charles Murray   9/24/2012 7:53:57 PM
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I agree, Rob. EVs have the potential to help boost CAFE, but first, someone's going to have to sell them. Nissan Leaf's recent sales numbers have been unimpressive.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: How real are combustion engine breakthroughs?
Rob Spiegel   9/21/2012 2:35:36 PM
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I agree, Mydesign. Until there is a significant breakgrough, the EVs will probably not contribute greatly to meeting CAFE standards. As it stands now, the EVs will proably not have sufficient sales to help car makers meet CAFE.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Tires didn't make the list
Ann R. Thryft   9/21/2012 12:40:12 PM
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Lou and Matt, I suspect aerodynamics issues run smack into fashion and style issues, and what the car companies think people want in terms of appearance.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: RE - Meaning of graph?
Ann R. Thryft   9/21/2012 12:22:34 PM
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I asked Carole, the DuPont spokeswoman quoted in the article, if we could give more details. Carole, thanks for sharing these with our audience and addressing their questions about DuPont's survey design and the survey respondents.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Meaning of graph?
Ann R. Thryft   9/21/2012 12:20:16 PM
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Thinking_J, the pie chart represents categories summing up this section of the results of the survey, which included many questions posed to respondents. There are also other illustrations depicting somewhat different data from the survey, which you can access using the link we provided.

CaroleD
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RE - Meaning of graph?
CaroleD   9/21/2012 9:03:04 AM
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Want to share some info Ann didn't have room to include.  Respondents were asked to report on the types of programs they are working on – not what they believe.  As most folks probably know, the industry is currently working on programs designed to meet milestones along the way to 2025 regulations.

Also, the makeup of the survey represents several points of view:  half report they are in the system/component  segment of the value chain; 31% are in the OEM role; and 17% say they work in engine/engine services.  Half are in the engineering role, with the rest spread between quality; corporate management; production engineering; and research & development.

Mydesign
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Re: How real are combustion engine breakthroughs?
Mydesign   9/21/2012 12:50:02 AM
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Rob, in case of EVs the main two major areas which are lagging is Battery power and engine power: which are related to each other. So any further improvement has to happen in these two areas, otherwise it cannot improve efficiency. Putting up more charging stations is not an issue, but better yield from battery is an important factor.

j-allen
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Light strong materials not new.
j-allen   9/20/2012 9:10:37 PM
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Some time ago I helped restore some automobiles fron the 1920s.  I was surprised at the range of materials the manufacturers used to provide light strong structures.  These included not just steel, but hard and soft woods, aluminum, fabrics, and such plastics as existed then.  During the decades that followed, the US manufacturers slid a long way backwards in the materials department.   It's good to see that they are again gaining ground. 

Thinking_J
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Meaning of graph?
Thinking_J   9/20/2012 6:57:34 PM
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The graph represented what the 700 subscribers to WardsAuto "thought" as they were polled...  not much more meaning than an "exit poll" at an election. It did not indicate where the automotive decision makers were actually spending their research dollars. It did not indicate relative value of improvement vs money spent in any scientific way.. it was the "gut" feeling by subscribers to a "automovtive information center" on the subject.

So .. at best we have some indication from a few in interested in the industry where they believe improvements are to be made.

Sorry Ann, I want a bit more "meat" to the subject before making any meaningful observations.

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