Engineers Aim to Develop Better Fuel Economy
In this day and age, fuel economy is a major concern for all vehicle owners, especially those looking to purchase a new vehicle. Most people expect to get the claimed amount of ‘X’ L/100km or ‘X’ mpg according to the NRCan/EPA fuel economy labels, and are disappointed when they experience firsthand that these numbers are false. Lower fuel economy = more gas at the pump = more $ spent = more unhappy consumers.
Car manufacturers have heard this concern for fuel economy loud and clear and are continuously developing existing technologies to improve this issue.
Here’s a look at some of their strategies:
Large V8 engines are no longer being used as car manufacturers are switching to more efficient engine sizes. Some manufacturers, like Volvo, have even predicted the end of the V8:
“We will create smaller, more intelligent engines with so much power that they will turn V8s into dinosaurs,” says Derek Crabb, VP powertrain engineering at Volvo Car Group.
Direct injection is another strategy manufacturers are taking advantage of in order to enhance fuel economy. Injecting highly pressurized fuel into the cylinder permits a more complete combustion.
A growing number of new vehicles have also incorporated start/stop technology into their vehicles. This technology shuts off the engine every time the vehicle is at a complete stop (e.g. at a red light or when there’s heavy traffic) and starts again when the driver releases his foot off the brake. This technology is common even among high-end vehicles like the Porsche 911.
Hybrid technology is now also being seen in vehicles we never thought of as being hybrid territory, such as in the new LaFerrari, which is an exclusive hybrid powertrain.
Manufacturers are using more lightweight materials to construct parts because a lighter vehicle requires less energy to function. Some experts estimate that for every 10 percent of weight eliminated from a vehicle’s total weight, fuel economy improves by 7 percent.
These engineering advancements have helped to improve fuel economy across various car manufacturers, but no matter how efficiently you drive, you will never consistently get the NRCan/EPA fuel economy labels as your own. Generate your own PERSONALIZED fuel economy label with MyCarma to know how YOU can make the most efficient vehicle purchase decision for YOU, and how YOU can drive the most efficiently in YOUR car.