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Influence of technologies on energy efficiency results of official Brazilian tests of vehicle energy consumption

Salvo, Orlando de, Vaz de Almeida, Flávio G.
Applied energy 2019 v.241 pp. 98-112
compressors, electric power, energy efficiency, energy use and consumption, fuels, greenhouse gases, models, transportation, vehicles (equipment), Brazil
Even with the automotive technological evolution steadily improving energy efficiency, the transportation sector continues to account for more than one-fifth of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). The official fuel consumption information has presented divergences in relation to the values found in real driving. Due to this variation, the effectiveness of technologies for the improvement of energy efficiency has been questioned. Aiming to verify these divergences, the aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between embedded technologies intended to reduce fuel consumption and the official data on energy consumption. For the development of this method, the official on energy consumption of the light vehicles sold in Brazil were used. The innovative method developed in this study allowed the evaluation of consumption without the influence of vehicle weight, in a way to identify the best performing technologies. As a result, it was identified that technologies, such as the direct fuel injection (DFI) and electric power steering (EPS), presented positive correlation with fuel economy for all vehicle loads. The 3-cylinder engines showed favourable performance in vehicles up to 1200 kg, and 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engines had the best correlation coefficient of the evaluated fleet, with the best performance in models that were up to two tons. The boosted engines, with turbocharger or compressor, performed favourably across all vehicle sizes. Variable Valve Timing (VVT) also showed superiority in efficiency across all weight ranges, regardless of the number of valves per cylinder. The benefits of manual transmissions, with five and six speeds, stood out in vehicles up to 1200 kg and in the ones near two tons. The method used in this work demonstrated consistency by comparing fuel economy in other research. This study contributes to the activities of researchers, legislators, suppliers and vehicle manufacturers in the identification of the most recommended technologies for each vehicle size.