# ATTACHMENT 3-A. A Technical Evaluation of Two Weight- and Engineering-Based Fuel Efficiency Parameters for Cars and Light Trucks

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1 ATTACHMENT 3-A A Technical Evaluation of Two Weight- and Engineering-Based Fuel Efficiency Parameters for Cars and Light Trucks Measuring fuel economy of vehicles in miles per gallon (mpg) alone does not provide sufficient information to evaluate a vehicle s efficiency in performing its intended function. A better way to measure the energy-efficiency of vehicles is needed, one that has a sound engineering basis. This attachment presents two weight-based parameters as examples of approaches that take the intended use of a vehicle into consideration. One is based on a vehicle s curb weight and the other includes its payload (passenger plus cargo). Because of the short time frame of the committee s study, an analysis sufficiently detailed to draw conclusions as to the value of these or other parameters was not possible. Miles Per Gallon Versus Gallons Per Mile and How to Measure The physics of vehicle design can form the basis for parameters that more accurately represent system energy efficiencies and could be used by EPA in fuel economy testing. Miles-per-gallon (mpg) is not by itself a sufficient parameter to measure efficiency since it is inherently higher for smaller vehicles and lower for larger vehicles (which can carry more passengers and a greater cargo load.) Although CAFE currently characterizes vehicles by miles driven per gallon (gal) of fuel consumed, the inverse, gallons per mile, would be more advantageous for several reasons. As shown in Figure 3A-1, gallons per mile measures fuel consumption and thus relates directly to the goal of decreasing the gallons consumed. Note that the curve is relatively flat beyond 3 or 35 mpg because fuel savings become increasingly smaller as mpg increases. Also, the use of fuel consumption (gal per mile) has analytical advantages as addressed in this appendix. To aid and clarify the analysis and make the numbers easier to comprehend, the term to be used is gal per 1 miles (gal/1 miles). A vehicle getting 25 mpg uses 4 gal/1 miles. For reproducibility reasons, fuel consumption measurements are made on a chassis dynamometer. The driving wheels are placed on the dynamometer rollers; other wheels do not rotate. Thus rolling resistance, as with aerodynamic drag, must be accounted for mathematically. Vehicle coast down times are experimentally determined (a measure of aerodynamic drag); an auxiliary power unit (APU) ensures that dynamometer coast down times are in reasonable agreement with road-tested coast down times. Test reproducibility is in the few percent range. The driver follows two different 3A-1

2 Fuel consumed (gallons per 1 miles) Fuel economy (miles per gallon) Series1 FIGURE 3A-1 Dependence of Fuel Consumption on Fuel Economy SOURCE: NRC, 2. specified cycles, city and highway, which were deduced from traffic measurements made some 3-4 years ago. A change in the test cycle is not a minor item much engineering know-how is based on the present cycle, which is also used for exhaust emissions measurements. Weight-Specific Fuel Consumption Figure 5A-4 plots gal/1 miles versus vehicle weight for model year (MY) 1999 vehicles. The vertical scatter along a line of constant weight reflects the fact that vehicles of the same weight may differ in the efficiency of their drive trains or rolling resistance or aerodynamic drag (and thus in the number of gallons used to travel a given distance). While gal/1 miles is a straightforward parameter for measuring fuel consumption, it does not reflect the load-carrying capacity of the vehicle. Smaller cars, with lower fuel consumption, are designed to carry smaller loads, and larger cars and trucks larger ones. For engineering analysis purposes, it is convenient to normalize the data in Figure 5A-4 in Appendix 5A, i.e., divide the y value (vertical scale) of each data point by its curb weight in tons. The resulting new vertical scale is the weight specific fuel consumption (WSFC). The units shown in Figure 3A-2 are gal/ton of vehicle weight/1 miles. The straight horizontal line is a reasonable representation of the average efficiency of fuel use data for a wide variety of vehicle types and weights. It shows that the 3A-2

3 4 WSFC VS. WEIGHT FOR ALL VEHICLES WSFC, Gallons/Ton of Vehicle Weight - 1 Miles 3 2 Cars Trucks 1 Near Luxury Small SUV Luxury Luxury Average Weight, lb FIGURE 3A-2 Weight-Specific Fuel Consumption vs. Weight For All Vehicles efficiency (WSFC) is approximately the same for this variety of different vehicle types (MY2 33 trucks and 44 cars) and weights. Note that some vertical scatter is to be expected; all vehicles having approximately the same weight do not necessarily have the same drive train efficiency. Figure 3A-3 shows on-the-road data taken by Consumer Report (April 21). Their measurements were based on a realistic mixture of express-way, country-road and city driving. Again the efficiency of fuel use for their on-the-road tests is reasonably represented by a horizontal straight line. This figure illustrates the analytical utility of this approach. The lowest car point at a little less than 3, lbs is a diesel engine; its WSFC is around 1.8 compared to around 2.7 for the average. The two hybrid points also show lower WSFC than the average but higher than the diesel. Figure 3A-4 illustrates possible realistic reductions in WSFC. EPA has fuelconsumed data for more than one thousand 2 and 21 model year vehicles. A horizontal line was drawn on a WSFC (highway) graph for these vehicles such that 125 vehicles were below this arbitrary line. The results for the 125 vehicles are shown in Figure 3A-4. The average WSFC value for all vehicles was 1.7; the average for the 125 vehicles was around 1.4. Since these were production vehicles it would appear that application of in-production technologies to the entire fleet could produce significant reductions in WSFC. 3A-3

4 CONSUMER REPORT FUEL EFFICIENCY DATA WSFC, gallons per ton per 1 miles AUTO LTR&SUV HYBRID vehicle weight (pounds) FIGURE 3A-3 Fleet Fuel Economy Based on information from Consumer Report (April, 21) 125 Vehicles With Lowest WFSC - HWY WSFC, gallons per ton per 1 miles AUTOS LT TRUCKS HYBRIDS vehicle weight (pounds) FIGURE 3A-4 Best in Class Fuel Efficiency Analysis of 2 and 21 Vehicles. 3A-4

6 Figure 4 : FC VS. WEIGHT FOR ALL VEHICLES 1 9 Cars Trucks 8 FC, gallons/ 1 miles y =.1x R 2 = Near Luxury Small SUV Luxury 1 Luxury CAFE Standard for Cars CAFE Standard for Trucks Weight, lb FIGURE 3A-5 Fuel Economy vs. Payload for a variety of light- and heavy-duty vehicles. Figure 38: LSFC VS. WEIGHT FOR ALL VEHICLES 1 LSFC, gallons/ 1 miles - Tons of Passengers plus Cargo Cars Trucks 3 2 Near Luxury Small SUV Luxury 1 Luxury Average Weight, lb FIGURE 3A-6 Fuel Consumption vs. Weight for a Variety of Vehicles 3A-6

7 Figure 49: FUEL ECONOMY VS. PAYLOAD LSFC, gallons/payloadton-1 miles 9 8 PNGV 7 Fuel Economy, mpg Light-Duty Vehicles 3 2 Heavy-Duty Vehicles 1 mpg x 4Ton 24 mpg x.5ton 1mpg x 4Ton 1 1 mpg x 1 Ton Payload, tons 5 mpg x 4 Ton FIGURE 3A-7 LSFC vs. Weight for a Variety of Vehicles. 3A-7

8 24 Figure 41: PAYLOAD VS. VEHICLES y = 51.59x R 2 = Small SUV Near Luxury Luxury Luxury Payload, lb In order of increasing average weight FIGURE 3A-8 Payload vs. Vehicles. Comparing the Two Weight-Based Parameters The weight specific fuel consumption (WSFC) essentially normalizes the fuel consumed per 1 miles to take out the strong dependence on vehicle weight. Different weight vehicles can be compared more equitably. Lower WSFC parameters indicate lower road load requirements and/or higher power train efficiencies with lower accessory loads. Figure 3A-9 shows fuel economy versus vehicle curb weight for the 87 light-duty vehicles. Constant efficiency lines (in mpg multiplied [x] by tons of vehicle weight) are 3A-8

9 Figure 48: FUEL ECONOMY VS. WSFC WSFC, gallons/ton of Vehicle Weight -1 miles mpg x 2Ton 24 mpg x 2Ton 22 mpg x 2Ton 38 mpg x 1Ton 32 mpg x 1Ton 26 mpg x 1Ton Weight, lb Ave Ave Ave Small SUV Ave Ave Ave Near Luxury Ave Luxury Ave Ave Ave Ave Ave Ave Luxury Ave Fuel Economy, mpg Cars Near Luxury Luxury Trucks Small SUV Luxury FIGURE 3A-9 Fuel Economy vs. WSFC. also shown along with WFSC. Figure 3A-1 shows fuel economy versus vehicle payload for the 87 vehicles. The constant efficiency lines in mpg x tons of payload are also shown along with LSFC. The utility of this plot is that it shows the interrelationship of fuel economy, payload, and LSFC in gallons/payload ton-1 miles.lsfc and WSFC show similar utility in determining whether certain types of vehicles are either above or below the average lines in Figures A3-2 and A3-7. Using LSFC, however, would encourage manufacturers to consider all aspects of vehicle design, including materials, accessory power consumption, body design, and engine and transmission efficiency. The use of the LSFC number will show high-performance, heavy, two seat sports cars without much cargo space, and large luxury cars to be on the high side compared with vehicles designed to be fuel- and payload-efficient. WSFC does not account for the load carrying capacity of certain vehicles such as pick-ups, vans, and SUVs. The vans and large SUVs in Figure 3A-7 are shown below the average fit line and below the average WSFC line in Figure 3A-2 indicting they have highly efficient power train technologies and low road load/accessory load requirements. Pickups are above the average WSFC line in Figure 3A-2, showing that it is difficult to design a truck with load carrying capabilities that has low aerodynamic drag and is fuel 3A-9

10 Figure 47: FUEL ECONOMY VS. PAYLOAD LSFC, gallons/payload Ton -1 miles mpg x.5ton 4 mpg x.5ton 32 mpg x.5ton 24 mpg x.5ton 16 mpg x.5ton Payload, lb Ave Ave Ave Near Luxury Ave Luxury Ave Ave Ave Ave Small SUV Ave Ave Ave Luxury Ave Ave Ave Fuel Economy, mpg Cars Near Luxury Luxury Trucks Small SUV Luxury FIGURE 3A-1 Fuel Economy vs. Payload. efficient. When fuel consumption of these vehicles (vans, pickups and SUVs) are normalized to payload, they are below the average LSFC line in Figure 3A-7, indicating they are well designed for their intended use. Conclusion Both the WSFC and LSFC parameters have potential utility as fuel-efficieny parameters for vehicles but their applicability requires additional study. 3A-1

11 REFERENCES NRC, 2. Automotive Fuel Economy: How Far Should We Go? Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. p. 156 Riley Alternative Cars in the 21 st Century. Society of Automotive Engineers. 3A-11

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