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Big rigs need to cut fuel consumption up to 23%

Having high fuel efficiency in a vehicle is a great thing for the driver because they can spend less on fuel. Having higher fuel economy on vehicles across the automotive market will reduce the need to import foreign oil and will help to reduce overall pollution as well. The big downside is that the cost of the tech to improve fuel economy is not cheap and that cost will be passed onto the car buyer.

The Obama administration today outlined its Heavy-Duty National Program [PDF] fuel economy standards for heavy-duty vehicles like semis, concrete trucks, dump trucks, and other heavy work trucks. Rather than targeting a specific mile per gallon rating  for the heavy-duty vehicles – like what has been proposed for passenger vehicles -- Obama is going to target a percentage of fuel savings.

The reason for this significant difference in fuel savings is according to the administration imposing a MPG standard on this sort of vehicle would be very confusing considering that the range of categories is wide and the payload and duties in the segment vary widely.

The administration wants a 9% saving in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions for work trucks (fire trucks, garbage trucks, and busses, etc.). Gasoline swilling heavy-duty trucks and vans will need to see a reduction of 10% with diesel versions needing to see a 15% savings. Big rigs have the most stringent cuts at up to 23%.

The regulatory announcement also makes the following claims with regards to recouping the added cost associated with adopting more fuel efficient technologies: 

Using technologies commercially available today, the majority of vehicles will see a payback period of less than one year, while others, especially those with lower annual miles, will experience payback periods of up to two years. For example, an operator of a semi truck can pay for the technology upgrades in under a year, and have net savings up to $73,000 over the truck’s useful life.

The new standards will apply to covered vehicles in the 2014 to 2018 range. The hope is to cut 530 million barrels of oil consumption and $50 billion in fuel costs over the life of the vehicles with the new standards in place.

The cost to meet the new standards on the varying vehicle types are expected to be in the range of hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars per vehicle.



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RE: todays laugh
By lagomorpha on 8/9/2011 6:09:39 PM , Rating: 2
"Many(most?) trains are now "hybrids", in that they have a diesel generator that powers electric motors that power the wheels."

This is something trains have been doing since at least 1920, but it's mostly because building a transmission capable of reliably handling that kind of torque is a pain (though it has been done). It's not done so much to increase fuel economy. For one thing you don't get regenerative braking, but diesel-electric trains do have something called "dynamic braking" in which the forward motion of the train is slowed by generators in the wheels which feed in to a massive resistor bank above the engine. In order to cool the resistor bank the engine is actually run at full speed and geared directly to some fans, not really the best way to save fuel but does save on brake friction material. The change from 2 strokes to 4 stroke diesel engines should improve fuel economy a bit because of the nature of 2 strokes (limited in how you can adjust valve/port timing).

"The bank of batteries required to provide 2000 ft/lbs of torque would weigh tens of thousands of pounds. "

EMD's H series makes 6300hp at 1000rpm which based on 1hp=1ftlb*rpm/5252 means it's making 33,087.6 ft/lbs of torque. I don't care to guess at the kinds of batteries needed.


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