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  • 07-Nov-2011 01:08 EST

C-Max Energi - Ford's Plug-In Solution


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Evolving the current state of the art Hybrid Technology for vehicles with plug-in capability will yield three significant results, the displacement of petroleum with electricity for transportation, improved efficiency and reduced emissions. As the technology evolves from the Ford Escape Hybrid Plug-In demo fleet, Ford is in the final stages of development of the C-Max Energi, which will be delivered in 2012 as a highly efficient, full purpose vehicle designed to meet customer expectations without compromise.

Charles Gray, Ford Motor Co.

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Future fuel economy targets represent a significant challenge to the automotive industry. While a range of technologies are in research and development to address this challenge, they all bring additional cost and complexity to future products. The most cost effective solutions are likely to be combinations of technologies that in isolation might have limited advantages but in a systems approach can offer complementary benefits. This presentation describes work carried out at Ricardo to explore Intelligent Electrification and the use of Stratified Charge Lean Combustion in a spark ignition engine. This includes a next generation Spray Guided Direct Injection SI engine combustion system operating robustly with highly stratified dilute mixtures and capable of close to 40% thermal efficiency with very low engine-out NOx emissions.
One promising solution for increasing vehicle fuel economy, while still maintaining long-range driving capability, is the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). A PHEV is a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) whose rechargeable energy source can be recharged from an external power source, making it a combination of an electric vehicle and a traditional hybrid vehicle. A PHEV is capable of operating as an electric vehicle until the battery is almost depleted, at which point the on-board internal combustion engine turns on, and generates power to meet the vehicle demands. When the vehicle is not in use, the battery can be recharged from an external energy source, once again allowing electric driving. A series of models is presented which simulate various powertrain architectures of PHEVs. To objectively evaluate the effect of powertrain architecture on fuel economy, the models were run according to the latest test procedures and all fuel economy values were utility factor weighted.
Auto manufacturers have known and surveys confirm that consumers require short payback periods (2-4 years) for investments in fuel economy. Using societal discount rates, engineering-economic generally find substantial potential to increase fuel economy, cost-effectively. This phenomenon, often referred to as the ?energy paradox?, has been observed in nearly all consumers? choices of energy-using durable goods. Loss aversion, perhaps the most well established theory of behavioral economics, provides a compelling explanation. Engineering economic analyses generally overlook the fact that consumers? investments in fuel economy are not sure things but rather risky bets. Future energy prices, real world on-road fuel economy, and many other factors are uncertain. Loss aversion describes a fundamental human tendency to exaggerate the potential for loss relative to gain when faced with a risky bet. It provides a sufficient explanation for consumers?
SAE 2011 High Efficiency IC Engines Symposium - Session 3 - Advanced Diesel Engine Technologies Presenter Andrew Brown, Delphi Corp.

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