Issue: Mar 2008


GM CONFIRMS “HUGE” FUEL ECONOMY GAIN FROM NEW GASOLINE ENGINE



by Bob Brooks

Chicago, IL: Chevrolet General Manager, Ed Peper revealed at a meeting of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, here, that GM will launch first vehicles this year powered by downsized turbocharged direct injected engines he characterized as having “notable huge improvement” .in fuel economy. Peper declined, however, to say which. models will be the first to get the new engines...

Three weeks earlier, SAE President, Tom Ryan, speaking at an Energy Frontiers International conference on the subject of fuels and engines, referred to high efficiency gasoline engines of the type GM is tooling for production as having “diesel competitive fuel efficiency at much less cost”.

Ryan, an Institute Engineer in the Engine, Emissions and Vehicle Research Division of Southwest Research Institute paved the way for development of high efficiency gasoline engines for many industry clients worldwide via a program termed HEDGE (high efficiency dilute gasoline engines). . Other contract engine development firms such as Ricardo, AVL and FEV are actively engaged in this area... Ford, a HEDGE member, has announced it is tooling for production of gasoline engines with superior efficiency technology.

The significance of diesel like efficiency and lower cost for the new gasoline engines is magnified by both the higher cost of diesel fuel and higher cost of emissions controls required for diesels. This swings the overall cost per mile more in favor of gasoline engines whether used with our without hybrid technology. It also represents large savings for many car makers compared with conversion to diesels at least for light duty vehicles. Some reports coming out of Europe recently have indicated that diesel penetration of the car market may have peaked and could begin some degree of percentage decline. .

Ryan points out that the new gasoline engines with yet higher EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) rates) have ultra low NOx which adds to exhaust emissions control savings. CO & HC emissions control remain unchanged from current gasoline engines. .He said that cooled EGR helps to improve fuel efficiency by permitting somewhat higher compression ratios and by reducing induction pumping losses.


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