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Wheels Turn Toward Innovations for More Efficient and Clean Vehicles

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While approximately 30% of today’s new cars can boast fuel economy of at least 30 miles per gallon, there is still the opportunity for further efficiency gains. In addition, while trucks make up just 4% of all U.S. automobiles, they account for more than 25% of transportation-related fuel consumption, and diesel averages 44 cents more per gallon than gasoline.
 
Top scientists, engineers, and analysts with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) initiative are examining how simultaneous improvements to fuels and engines can improve efficiency and reduce emissions and costs of the entire on-road fleet, including light-duty (LD), medium-duty (MD), and heavy-duty (HD) internal combustion vehicles that are likely to make up the majority of the U.S. automotive market for decades to come.
 
After completing a major body of research focused on turbocharged spark ignition engines in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, Co-Optima’s FY2019 LD research and development (R&D) shifted focus to multimode solutions that employ multiple engine operating modes to maximize engine efficiency and fuel economy. A new report highlights the most significant Co-Optima R&D accomplishments from FY 2019, with details on findings that straddle LD, MD, and HD technologies.
 
Co-Optima is jointly sponsored by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies and Vehicle Technologies offices. Partners include nine National Laboratories, along with more than 20 university and industry partners.