Tag Archives: News

ADS News – Ford Fiesta Gets 90 mpg with ECOnetic Diesel Engine

Just when you thought the internal combustion engine was dead, Ford engineers produce a 1.6-liter diesel engine that blows away the fuel-efficiency marathon record with an astounding 90.65 mpg in a Ford Fiesta. The record was set at the respected Fleet World MPG Marathon event that was recently held in the UK. The Fiesta with ECOnetic Technology used just 16.22 liters (4.28 gallons) over the 624 km (388 mile) course. The marathon takes the competitors and their cars over public roads “through tricky conditions” in south Wales and the Cotswold region of England.
ford-fiesta
The record result was set during the 2012 ALD Automotive/Shell FuelSave MPG Marathon, and was organized by Fleet World magazine in the UK. The diesel powered Ford Fiesta went up against competition including the Toyota Yaris Hybrid, Fiat Panda Multijet Easy, Volkswagen Golf Match Tdi 105 and Kia Rio 1.1 CRDi 1 Eco.

The driver used Eco-driving techniques, and the results were 21 percent lower than the official fuel-mileage ratings. But the results still come from real-world driving conditions on public roads. “Eco-driving techniques can massively lower your fuel consumption in any car, but to reach such levels you need a car designed for the job, and Fiesta ECOnetic Technology certainly is,” said Andreas Ostendorf, vice president Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering, Ford of Europe.

ECOnetic Technology brings together a range of new fuel-saving technologies. It starts with Fords new fuel-stingy 1.6-liter TDCi diesel engine. Diesel engines have always been known to be fuel-efficient and Ford’s new engine technology is proving they are here to stay. European automakers has been using diesel powerplants for decades and have been hugely successful in powering their cars.

Other ECOnetic Technology features on the marathon-winning Ford Focus include Auto-Start-Stop, Smart Regenerative Charging, Active Grille Shutter, EcoMode, Gear Shift Indicator, bespoke engine calibration and optimized gear ratios with a six-speed transmission. The Fiesta also gets a lower suspension, wheel deflectors and low-rolling resistance tires that reduce friction from the air and road. The Ford Fiesta also incorporates special underbody shielding making it highly aerodynamic.

While most drivers won’t achieve the kind of mileage the marathon vehicle produced, the Ford Focus with ECOnetic Technology still gets impressive fuel economy of over 70 mpg. The Ford ECOnetic Technology will also be put in the new Ford Focus which will go on sale across Europe this month. The 2012 Ford Fiesta is already Europe’s number one selling small car, and when Ford of Europe’s most fuel-efficient passenger car hits showrooms, it may move the small diesel powered car to the top of the list. Let’s hope Ford brings the fuel-stingy diesel to the U.S.

ADS News – LiquidPiston Unveils Ultra Efficient, Small Diesel Engine

By Katie Fehrenbacher from Gigaom

The internal combustion is officially still alive, and delivering efficiency innovation.

While electric cars get a lot of media attention, the reality is that the internal combustion engine is far from dead, particularly for the future car owners in the developing world. A startup called LiquidPiston — which has been around for years and which got its start as a father-son team in a business plan competition at MIT — is in the process of developing a diesel engine which is far more efficient, smaller and quieter than a standard diesel engine.

The engine, called the X2, will be available as a beta prototype for outside testing by the first quarter of 2013. The engine is able to achieve more than 50 percent efficiency under typical operating modes, while typical diesel engines usually achieve less than 20 percent efficiency.

The X2 is a new type of engine architecture, based on a rotary engine. LiquidPiston CEO and President Alexander Shklonik told met in an interview that this new version of the rotary engine is more flexible and can thus be more efficient when optimized in the right way. The engine is smaller, lighter, and cheaper, with ten times fewer parts, than current diesel engines on the market, says Shklonik.

Shklonik told me in a phone interview that the first applications for the engine won’t be the mainstream automotive industry, but will be industries like defense, long haul trucks, plug-in vehicle range extenders, and other more niche markets. LiquidPiston has raised $12.3 million so far, and tells me that it’s looking to raise another $20 million later this year. The company has around 12 employees.

Other startups that have developed more fuel efficient engines include EcoMotors, Pinnacle Engines, and IRIS Engines. More efficient engines will be used in both the next-generation of cars sold in developing countries, and also countries like the U.S. that have new fuel efficiency standards. The Obama administration passed the CAFE standards, which require a fuel efficiency of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

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Sales of Jeep® brand vehicles rose 61.8 percent in Europe (the 27 member states of the European Union, plus the four European Free Trade Association countries) in 2011 versus 2010 – compared to an industry decline of 1.4 percent – according to numbers released by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).

Chrysler Group’s plan to sell a diesel version of its Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV in North America shows the company is heading in a different strategic direction than most of its competitors. In addition to the Grand Cherokee, Chrysler is likely to introduce diesel engines on the Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Durango and possibly other SUVs

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Everybody wants more for less these days, and that premise is the key to the success of Drive’s Car of Year for 2011, the Mercedes-Benz C250 CDI.

The family-sized Benz has more torque, or pulling power, than a lot of petrol-guzzling V8s, yet it uses less fuel than the average city runabout.

The secret to this impressive balancing act is the diesel engine that lurks beneath its stately bonnet. 

So what makes diesel cars, and our Car of the Year, the Mercedes-Benz C250 CDI, a winning formula?

Well, for a start the C250CDI can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in just a tick over seven seconds, which is similar performance to a big six-cylinder petrol engine. Take it out on the freeway and its rolling acceleration will be the equal of many V8s, which makes long-distance cruising and overtaking an effortless exercise.

That is impressive in itself, but when you add the fact that it uses a claimed average of 5.1 litres per 100km – less than the tiny Volkswagen Polo – it is outstanding. The figures help explain why 20 of the 46 vehicles in this year’s awards are diesel powered.

Fuel economy and reduced CO2 emissions have become a top priority for every car maker and modern common-rail diesel engines, matched to the latest fuel-saving techno-trickery, are one of the easiest paths to greener motoring.

The Mercedes, and nine other finalists, use stop-start technology to improve fuel consumption in congested cities. When the car is stopped at the lights, the engine switches off to save fuel.

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U.S. fuel demand in October rose to the highest level for the month in three years, led by gains in diesel consumption, the American Petroleum Institute said.

Total deliveries of petroleum products, a measure of demand, increased 2.5 percent to 19.4 million barrels a day last month from a year earlier, the industry-funded group said today in a report. Year-to-date consumption has averaged 19.2 million barrels a day, up 0.1 percent from the same period in 2010.

“Our economy is growing modestly and the overall demand numbers support that,” John Felmy, chief economist with the Washington-based API, said in the report.

Consumption of distillate fuels, a category that includes diesel and heating oil, rose 12 percent to 4.24 million barrels a day in October, the highest level for the month since 2006.

Demand for ultra-low sulfur diesel, the type used on highways, climbed 15 percent to average 3.82 million barrels a day, the report showed. Heating-oil use dropped 6.7 percent to 419,000 barrels a day.

Gasoline demand declined 0.3 percent to 8.99 million barrels a day last month compared with the same month last year. It was the second-lowest level of October consumption for the motor fuel since 2002, according to the report.

Jet-fuel use climbed 4.8 percent to an average 1.5 million barrels a day last month compared with the same period in 2010.

Demand for residual fuels plunged 45 percent to 269,000 barrels a day last month from a year earlier, the report showed. Residual fuel is used for commercial and industrial heating, electricity generation and ship propulsion.

U.S. crude-oil production rose 1.7 percent to an average 5.67 million barrels a day in October, a 10-year high for the month, the department said. Output in the lower 48 states increased 2.3 percent to 5.07 million barrels a day. Alaskan production decreased 3.1 percent to 599,000 barrels a day.

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Volkswagen is fuming over the Obama Administration’s proposal to double auto fuel efficiency, saying the plan unfairly values hybrid and all-electric cars over clean diesel, a technology VW has pioneered.

Volkswagen is committed to continually making fuel efficient vehicles, such as the new mid-size, clean diesel Passat TDI, available to the U.S. market. Built in Chattanooga, TN, the Passat TDI achieves 43 mpg highway and can travel almost 800 miles on a single tank of fuel.

The Obama Administration unveiled a proposed rule that would require automakers to double the average fuel economy of their vehicles to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, estimating that the change would add $2,000 to the average price of a car.

The proposal brought howls of protest from automakers who warned the changes would price millions of Americans out of the new-car market, keeping older, less fuel-efficient cars on the road longer.

VW, Europe’s largest automaker and the fastest-growing automaker in the United States, already offers turbodiesel cars, station wagons and SUVs that routinely get nearly 50 miles per gallon on the highway.

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With looming fuel efficiency standards dictating future car products, major automakers are investing a lot of time and money into developing EV’s and hybrid cars. Well…except for Chrysler. Instead, the Pentastar brand has announced that the Jeep Grand Cherokee will offer a diesel engine option in 2013, with other models to follow.