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Reducing and Measuring Fuel Consumption, Without the Costs

last modified Dec 13, 2010 11:26 AM

Newly published work from the CVDC reveals that larger vehicle configurations are always more energy efficient when fully loaded. Although current trends in goods distribution are leaning towards centralised dispatch using smaller, 4-axle rigid trucks, this method of transportation was found to increase fuel consumption in an urban cycle by 35% as compared with using longer combination vehicles. Running partially laden vehicles increased fuel consumption per freight task by as much as 65%. Despite popularity in other research and European regulation, results from this study demonstrated that reducing aerodynamic drag and increasing engine efficiency net relatively small gains in fuel economy when compared with other factors, such as increasing vehicle size and using regenerative braking.

Researchers validated a simulation of HGV fuel consumption without expensive testing facilities using novel, simple, and common-sense experimental tests. The benchmarked mathematical model predicted the fuel consumption over a 4km drive cycle for a 37 tonne semi-trailer combination to within 1.4%. Work within the CVDC on the issue of energy efficient transportation is continuing to show which methods are effective, and which are just hot air.

More information on continuing work within CVDC on regenerative braking and other strategies for improving heavy vehicle energy efficiency can be found on the Projects page.

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