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Model Based Design
Component Technologies Impact on Fuel Efficiency
Government Performance Result Act (GPRA)
Powertrain Configuration
Component Requirements
Vehicle Level Control
Model Validation
Light Duty
Heavy Duty


Advanced materials (including metals, polymers, composites, and intermetallic compounds) can play an important role in improving the efficiency of transportation vehicles. Weight reduction is one of the most practical ways of increasing vehicle fuel economy while reducing exhaust emissions.  Using Autonomie, Argonne has evaluated the impact of vehicle mass reduction for several vehicle platforms and advanced powertrain technologies, including Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) and fuel cell HEVs, in comparison with conventional vehicles. 

The simulations demonstrated that the conventional and parallel hybrid configurations are the most sensitive configurations, the conventional being the most sensitive when performance is maintained.  Because of the high efficiency of their fuel converter, fuel cell configurations (with or without energy storage systems) are the least sensitive.

The parameters influencing fuel consumption sensitivity to weight are:

  • Drive cycle,
  • Powertrain,
  • Fuel converter efficiencies,
  • Regenerative braking.

The achievement of the FreedomCAR goals, including high fuel converter efficiencies and energy storage development, would allow higher regenerative braking and lead to a lower sensitivity for all vehicle configurations, especially for the conventional vehicle.

Percentage reduction in fuel economy and consumption

Percentage Reduction in Fuel Economy and Consumption, based on Reduction in Glider Mass, by Configuration — Midsize Platform — when Powertrain Is Resized

Last update September 2010



Fuel Economy Sensitivity to Vehicle Mass for Advanced Vehicle Powertrains (pdf)

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