Green Fleet Roundup: Cummins, Peterbilt Motors Company, Honda, Toyota, BYD
Cummins and Peterbilt Motors Company have released test results showing their demonstration SuperTruck (pictured) with a higher-efficiency engine and an aerodynamic tractor-trailer achieved a 54 percent increase in fuel economy, averaging about 10 mpg under real-world driving conditions. The companies say standard long-haul trucks typically achieve between 5.5 and 6.5 mpg. They say the SuperTruck would save about $25,000 annually based on today’s diesel fuel prices for a long-haul truck traveling 120,000 miles per year. It would also translate into a 35 percent reduction in annual GHG per truck. The truck also demonstrated a 61 percent improvement in freight efficiency during testing compared to a baseline truck driving the same route, exceeding the 50 percent SuperTruck program goal set by the Department of Energy.
California-based Zap Jonway, working with its China-based Jonway Auto subsidiary, has added a hybrid compressed natural gas SUV to its electric vehicle lineup. The hybrid CNG engine in the CN 380 allows the driver to utilize the regular gasoline engine when the CNG fuel is depleted. The CNG tank capacity is the same as the gasoline tank. The CN 380 SUV comes in either 1.6-liter or 2.0-liter for manual transmission or the 1.8-liter for both automatic as well as manual transmission. Zap Jonway estimates the savings in fuel cost by using CNG as opposed to gasoline to be between 60 and 65 percent.
Honda has four vehicles eligible for single-occupant access to California’s high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) carpool lanes — the Accord plug-in hybrid, the Civic natural gas, the all-electric Fit EV and FCX Clarity fuel cell-electric vehicle — which the company says is the most of any full-line automaker. Upon applying for and adhering California Clean Air Vehicle decals to eligible alternative fuel vehicles, single-occupant operators of these vehicles are allowed to drive in the state’s carpool lanes. In addition to saving time, Honda says the four cars offer fuel savings compared to the fuel cost of the average passenger vehicle in the US. It puts the annual five-year fuel savings at $7,250 for the Accord plug-in, $7,000 for the Civic CNG and $9,100 for the Fit EV with the FCX Clarity’s fuel savings to be determined.
Bogotá, Colombia mass transit system operator Express del Futuro and electric bus manufacturer BYD have announced plans for an all-electric bus fleet in Bogotá. Express says the all-electric buses will be the first such fleet in all of South American. Twelve of BYD K9’s all-electric bus will be placed into service as of Q2 2013. In January, BYD delivered 500 pure-electric, e6 police vehicles to the Shenzhen Municipal Public Security Bureau.
The Toyota Avalon hybrid has won the best green car award at the 2013 Atlanta International Auto Show. The Avalon’s hybrid synergy drive uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that employs the Atkinson cycle to postpone closure of the intake valves and delay the compression cycle, helping reduce intake and exhaust energy losses to improve fuel efficiency. Reduced weight, aerodynamics and an efficient hybrid drivetrain combine to give the sedan a combined 40 mpg EPA-rating. Toyota says the Avalon Hybrid can offer a range of more than 600 miles per tank.
The Department of Energy has announced more than $50 million in funding for new projects that will accelerate the development of advanced plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) technologies to improve vehicle fuel economy and performance. This new funding supports the DoE’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, which aims to make PEVs as affordable to own and operate as today’s gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 10 years. The DoE will select research projects that focus on lowering the cost and increasing the efficiency of PEV components and develop models and tools to predict these vehicles’ performance and help improve fuel economy. Through the Advanced Vehicle Power Technology Alliance between the DoE and the US Army, the Army is contributing $3.5 million in co-funding.
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