Especially at high engine speeds, cars use some of gasoline for cooling instead of for propulsion. Bosch says its water injection is a new way to cool the engine and generate additional boost. It can reduce fuel consumption by as much as 13 percent in highway conditions and 4 percent in normal driving, the company says.
The process doesn’t require a lot of water: for every one hundred kilometers driven, only a few hundred milliliters are necessary, Bosch says. This means the compact water tank that supplies the injection system with distilled water only has to be refilled every few thousand kilometers at most.
The BMW M4 GTS is the first production vehicle to use the Bosch water injection system.
Water injection is one of the technologies emerging to help vehicles achieve better fuel economy, which is increasingly important as federal agencies undertake a mid-term review of fuel efficiency standards that aims to double cars and light trucks’ fuel economy by 2025.
Another is lightweighting, or using lighter materials to help reduce vehicle weight and lower energy consumption. To this end Ford has teamed up with Jose Cuervo to explore the use of the tequila producer’s agave plant byproduct to develop more sustainable bioplastics to use in Ford vehicles.
Also, automotive engineering consultancy Drive System Design (DSD) and global chemical company Solvay SA recently partnered to improve efficiency and reduce the weight of automotive transmissions through the increased use of structural plastics.