ETI looks at ways of lightening the load for heavy duty vehicles and off-road machines

ETI looks at ways of lightening the load for heavy duty vehicles and off-road machines
26 October 2009

An extensive study to look at increasing efficiency and cutting emissions of heavy-duty vehicles (HDV) and off-road machines has been launched today (27 October) by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).

The ETI study will evaluate heavy-duty vehicles such as coaches, buses and mining vehicles, determine drive-cycles showing the types of UK usage patterns for each class of vehicle, identify the potential efficiency improvement technologies and evaluate the benefits case for each one.
The project, which is expected to last nine months, will focus on the technologies which have the largest potential to reduce CO2 emissions.

The UK HDV fleet currently consumes more than 13.5 billion litres of liquid fuel each year and contributes 8.96% to overall UK carbon emissions. Significant CO2 reductions across the entire HDV fleet are therefore critical to achieving the overall UK target of an 80% reduction by 2050.*

The project, led by Ricardo and including Caterpillar and Rolls-Royce, will carry out a detailed analysis of the UK’s heavy-duty vehicle fleet and identify ways in which technological solutions can increase its efficiency and contribute to a reduction in liquid fuel consumption.

ETI Chief Executive Dr David Clarke said: “Carbon reduction from heavy-duty vehicles presents a significant challenge. Many of the current options to reduce CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles are not feasible for heavy duty applications.

“Due to the high energy usage, strategies such as electrification are unlikely to be successful, so the aim is to look at ways of increasing the efficiency of use of liquid fuels. Also, the vehicle types, applications and technologies to improve efficiency are diverse so it is difficult to find a single universal technological solution. This project will allow us to identify potential technological solutions to increasing efficiency and reducing liquid fuel consumption across the heavy-duty vehicle fleet”.

Neville Jackson, Director of Advanced Technology, Ricardo said: "Fuel efficiency has always been the key product attribute for heavy-duty vehicles.  Whilst Ricardo and our project partners have made significant progress in reducing fuel consumption, opportunities still exist to identify and develop further technologies that can enable heavy duty engines to make their contribution to reductions in carbon emissions. This study will focus on technologies that deliver benefits in real world applications and that can support the UK as a leader in low carbon products."

This follows the ETI’s recent announcement that it is to lead the world's most extensive evaluation of consumer's attitudes to plug-in electric and hybrid electric vehicles with the launch of an ambitious Plug-in Vehicle Economics and Infrastructure project. This includes a Joined-Cities Plan to help develop and implement a detailed plan for installing a single compatible network of plug-in vehicle recharging infrastructure to support thousands of plug-in vehicles from 2011 onwards.

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[* Statistics from Defra and DECC]

A copy of the ETI press release announcing this Ricardo-led project may be downloaded from the link at the top right of this page.