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IFEU Heidelberg

5 Road Vehicles

In road traffic, a broad spectrum of vehicle types is in use. In this study the potential for energy savings by weight reduction is analysed for typical vehicles, which represent the most common uses1:

  • Passenger cars (Diesel/ Gasoline)

  • City buses

  • Long distance buses

  • Articulated trucks

To date, these vehicles are almost completely powered by either diesel (buses, trucks and passenger cars) or gasoline fuel (passenger cars), with only a small global share of compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), bio-diesel or other fuels. Only motor vehicles with diesel and gasoline fuels are considered for the calculation of the primary energy and CO2 emission savings in this study.

The use of vehicles and therefore also the potential energy savings by weight reduction differs between countries as well as between the different vehicles of one country. The main influences for a given vehicle are the purpose and location of use and the driv- ing behaviour. Therefore, the general conditions for the calculations in this study are specified for each vehicle in the following sections.

5.1 Passenger cars

The global stock of passenger cars has been estimated to be approximately 466 Mio. in 2000 [CCFA 2000]. These passenger cars range from compact cars with less than 800 kg2 to heavy vehicles with more than 2500 kg. The weight of the growing num- bers of Sportive Utility Vehicles (SUV) is even higher than 2500 kg. The composition of the vehicle stock differs between countries. On the average, heavier vehicles are used in the U.S. in comparison with Europe. Within Europe heavier vehicles are rather used in Northern Europe than in Southern Europe.

The life-time and annual performance is different for private and commercial vehicles. The following passenger cars have been selected for the illustration of these influences on the potential energy savings by weight reduction:

Typical private car with average use: A typical midsize gasoline and diesel car will be analysed. A weight of 1300 kg will be assumed for the gasoline car. For diesel cars the weight is slightly higher with 1400 kg.

Commercial use: Heavier vehicles are used as business and company cars as well as taxis. In many European countries diesel cars are used as commercial vehicles due to their longer durability and lower fuel consumption. Their weight is assumed to be 1600 kg3.

Infrequent use: Mainly compact cars are used as second cars with a low perform- ance. Their weight is assumed to be 1000 kg.

1 2 3

The vehicles will be described in detail in the respective sections.

  • e.

    g. Micro Compact Car Smart, Daihatsu Cuore, Lupo 3l

  • e.

    g. Mercedes Benz C 220

Energy savings by light-weighting

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