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Review of technical literature and trends related to automobile mass-reduction technology

Nicholas P. Lutsey

Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series from Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis

Abstract: Past automotive trends, ongoing technology breakthroughs, and recent announcements by automakers make it clear that reducing the mass of automobiles is a critical technology objective for vehicle performance, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and fuel economy. Vehicle mass-reduction technology offers the potential to reduce the mass of vehicles without compromise in other vehicle attributes, like acceleration, size, cargo capacity, or structural integrity. As regulatory agencies continue to assess more stringent CO2 and fuel economy standards for the future, it is unclear the exact extent to which vehicle mass-reduction technology will be utilized alongside other efficiency technologies like advanced combustion and hybrid system technology. This report reviews ongoing automotive trends, research literature, and advanced concepts for vehicle mass optimization in an attempt to better characterize where automobiles – and their mass in particular – might be headed.

Keywords: UCD-ITS-RR-10-10; Engineering (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010-05-01
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