Assessing the potential of emerging light-duty vehicle technologies
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Thank you for your kind contribution of time and expertise in responding to this outreach.
Change Energy Services and Pollution Probe, operating under contract to Transport Canada, have fielded a research team to gather insights and perspectives from automotive sector experts and stakeholders, on new technologies and design innovations that could contribute to reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from future models of light-duty vehicles. The team is guided by two basic questions:
- What is the potential of emerging, advanced vehicle technologies to reduce GHG emissions, considering Canadian operating conditions and market preferences?
- What are the estimated, incremental costs and payback times associated with these technologies for consumers?
The answers to these questions are rarely simple and straightforward, especially for emerging technologies, and require detailed technoeconomic analyses. Therefore, the initial focus of the research team is to qualitatively characterize the emissions and economic benefits, with reference to quantitative estimates as available.
Our work began with a scan of available literature, concentrating on articles and reports published in the past five years. We have since narrowed our investigations to four categories of technology development and design change. Namely, those that:
- serve to reduce heat losses within an engine,
- facilitate an increase in compression ratio (to extract more work),
- serve to reduce ancillary loads (and associated losses) on an engine, including idling, and
- serve to reduce drivetrain losses (i.e., increase transmission efficiency).
While plug-in electric vehicles are not part of this scope, high-voltage electric architectures that enable improvements in the efficiency of combustion engine and transmission operation are relevant.
This interview guide is not intended to function as a survey or questionnaire. The questions presented herein are intended to provoke a dialogue that flows freely between you and the research team, and provide some structure to our conversation. However, you are welcome to respond with written answers on specific applications of developing technology and design, if you prefer, and to refer us to other information resources. We value your analytical instinct as much as your knowledge!