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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C Statement of Task." National Research Council. 2008. Assessment of Technologies for Improving Light-Duty Vehicle Fuel Economy: Letter Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12163.
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Appendix C Statement of Task The committee formed to carry out this study will provide updated estimates of the cost and potential efficiency improvements of technologies that might be employed over the next 15 years to increase the fuel economy of various light-duty vehicle classes. Specifically, the committee shall: 1. Reassess the technologies analyzed in Chapter 3 of the NRC report, Impact and Effectiveness of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards (2002) for efficacy, cost, and applicability to the classes of vehicles considered in that report. In addition, technologies that were noted but not analyzed in depth in that report, including direct injection engines, diesel engines, and hybrid electric vehicles, shall be assessed for efficacy, cost and applicability. Weight and power reductions also shall be included. 2. Estimate the efficacy, cost, and applicability of emerging fuel economy technologies that might be employed over the next 15 years. Promising engine, transmission and vehicle technologies shall be selected in light of factors that may motivate their market adoption such as economic impacts, oil imports, greenhouse gas emissions, increased market share for “light trucks” including sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and minivans, and the possible emergence of fuel cell, biofuel, and electric vehicles. 3. Identify and assess leading computer models for projecting vehicle fuel economy as a function of additional technology. These models would include both lumped-parameter types, where the input depends on engineering judgment as to how technologies will interact, and engine mapping models that analyze the interactions. Check the models against current, known fuel economy examples and select one of each type to perform the analyses of the effect of the technologies in 1 and 2 above. 4. Develop a set of cost/potential efficiency improvement curves, as in Chapter 3 of the 2002 NRC report, that is guided by the following question: “What is the estimated cost and potential fuel economy benefit of technologies that could be applied to improve the fuel economy of future passenger vehicles, given the constraints imposed by vehicle performance, functionality, safety and emission regulations? The ten vehicle classes considered in the 2002 report shall be analyzed, including important variants such as different engine sizes (e.g. 6 and 8 cylinders). Most analyses shall be with the engineering judgment model, but sufficient cases to ensure overall accuracy shall be checked with the engine mapping model. 5. Define and document the methodology(ies) used to estimate the costs and benefits of the fuel economy technologies chosen by the committee. Although methodologies vary, the committee’s report should specify its calculation methodology(ies) to levels of specificity, clarity and completeness sufficient for implementation and integration into models that project the fuel economy capability of vehicles, fleets and manufacturers. The report should also provide and document estimates of all parameters and input data required for implementation of these methodologies. The committee’s analysis and methodologies will be documented in two NRC-approved reports. An interim report will discuss the technologies to be analyzed, the classes of vehicles which may employ them, the estimated improvement in fuel economy that may result, and the models that will be used for analysis. The final report will include the results of the modeling using the input from the interim report and any new information that is available. 26

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In 2001, the NRC released Effectiveness and Impact of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards. High oil prices and recent legislation mandating a further increase in the CAFE standards have renewed interest in the current and expected technical potential for automobile fuel efficiency. Accordingly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requested the NRC to provide an objective and independent update of the 2001 study and add an assessment of technologies that have emerged since that time. This report presents an interim assessment of technologies to be analyzed in the study and of the computational models that will be used in that analysis. Estimated fuel-economy benefits presented in this report reflect those from existing literature and presentations to the study committee. A final report is scheduled for late spring 2008.

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