MIT Scientists Predict 35 Percent MPG Increase And 5 Percent Vehicle Cost Increase by 2020 in SAE Paper

Multiple types of cleaner engine technologies predicted to be in use by 2020.

Published: 31-Jan-2001

WARRENDALE, Pa., Jan. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Automobiles in 2020 will get 35 percent better gas mileage at a 5 percent increase in cost, according to scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Energy Laboratory, who will share their projections regarding future automotive technologies at the SAE 2001 World Congress, March 5-8, Cobo Center, Detroit, Michigan, USA. Key projections for 2020 vehicles, as compared to today's cars, include:

    --  Baseline gasoline passenger car improvements, which are likely to be
        driven by market pressures and tightening regulations, are
        significant: 15 percent reduction in vehicle mass, 35 percent
        reduction in fuel consumption and 5 percent increase in vehicle

    --  More advanced gasoline engine cars with improved transmissions, and
        further reductions in mass and resistances, will decrease vehicle
        mass another 8 percent and fuel consumption by another 12 percent,
        with an additional 8 percent cost to consumers.

    --  The direct hydrogen fuel cell hybrid vehicle will be the most
        efficient and lowest emitting vehicle with nearly 55 percent lower
        energy consumption than the evolving gasoline-powered vehicle, but
        with a 40 percent price increase.

"Future Light-Duty Vehicles: Predicting Their Fuel Consumption and Carbon- Reduction Potential", Paper # 2001-01-1081, will be presented in Room D0-04 on Wednesday, March 7 in Cobo Center, Detroit, Michigan.

The MIT scientists, Felix AuYeung, Professor John B. Heywood and Andreas Schafer, also make predictions regarding gasoline hybrids, compressed natural gas hybrids, advanced diesel engines, electric vehicles, and reformer fuel cell vehicles, which process liquid fuels to hydrogen on board.

The research is part of a larger fuel and vehicle technology project at MIT, and the addition of fuel production energy requirements and CO2 emissions is important. Direct use of natural gas relative to petroleum improves total system CO2 emissions, while production of hydrogen from natural gas or petroleum fuels adds a significant energy and CO2 penalty.

The SAE World Congress, the world's largest showcase of automotive engineering technologies, attracts attendees from more than 50 countries. To attend, visit or call 1-877-SAE-CONG (723-2664); outside the U.S. and Canada, call 1-724-772-4027.

SOURCE Society of Automotive Engineers

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