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ORNL study pegs fuel economy costs of common practices
Date:4/9/2014

lted in negligible to 10 percent fuel economy penalties;

  • Driving with all four windows down decreased fuel economy by 4-8.5 percent for the Corolla and 1-4 percent for the Explorer;

  • Towing a 3,500-pound enclosed cargo trailer resulted in fuel economy penalties ranging from 30 percent in city driving to 50 percent at 80 mph for the SUV;

  • The best fuel economies were achieved at a constant speed of 40 mph for the Corolla with 57.5 mpg and 50 mph for the Explorer with 29.5 mpg; and,

  • At 80 mph, fuel economy for the Corolla dropped to 30.9 mpg while the Explorer dropped to 17.7 mpg.

    Emissions from the vehicles were not significantly affected by the different configurations with the exception of the cargo trailer, which led to substantial increases in carbon monoxide due to protective enrichment, in which an engine under high load runs rich (higher fuel-to-air ratio) to protect the engine components and the exhaust system from the very high exhaust temperatures. This may happen, for example, when a vehicle is pulling a heavy boat up a hill.

    Prior to conducting tests, the vehicles underwent the rigorous Society of Automotive Engineers J2263 coastdown procedures on a closed test track. These are necessary to determine the appropriate dynamometer settings so the effect of the changes on vehicles' fuel economy and emissions can be measured in the laboratory.


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  • Contact: Ron Walli
    wallira@ornl.gov
    865-576-0226
    DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
    Source:Eurekalert

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