Title: Mass- and power-related efficiency trade-offs and CO2 emissions of compact passenger cars
Citation: JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION vol. 243 p. 118326
Publication Year: 2020
JRC N°: JRC118099
ISSN: 0959-6526 (online)
URI: https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC118099
DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.118326
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Passenger cars in Europe have become both heavier and more powerful over the past decades. This trendhas increased vehicle utility but it might have also offset technical improvements in powertrain effi-ciency. Here, we analyze efficiency trade-offs and CO2emissions for three popular compact cars inGermany. Wefind that mass, power, and front area of model variants has increased by 66%, 147%, and22%, respectively between 1980 and 2018. In the same period, fuel consumption decreased 14% forgasoline models but it increased 9% for diesel models. However, if vehicle mass, power, and front areahad remained at 1980 levels, technical efficiency improvements would have decreased the fuel con-sumption of gasoline and diesel models by 23% and 24%, respectively. The related efficiency trade-offsamount to 24 g CO2/km or 13% of the current fuel consumption for gasoline models and 40 g CO2/kmor 25% of the current fuel consumption for diesel models. Thesefindings suggest that about half of thetechnical efficiency improvements in gasoline models and all of the technical efficiency improvements indiesel models are offset through other vehicle attributes. By accounting for the observed efficiency trade-offs, climate policy could become more effective.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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