8 Japanese Carmakers – One Mission – To Improve Engine Fuel Efficiency

8 Manufacturers Coming Together to increase fuel efficiency 27
May 14

Toyota, Honda and Nissan get Together to Increase Fuel Efficiency

The eight largest Japanese auto makers i.e. Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Suzuki, Mazda, Daihatsu, Subaru and Mitsubishi have come together and set up an organisation called the Research Association of Automotive Internal Combustion Engines (AICE). Its objective is to improve the fuel efficiency of their car engines by 30% by the year 2020. It is worth pointing out that these manufacturers have been pumping a lot of resources into the development of electric and alternative fuel engines, but the creation of AICE is an acceptance to the fact that traditionally-powered cars will remain in general use for a lot longer, especially in emerging markets.

The AICE will be given 1 billion Yen to play around with, half of which is provided by Japanese tax payers and the rest by the manufacturers. Keji Ohtsu, managing director of Honda R&D, will become the president. The collaboration will together conduct basic research on more efficient engines to meet tightening fuel economy and emissions standards while sharing costs among each other.

Mazda’s expertise in extracting maximum efficiency from its range of SkyActiv petrol and diesel engines is set to play a major role in the AICE research. There is no time line for this research, but hopes are that the research will make it to production vehicles. AICE aims to drop fuel consumption by 30 percent by the year 2020; the final goal is to improve the thermal efficiency of petrol and diesel engines to 50 percent before 2024. Thermal efficiency means the amount of energy produced by an engine. The crucial goal is to achieve world-leading improvement in combustion engine efficiency in 10 years, with a thermal efficiency target of 50%. Currently, the best figure for a petrol engine stands at 39% and for a diesel engine 42%. The AICE’s target for petrol engines is to achieve better ignition in without increasing knock and diesel engine research will focus on reducing particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions.