Fuel Efficient Technologies Star of the Show at NAIAS in Detroit


While the main top­ic at the Con­sumer Elec­tron­ics Show in Las Vegas was auto­mo­tive info­tain­ment, the focus is a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent at the North Amer­i­can Inter­na­tion­al Auto Show. Major sup­pli­ers are dis­play­ing fuel econ­o­my tech­nol­o­gy to assist automak­ers make the steep climb into fed­er­al fuel econ­o­my stan­dards and to reach con­sumers with grow­ing inter­est in fuel effi­cient vehi­cles. Sup­pli­ers such as South­field, Mich.-based Den­so Inter­na­tion­al Amer­i­ca Inc., Ply­mouth, Mich.-based ZF North Amer­i­ca Inc., Mil­wau­kee-based John­son Con­trols Inc., and Fort Mill, S.C.-based Scha­ef­fler Group USA Inc. are dis­play­ing sev­er­al fuel-sav­ing tech­nol­o­gy sys­tems at the Cobo Cen­ter in Detroit. Advanced tech­nol­o­gy inno­va­tions increas­ing fuel effi­cien­cy are becom­ing more com­mon for new vehi­cles at this year’s Detroit auto show.

Scha­ef­fler Group has been work­ing close­ly with Ford Motor Co., and is dis­play­ing a Ford Escape loaded with nine tech­nolo­gies to save gaso­line. These include a stop-start sys­tem, an all-wheel dri­ve dis­con­nect sys­tem, and fric­tion-reduc­tion tech­nolo­gies. Stop-start sys­tems are get­ting a lot of atten­tion from automak­ers these days, as they auto­mat­i­cal­ly shut down and restart inter­nal com­bus­tion engines to reduce idling and fuel use.

Using these advanced fuel-sav­ing tech­nolo­gies could help Ford cross the bridge and reach the fed­er­al stan­dard for 35 miles per gal­lon cor­po­rate aver­age fuel econ­o­my by 2020. The 2013 non-hybrid Escape can get about 26 mpg. “There’s def­i­nite­ly a steep­er slope for the ramp-up of fuel econ­o­my tech­nol­o­gy right now,” Jeff Hemphill, chief tech­nol­o­gy offi­cer for Scha­ef­fler, the U.S. sub­sidiary of Ger­man-based Scha­ef­fler AG. “The pres­ence of new tech­nol­o­gy is pret­ty dra­mat­ic, even com­pared to five years ago, and that’s because these tech­nolo­gies are matur­ing from advanced con­cepts.”



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