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Sustainable Mobility

Technical and environmental challenges for the automotive sector

Week 3 Session 3 Legislation

Maria Thirouard

IFPEN / IFP School 2014

In previous lessons weve looked at the different components of an engine and so now we have a
better understanding of how an engine works. Weve also seen the global efficiency of an engine,
energy distribution, and how efficiency equals CO2 emissions.


In this lesson we will discuss regulations regarding pollutant emissions.

As you know, legislation concerning a cars pollutant emissions is implemented all over the world in
order to limit pollution. This means that car manufacturers need to comply with these regulations
to be allowed to sell their cars. But, how does it all work?

Well, legislation is a procedure that explains how to measure pollutant emissions during a particular
test. These measurements need to be done under very specific conditions.

W3 S3 Legislation p. 1
IFPEN / IFP School 2014

Driving Cycles

One important parameter specified in the legislation is what we call the driving cycle. A driving
cycle is a graph of vehicle speed versus time that needs to be followed by the car during the test.
The driving cycle is supposed to represent the typical driving conditions of a car in a given place.
Driving cycles are produced by different countries to assess the performance of vehicles in terms of
fuel consumption and pollutant emissions.
Here you can see the New European Driving Cycle or NEDC. The NEDC cycle consists of 4 repeated
urban driving cycles, or UDCs, and one Extra-Urban driving cycle or EUDC. You can notice that the
cycle uses very steady acceleration and deceleration phases, which represent a soft driving style.

In this graph you can see the driving cycle used in the US. It is called the Federal Test Procedure or
FTP. This cycle represents a more aggressive driving behavior than the NEDC cycle. But not all the
driving conditions are represented in this driving cycle.

In addition to this, other driving cycles were added to better represent driving conditions on the
highway, high speed and high acceleration driving style, and the impact of the use of air
conditioning on emissions.

W3 S3 Legislation p. 2
IFPEN / IFP School 2014

The driving cycle is tested in a test cell specifically designed and approved to do car testing. The
exhaust gases are collected and regulated pollutants are measured. The measurements given by
this test are: fuel consumption, CO2 emissions, HC, CO, NOx and particulate emissions. At the end,
we divide the mass of the measured pollutants by the distance traveled by the car during the test
to get the emissions in g/km. In order for the car to be validated, the emissions need to be lower
than the limitation set in the legislation.

So, when you see the value of fuel consumption or of CO2 emissions in the technical information
given for a car, this value represents the fuel consumption during the driving cycle test of the
country. In our example, this is the NEDC cycle.
You will not however see in this technical information the pollutant emission values. This is
because, if the car has been validated, the pollutant emissions are necessarily within the limitations
of the current legislation.

W3 S3 Legislation p. 3
IFPEN / IFP School 2014

This is the general procedure. As Ive said before, the advantage of having a standardized driving
cycle is that the measurements are robust and can be easily compared from one vehicle to another.
This is very important since there is always an error when doing measurements. Besides, since
limits are continuously being reduced, measurements need to be continuously improved. In that
way we can limit error and guarantee repeatability.
However, the cost of having a repeatable and comparable procedure is that it does not accurately
reflect the reality. Since car manufacturers are obliged to comply with emission legislation, all
engine parameters are optimized in the operating conditions of the driving cycle. This means that
when we get outside of these operating conditions, engines are not developed to limit pollutant
emissions. And the truth is that, depending on the driving situation, we might be outside of the
driving cycle operating conditions a great deal of time.
Another problem is that different driving cycles and different legislation can provide different fuel
consumption and emission values for the same car. Seeing as driving cycles dont represent real-life
driving, it is quite difficult to obtain those fuel consumption values once you drive the car in normal

However, you can always count on the fuel consumption value of a standardized driving cycle to
identify a model that will generally consume less fuel.

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IFPEN / IFP School 2014

For all these reasons, a Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure is currently being
developed. This procedure defines a globally harmonized standard for determining the level of
pollutants and CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles. Development is being led by experts from
the European Union, Japan and India. The US was originally in the group but they withdrew in June
2010. As you can imagine, its a very difficult task, but we hope that their hard work will result in a
more representative driving cycle in future years.

From what weve seen so far, we can deduce that engine conception is a complex task for engineers
nowadays. Indeed, such a process requires continuous research and innovation, taking into account
the clients needs in terms of performance, power and torque, and the clients comfort - so noise
level, for example, must be acceptable. And herein lies the real difficulty: all this needs to be done
without forgetting about CO2 and pollutant emissions, and of course, keeping everything at a
convenient price depending on the car market segment.
As you can imagine, complying with emission legislation is a key issue in an engines development.

W3 S3 Legislation p. 5
IFPEN / IFP School 2014