Thin Wall Castings Save Fuel
The global momentum for fuel-efficient, clean-running engines has never been greater. As a result, the momentum for migrating engine components to high-performance stainless steel investment castings has never been greater, accelerating the call for the light-weight, thin-wall capabilities of Hitchiner's® Countergravity Casting Services.
Despite the lack of a clear mandate coming out of the United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Copenhagen last December, the conference made plain the very real focus of the world's populations and governments on the role of carbon in the environment.
More than any other industry, transportation has the single greatest impact on environmental carbon. According to the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), As a major and rapidly expanding source of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants, transportation presents an urgent global challenge. In 20 years, the number of cars on the planet is expected to go from one to two billion; based on current projections, the amount of energy used for transport will double by 2050.
Standardizing survival. Worldwide, governments seek to meet that challenge with a twin-headed approach: Emissions standards coupled with fuel economy standards. Emissions standards tackle pollutants head on by restricting actual emissions and enacting trade-based systems to ease the transition across regions. Fuel economy standards likewise achieve emissions reductions as well as protect consumers from fuel price volatility and dependence on oil-producing nations.
Worldwide, such standards can be based on individual vehicle class, footprint size, engine size, and weight. Comparisons, therefore, are based on average fleet estimates.
Emissions reductions. According to the ICCT, Japan's fuel efficiency targets translate to the most stringent passenger vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards in the world, with Europe as a close second. Japan is projected to achieve 125 g/km in 2015; Europe 130 g/km in 2012. Led by the State of California CARB requirements, the United States is expected to achieve less impressive levels closer to 190 g/km by 2015still a huge improvement over the 270+ g/km levels of 2009.
Fuel economy. The European Union fuel economy standard of 45 mpg (19 kpl) is proposed to ramp up to 65 mpg (27.63 kpl) by 2020. With current performance comparable to Europe, Japan is introducing a new test cycle for standards requirements which will result in significantly higher effective fuel economies going forward. On April 17, 2009, the US Environmental Protection Agency listed CO2 and five other greenhouse gases as contributors to air pollution that may endanger public health or welfare. That finding is expected to continue to ripple through US policy making and regulations even as existing rules are already changing. The US Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 enacted regulations that require automakers to increase gas mileage for all passenger vehicles, including light trucks, to 35 miles per gallon (14.88 kpl) by 2020. Currently, 2010 requirements for light trucks stand at 23.5 mpg (9.99 kpl) while that for cars remains at the 1990 standard of 27.5 mpg (11.69 kpl). In 2011, however, passenger car requirements are scheduled to bump up to 30.2 mpg (12.84 kpl).
Even as such standards development quickens, though, a combination of competitive pressures and new policy developing around climate change may lead to stronger real-world results over the next few years. Those results must follow directly on advancements based on higher-performance, lighter-weight engines and vehicles, the applications for which Hitchiner® processes are uniquely well qualified and on which the Company is tightly focused.