When PM2.5 and smog, like eating and sleeping, become a topic of daily attention and discussion in people’s lives, no matter whether the contribution of car exhaust emissions to air pollution is 22% (data from Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau), or a mere 4% (Data from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences) How to produce more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly cars is a major issue that the automotive industry cannot avoid.
Energy-saving and environmentally friendly vehicles can be roughly divided into four levels: First, zero-pollution hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and pure electric vehicles. Among them, pure electric vehicles have begun trial operation on public buses and some municipal vehicles, including BYD, Roewe E50, BMW Electric vehicles such as the i-series and Tesla have also been officially sold to the public. However, the popularization of electric vehicles requires a long process; and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are still far from marketization due to their high cost; the second level is plug-in, extended-range and hybrid vehicles. These types of power Combination technology can effectively reduce fuel consumption and emissions, and the technology is relatively mature. It is considered to be the mainstream direction of automobile development in the next few years; the third level is the quantification of engine small emissions represented by turbocharging, which has now become the majority The standard equipment of car companies is also *mainstream; the fourth level is the improvement and mining of traditional power, such as Honda’s Earth Dream Technology, Mazda’s Chuangchi Blue Sky Technology and so on.
Traditional technology is not yet necessary for mining
Compared with the vigorously hyped pure electric, plug-in hybrid and turbocharging, the traditional technology seems to have reached the end of the road and is on the verge of being abandoned. So, now that there are more advanced technologies, is there any need to further tap the potential of traditional technologies?
Judging from the current level of technology, pure electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles have not yet become popular in the short term. Honda Technology Research Co., Ltd. President Takashin Ito believes that only after the battery technology has been qualitatively improved and the battery cruising range has been developed by leaps and bounds, the popularization of electric vehicles may be possible. In 10 or even 20 years, the popularization of electric vehicles is very difficult. He believes that it is currently difficult for electric vehicles to reach the ability of traditional fuel vehicles to travel 500 kilometers at a time. In this case, how to improve fuel economy is a more important task. In addition, the development of hybrid power should also consider the price and performance acceptable to consumers.
Yin Tongyue, chairman of Chery Automobile, also believes that mass production of new energy vehicles cannot be achieved within 20 years. There are car company leaders and industry experts who hold the same view. Zhao Fuquan, dean of Tsinghua University’s Automotive Industry Technology Strategy Research Institute, believes that although China’s new energy vehicle industry has achieved remarkable development, it will take a long time to market on a large scale. It will take at least 15 years to see electric vehicles occupy 10% of the market. market share.
Yao Yang, deputy dean of the National Development Research Institute of Peking University, said that at present, the price of a pure electric car is almost 2 to 3 times the price of a traditional car of the same level. Even a hybrid car is much more expensive than a traditional car. The high cost of batteries is a major bottleneck in the development of electric vehicles. Whether consumers are willing to pay for them is a big question. Another is the safety hazard of the battery, which is also an issue that needs to be considered.
There is no possibility of popularization of electric vehicles. Hybrid power is also difficult to be widely accepted due to price issues. However, turbocharging is currently widely recognized as an engine technology for Volkswagen, GM, Ford, PSA, Hyundai and domestic independent brand vehicles. , Have adopted turbocharging technology to increase engine power while reducing fuel consumption, so as to achieve the effect of energy saving and emission reduction. So, does this mean that turbocharging can completely replace the traditional naturally aspirated engine technology?
The so-called turbocharging is actually to increase the intake of the engine by compressing air, thereby increasing the power and torque of the engine and making the car more vigorous. Therefore, the advantages of turbocharging are obvious, that is, small horse-drawn vehicles, through smaller engine displacement, drive larger cars, improve fuel economy while reducing exhaust emissions. But at the same time, turbocharging also has some shortcomings. The most obvious one is the lag response. Due to the inertial effect of the impeller, the response time to throttle changes is slow. Even after the improvement, the response time is 1.7 seconds, which delays the increase or decrease of the output power of the engine. That is, people often say that the sense of frustration is stronger; secondly, compared with ordinary naturally aspirated models, the maintenance cost of turbocharged engines is higher; in addition, because the turbocharging method will bring higher combustion temperature to the engine, so In theory, the life of turbocharged engines is not as long as that of naturally aspirated engines, and the reliability is not as good as that of naturally aspirated engines.
It is the shortcomings of turbocharged engines that give opportunities for improvement and development of naturally aspirated engines. At the same time, the coexistence and competition of the two technologies also makes the development path of engines more diversified. Xu Min, Dean of the Automotive Engineering Research Institute of Shanghai Jiaotong University, believes that turbocharged engine technology and traditional naturally aspirated engine technology do not have the problem of which is better at this stage. In the long run, turbocharging technology is more promising, but its cost, reliability and durability are still worth observing. The proposition of which of the two is more fuel-efficient is also open to discussion. In addition, although turbocharging has become a trend, it does not mean that there is no room for improvement in natural internal combustion engines. In other words, even without additional equipment, there is still a huge room for improvement in natural aspiration technology.
What is the secret of traditional technology competing with turbocharging?
As a matter of fact, the companies that insist on going all the way to the black on the naturally aspirated road are mainly Japanese brands. Whether it is Toyota, Honda, Nissan or Mazda, they have always insisted on working hard on the naturally aspirated engine, whether it is the earth launched by Honda. Dream technology, or Mazda’s Chuangchi Blue Sky technology, both use natural aspiration technology to the fullest.
In June 2013, Honda released a new generation of powertrain technology in China that takes into account driving pleasure and environmental performance?? Earth Dreams Technology (Earth Dreams Technology), including a number of new models with the world’s highest output power and fuel economy Gasoline engine, newly developed CVT transmission series for small cars and medium-sized cars with smooth and dynamic feeling, single-motor hybrid power system suitable for compact cars and dual-motor hybrid power system suitable for medium-sized cars. Among them, the engine that integrates forward-looking technologies such as direct injection, CVT, i-VTEC, and VTC is the first in the industry.
At present, the newly developed 2.4L gasoline engine used in the ninth-generation Accord uses Honda’s original VTEC+VTC technology and a new in-cylinder direct injection system. While greatly improving fuel efficiency, it also reduces friction and improves fuel economy. 13%, the maximum torque is increased by 8%, so as to better integrate driving pleasure and fuel economy, improve the efficiency of internal combustion engine technologies such as engines and transmissions, and enhance electric technologies such as motors.
Guangqi Honda Executive Deputy General Manager Yu Jun believes that low fuel consumption and high efficiency are the current development trends of automobiles. German and American cars have successively launched their own turbocharged models. It’s not that turbocharging is not good, but the reliability, smooth power output, and easy maintenance of the naturally aspirated engine are relative to the naturally aspirated engine. The naturally aspirated engine has its own obvious advantages. Honda’s original i-VTEC technology and the use of direct injection system can slightly increase engine power output while reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
Like Earth Dream Technology, although Mazda’s Chuangchi Blue Sky technology sounds like a traditional improvement of the internal combustion engine, the technical difficulty is not inferior to that of turbocharging technology. Traditional internal combustion engines have low fuel efficiency due to three restrictive factors: low compression ratio, low lean burn, and high pump loss. Volkswagen’s TSI focuses on reducing pump losses, while Mazda focuses on increasing the compression ratio. This is the technical difference between the two.
Mazda has increased the compression ratio of the internal combustion engine to 13:1 or even 14:1 without adding a supercharging device, and the compression ratio of general turbocharging is about 11:1. In other words, the efficiency of the engine at this stage in converting gasoline into kinetic energy is only 30%, that is, 70% of the power will be lost in vain. Mazda believes that if this 70% of the power is further optimized and converted into effective kinetic energy, the engine will have a better performance. This 70% consumption mainly includes: pump loss, mechanical resistance, cooling loss and insufficient combustion. Chuangchi Blue Sky technology is optimized from these aspects, so that the efficiency of the engine can reach the best.
Although Volkswagen has announced that in the next few years, it may completely abandon the naturally aspirated technology, and all models will use turbocharging technology. But this does not mean that the naturally aspirated technology is dead. With the advancement of technology, the traditional naturally aspirated internal combustion engine still has a lot of room for development.
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