The beginning of the new year brought a welcome piece of news. The Environmental Protection Agency announced that U.S. vehicle fuel economy achieved a record high in 2017, with new cars and trucks averaging 24.7 miles to the gallon. While it is heartening to see such progress being made, there is still a pressing need for growth and innovation in fuel efficiency technologies.
The EPA’s new figure applies only to new vehicles, for one, yet the most recent figures reported by Automative News reveal that the average age of vehicles on the roads in the United States is over 11 years (and rising). While many newer vehicles with greater fuel efficiency are being sold, the majority of those actually being driven fall far short of the EPA’s 24.7 mpg high water mark.
Worldwide, the effort to boost fuel economy is having variable success. While many European nations have made great strides towards increased fuel efficiency, evidence suggests a troubling discrepancy between test results and real-world fuel consumption that may indicate less progress than is ideal. In emerging economies such as China and India, fuel consumption is growing rapidly, and India is projected to surpass China with a 6 percent increase in consumption in 2018. Vehicles that prioritize fuel economy are available in these markets, but not to the lower-income populations who are now able to purchase vehicles and are driving the surge in traffic congestion and street-level pollution.
Advancements in electric vehicle technology and lighter, more efficient engines offer the promise of increased fuel efficiency and fewer harmful emissions, but more work musts be done to incentivize the innovation and adoption of fuel economy technologies worldwide.
At Technology Elevated, we envision a future in which fuel economy technologies are widely available and financially incentivized. We’re harnessing innovative ideas to develop fuel systems that increase fuel efficiency and horsepower while reducing carbon emissions. The first step in our journey towards creating this future is a precision air and fuel metering system that provides extremely fine fuel atomization, precise air/fuel mixture control, and ambient air density compensation. When retrofitting an existing small vehicle with our technology, consumers gain a 10 percent boost in horsepower, emissions reductions of up to 50 percent, and a 30 percent increase in fuel economy.
By creating technologies that can be retrofitted to create greater fuel efficiency, we hope to incentivize consumers to adopt fuel economy technologies. It is far less expensive, for example, to replace the fuel system on an existing motorcycle with technology that increases performance and fuel efficiency than to buy a new one that incorporates that technology. In global markets serving lower-income consumers, the ability to retrofit an existing vehicle may be the primary factor that enables new technology adoption.
In addition to creating technologies that allow consumers to reduce expenses when opting in to fuel systems that achieve greater economy and fewer emissions, we’re developing a platform for the trading of carbon offsets to further incentivize technology adoption. Companies in the US and abroad currently have the ability to trade emissions credits in order to meet current fuel economy standards. In Europe, the new European Environmental Markets once again offer the ability for real-time emissions trading.
Our platform, by integrating innovative aspects of the Internet of Things and distributed ledger technology, would provide adopters of fuel economy technologies the ability to monetize their emissions reductions. This would further incentivize the adoption of these technologies while also creating a new market to reward micro-offsets. And though a motorcycle owner in the US won’t get rich trading his carbon offsets, the impact on a delivery driver in China or India would be much greater. Thus, this platform introduces the possibility of grater environmental fairness in the emerging economies that most contribute to fuel consumption and harmful emissions.
Increasing fuel economy and reducing our impact on the environment are universally recognized goals. Through developing innovative technologies that incentivize greater fuel economy and reduced emissions, Technology Elevated is working to create a future in which these solutions are readily accessible to all.