Shell unveils radical energy-saving concept car

Shell Concept Car_angle profile front facingShell has unveiled a concept city car which could, it claims, deliver material reductions in energy use in the road transport sector. The company says the three-seater Shell Concept Car is tangible proof of energy efficiency improvements that can be achieved by using a process of “co-engineering” whereby vehicle body, engine design and lubricants are all created together. The car is a rethink of the Gordon Murray Design T.25 city car produced in 2010 based on the Murray iStream platform for which Shell produced a prototype oil to improve the vehicle’s energy efficiency.

Shell reports that independent testing and a rigorous life-cycle study show that its Concept Car would deliver a 34 per cent reduction in primary energy use over its entire lifecycle when compared to a typical city car available in the UK. The Shell Concept Car would use around half the energy required to build and run than a typical small family car available in the UK and 69 per cent less than that of a typical sports utility vehicle.

The car’s gasoline consumption has been measured using a range of vehicle testing protocols. Sample test results include a steady state consumption of 107 miles per gallon at 70kmph/45mph and an improvement of 4.67g CO2/km on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) from the use of bespoke lubricants, equivalent to a 5 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency compared to standard lubricants available in the UK. In the formal NEDC test the Shell Concept Car produced lower CO2 emissions than both a typical petrol-powered city car (28%) and a hybrid car (32%).

Shell Concept Car_Side Angled, Door UpMark Gainsborough, Executive Vice-President of Shell’s global lubricants businesses which backed the project said, “This is a significant automobile engineering milestone. I’m very proud of what Shell’s scientists and their partners at Geo Technology and Gordon Murray Design have achieved. Insights gained from this project could be transformational in terms of how we address energy use in the road transport sector. Energy use and climate change are major issues for society. This project shows that if we use the best of today’s technology, including cutting edge lubricants science, we could potentially have a major impact on energy use and reduce CO2 emissions. The improvement in economy derived from the collaborative design of engine and lubricant is impressive and highlights the enormous benefits achieved from close relationships between design partners. It also shows the powerful role that lubricants can potentially play in helping achieve CO2 reduction targets.”

Shell Concept Car_DashboardDr. Andrew Hepher, Vice President, of Shell’s lubricant research team said: “Our car may be small, but it’s packed with potential. We want to accelerate the conversation about how we make road vehicles more energy efficient and less carbon-intensive. In the coming weeks and months, we look forward to sharing our research insights from this project with engine designers, car manufacturers, academics and other experts across the automotive sector.”

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