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Preliminary Results of Fuel Economy Study Find Negative Influencers Affecting Fuel Consumption

June 20, 2006

SPARKS, MD - PHH FirstFleet, the recently formed truck group combining PHH Arval and First Fleet Corp., is conducting an 18-month fuel economy study utilizing PHH Onboard telematics technology. The study is being conducted across the United States under normal operating conditions in various terrains and climates. The preliminary results of the study point to several major influencers within vehicle specifications that may negatively affect fuel consumption: output torque ratings, engine horsepower, transmission, and axle ratios. PHH FirstFleet’s engineers overseeing the study hypothesize that while horsepower and torque are directly proportional to one another, if the output torque range (engine load) percentage is maintained at a significantly lower percentage rate and the horsepower and RPMs are over-spec’ed, fuel economy would be increased. In addition, gear ratios also have an impact on engine speed, acceleration, fuel consumption, and performance. A higher gear ratio may lower fuel economy but increase performance while driving in lower gears. Based on interim results, this theory appears to be on course. In the next phase of the ongoing study, some of the trucks will become control vehicles in which no variables are changed, while others will have calculated adjustments made to engine ratings and axle ratios to equate them with better performing trucks in other fleets. At the end of the fuel study, which will coincide with the implementation of 2007 truck engine emissions standards, PHH FirstFleet will issue a comprehensive report on the results, along with recommendations derived from the evaluation of the compiled data. Click here to view study results
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