Michigan: General Motors Optimizes Engine Valve Technology

Project Overview
Positive Impact: EERE-supported effort resulted in new engine valve technology on the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.
Location: Michigan
Partners: General Motors
EERE Investment: $6.2M
Clean Energy Sector: Sustainable transportationPDF

An EERE-supported effort to increase energy efficiency, while maintaining low emissions, has resulted in new engine valve technology on the 2014 Chevrolet Impala. EERE’s Vehicle Technologies Office supported the research that led to this technical development with a $6.2 million award in 2005, which General Motors matched. The award allowed General Motors to create the Intake Valve Lift Control technology that enables optimum airflow on demand to maximize fuel economy. When the technology operates in low-lift mode, it controls the airflow to deliver only what is needed for normal driving. The system automatically switches to high-lift mode for heavy loads or higher speeds. The engine’s computer continuously selects the optimal lift profile based on the vehicle conditions, allowing for an increase in fuel economy of up to one mile per gallon and the accompanying reduction in emissions.

The Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) develops and deploys efficient and environmentally friendly highway transportation technologies that will enable America to use less petroleum. These technologies will provide Americans with greater freedom of mobility and energy security, while lowering costs and reducing impacts on the environment.

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