Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


Scott A. Miers


The thesis "COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF EFFICIENCY AND OPERATING CHARACTERISTICS OF AUTOMOTIVE POWERTRAIN ARCHITECTURES THROUGH CHASSIS DYNAMOMETER TESTING" was completed through a collaborative partnership between Michigan Technological University and Argonne National Laboratory under a contractual agreement titled "Advanced Vehicle Characterization at Argonne National Laboratory". The goal of this project was to investigate, understand and document the performance and operational strategy of several modern passenger vehicles of various architectures. The vehicles were chosen to represent several popular engine and transmission architectures and were instrumented to allow for data collection to facilitate comparative analysis. In order to ensure repeatability and reliability during testing, each vehicle was tested over a series of identical drive cycles in a controlled environment utilizing a vehicle chassis dynamometer. Where possible, instrumentation was preserved between vehicles to ensure robust data collection. The efficiency and fuel economy performance of the vehicles was studied. In addition, the powertrain utilization strategies, significant energy loss sources, tailpipe emissions, combustion characteristics, and cold start behavior were also explored in detail. It was concluded that each vehicle realizes different strengths and suffers from different limitations in the course of their attempts to maximize efficiency and fuel economy. In addition, it was observed that each vehicle regardless of architecture exhibits significant energy losses and difficulties in cold start operation that can be further improved with advancing technology. It is clear that advanced engine technologies and driveline technologies are complimentary aspects of vehicle design that must be utilized together for best efficiency improvements. Finally, it was concluded that advanced technology vehicles do not come without associated cost; the complexity of the powertrains and lifecycle costs must be considered to understand the full impact of advanced vehicle technology.