Mazda, Saudi Aramco and AIST launch research project to reduce well-to-wheel emissions

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Mazda is starting a research partnership with Saudi state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco and Japanese research organization the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) to optimize both the oil refinery process and the combustion engine to produce less CO₂.

Saudi Aramco is the state-owned oil company of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It will work on developing a fuel that can be refined with a smaller CO₂ output.

Meanwhile, Mazda and AIST will work together to design a high-efficiency engine that uses the fuel. AIST is one of the largest public research organizations in Japan.

This development partnership to reduce well-to-wheel emissions is part of Mazda’s ‘Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030’ vision for technology development, which was announced in August last year and underscores Mazda’s commitment to the internal combustion engine.

Meanwhile, following a request made by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) issued to Japanese auto makers on July 9, 2018, after the discovery of fraudulent testing practices at other companies, Mazda Motor Corporation has submitted a report to MLIT on the results of an investigation into its sample testing of fuel economy and emissions during final vehicle inspections.

The investigation covered testing under the JC081 and WLTC2 regulations and the key findings of the report were that there was no improper alteration or falsification of test data in either mode.

Test data containing speed trace errors was found in 72 cases out of 1,472 vehicles tested under the JC08 specification. The company has identified two reasons for these errors. Firstly, the system was not set up to automatically invalidate results when a speed trace error occurred. Secondly, test procedures left the determination of speed trace errors up to each individual inspector.

All test data has been re-examined and the results show there was no effect on specified fuel economy and emission figures. No such cases were found in the WLTC cycle.

Mazda has decided to take the following steps to prevent a reoccurrence: the system will be updated to automatically treat test results as invalid in the event of a speed trace error. The OEM has also increased the number of employees who check inspection data, including speed trace errors.

Mazda accepts that errors were made on a small number of tests. The situation was identified quickly and steps have been put in place to avoid it happening in the future.

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Rachel's career in journalism has seen her write for various titles at UKi Media & Events within automotive, tire and marine. Currently editor of ATTI, her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the groundbreaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of transportation.

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