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The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
A vehicle’s air drag coefficient (Cd) and rolling resistance coefficient (RRC) have a significant impact on its fuel consumption. Consequently, these properties are required as input for the certification of the vehicle’s fuel consumption and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions, regardless whether the certification is done via simulation or chassis dyno testing. They can be determined through dedicated measurements, such as a drum test for the tire’s rolling resistance coefficient and constant speed test (EU) or coast down test (US) for the body’s air Cd. In this paper, a methodology that allows determining the vehicle’s Cd∙A (the product of Cd and frontal area of the vehicle) from on-road tests is presented. The possibility to measure these properties during an on-road test, without the need for a test track, enables third parties to verify the certified vehicle properties in order to preselect vehicle for further regulatory testing. On-road tests were performed with 3 heavy-duty vehicles, two lorries and a coach, over different routes. Vehicles were instrumented with wheel torque sensors, wheel speed sensors, a GPS device, and a fuel flow sensor. Cd∙A of each vehicle is determined from the test data with the proposed methodology and validated against their certified value. The methodology presents satisfactory repeatability with the error ranging from -21 to 5% and averaging approximately -6.8%. A sensitivity analysis demonstrates the possibility of using the tire energy efficiency label instead of the measured RRC to determine the air drag coefficient. Finally, on-road tests were simulated in Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool (VECTO) with the obtained parameters and the average difference in fuel consumption was found to be 2%.