MCE-5 VCRi: Pushing back the fuel consumption reduction limits

It’s too expensive

This claim is baseless: the cost/benefit ratio is the main advantage of MCE‑5 VCRi technology. This is all the more vital since the popularity of a technology highly depends on its cost price: it must remain affordable to allow a low sales price with regard to the advantages that it provides. Apparent sophistication does not suggest a technology’s cost price: Video cassette recorders are incredibly complex and yet they are sold for 30€ in supermarkets.

The additional cost of the MCE‑5 VCRi mainly
comes from its innovative parts

The add-on production cost of the MCE‑5 VCRi
is about 350 euros for an in-line 4 engine

The acceptable price for a technology also depends on the advantages that it provides to the customer. When a car owner buys a Diesel particulate filter, he pays 600 to 1000€ for a device that does not provide him with any direct advantage. On the contrary, he will have to bear the cost of potential breakdowns and servicing. When the regulations change, this same customer will be “forced” to buy a DeNOx system for Diesel vehicles in 2015, adding another 1500 additional euros to the bill, which are only slightly compensated by potential fuel savings of 2 to 3%.

When the same customer buys a full hybrid vehicle weighing 1300 kg for 80-90kW of power, he pays roughly 10,000€ more than for its Diesel equivalent, with similar performance and features and only reduces emissions by 10g of CO2/km in the NEDC. The difference in volumetric fuel consumption (L per 100km) is almost non-existent due to the difference in mass density between Diesel and gasoline. As a result, his fuel budget will be higher with his full hybrid since Diesel costs less than gasoline in Europe. This results in a price per gram of CO2/km eliminated of 1000€, with the drawback of a higher cost of driving afterwards. This type of purchase can only be justified with strong tax incentives or subsidies to compensate for these drawbacks.

If we compare the MCE‑5 VCRi with this same Diesel, at same conditions, not only will it cost 2500 to 4000€ less for the end customer but it will emit a similar quantity of CO2/km, or even less. The fuel budget will however be slightly higher given the preferential tax rate applied to Diesel, yet the economic advantage largely remains with the MCE‑5 VCRi over its operating period thanks to a minimum savings of approximately 1500 to 2000€.

The cost price of MCE‑5 VCRi is roughly 350€ for a 4-cylinder engine and 280€ for a 3-cylinder engine. This additional cost leads to a substantial decrease in fuel consumption, resulting in a cost/benefit ratio between 5 and 20€ per gram of CO2/km eliminated in the NEDC.

The MCE‑5 VCRi engine’s cost/benefit ratio is therefore its main justification.

Even without taking into account the money saved on CO2/km penalties or the benefit coming from tax incentives,
the MCE‑5 VCRi is profitable to end customers when compared with GDI turbo VVL conventional engines