Development of the University of Idaho Parallel Hybrid FutureTruck 2003-01-1267
The Advanced Vehicle Concepts Team (AVCT) at the University of Idaho (UI) modified a 2002 Ford Explorer to meet the objectives of the 2002 FutureTruck competition. The challenge was to improve fuel economy, decrease emissions, perform work safely, provide a high quality education, increase public awareness, and project a positive image. AVCT used a business-oriented, multi-disciplinary approach to address the general objectives. For the performance objectives, the team used a combination of simulations, experiments, and modeling. The resulting configuration is a low voltage, mild parallel hybrid incorporating a 4.0-liter, V6 Ford engine and a direct current, electric motor. The first prototype resulted in a 22% increase in fuel economy and a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions except for hydrocarbons. An engine sensor malfunction was the suspected cause of increased hydrocarbon emissions.