Browse Publications Technical Papers 2013-01-1457

The Measured Impact of Vehicle Mass on Road Load Forces and Energy Consumption for a BEV, HEV, and ICE Vehicle 2013-01-1457

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy initiated a study that conducted coastdown testing and chassis dynamometer testing of three vehicles, each at multiple test weights, in an effort to determine the impact of a vehicle's mass on road load force and energy consumption. The testing and analysis also investigated the sensitivity of the vehicle's powertrain architecture (i.e., conventional internal combustion powertrain, hybrid electric, or all-electric) on the magnitude of the impact of vehicle mass. The three vehicles used in testing are a 2012 Ford Fusion V6, a 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid, and a 2011 Nissan Leaf. Testing included coastdown testing on a test track to determine the drag forces and road load at each test weight for each vehicle. Many quality measures were used to ensure only mass variations impact the road load measurements. Chassis dynamometer testing was conducted over standard drive cycles on each vehicle at multiple test weights to determine the fuel consumption or electrical energy consumption impact caused by change in vehicle mass. The road load measurements obtained from the coastdown testing were used to configure the chassis dynamometer. Chassis dynamometer testing also incorporated many quality controls to ensure accurate results.
The results of the testing and analysis showed that for a given vehicle, the road load shows a slightly non-linear trend of decreasing road load with decreasing mass. This trend appears to be consistent across vehicle powertrain architectures (i.e., conventional powertrain, hybrid electric, or all-electric). Chassis dynamometer testing of fuel consumption or electrical energy consumption showed for the Highway Fuel Economy Test drive cycle there was little impact due to change in mass for all three vehicles. For the Urban Dynamometer Drive Schedule and US06 drive cycle, there was a 2.4 to 4.1% change in energy consumption for a 10% change in mass. Additionally, the less efficient the vehicle's powertrain, the larger the energy consumption benefits were for mass reduction.


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