Browse Publications Technical Papers 2013-01-2490

Implementation and Validation of a Series Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle 2013-01-2490

The Pennsylvania State University Advanced Vehicle Team (PSUAVT) is one of sixteen collegiate teams across North America participating in the EcoCAR 2: “Plugging In to the Future” competition. The PSUAVT designed and implemented a series plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) for this competition. This architecture allows the vehicle to operate as a pure electric vehicle until the energy storage system (ESS) state of charge (SOC) is depleted. The auxiliary power unit (APU) then supplements the battery to extend range beyond that of a purely electric vehicle.
To implement this design concept, the PSUAVT re-engineered a General Motors (GM) donated 2013 Chevrolet Malibu to house an electric traction motor, high capacity lithium-ion battery pack, and APU consisting of a low-displacement engine fueled by 85% ethanol/15% gasoline (E85) mixture and an electric generator.
Along with the challenges of properly mounting and integrating powertrain components, considerable effort was required to develop a proper hybrid control algorithm that maximizes overall system efficiency, minimizes harmful emissions, provides superior performance, and safe, reliable operation. The PSUAVT has successfully integrated these multiple subsystems into a fully functioning vehicle that has achieved many of the PSUAVT and EcoCAR 2 year 2 goals.


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