Browse Publications Technical Papers 2019-01-0360
2019-04-02

Colorado State University EcoCAR 3 Final Technical Report 2019-01-0360

Driven by consumer demand and environmental regulations, market share for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) continues to increase. An opportunity remains to develop PHEVs that also meet consumer demand for performance. As a participant in the EcoCAR 3 competition, Colorado State University’s Vehicle Innovation Team (CSU VIT) has converted a 2016 Chevy Camaro to a PHEV architecture with the aim of improving efficiency and emissions while maintaining drivability and performance. To verify the vehicle and its capabilities, the CSU Camaro is rigorously tested by means of repeatable circumstances of physical operation while Controller Area Network (CAN) loggers record various measurements from several sensors. This data is analyzed to determine consistent output and coordination between components of the electrical charge and discharge system, as well as the traditional powertrain. The aim is to improve drivability and efficiency as measured by vehicle technical specifications (VTS) including acceleration, energy consumption, and emissions. In this interest, the team focused on the areas of mass reduction, efficient powertrain operation as well as optimal engine and motor use. While there is incomplete evidence showing that targets have been met in these areas, this study definitively shows improvement from year to year of the competition and specifically during Year 4 when the vehicle was tested extensively. Mass reduction resulted in more acceleration. Efficient powertrain operation resulted in better energy consumption and emissions. Optimal engine and motor use increased our EV range and further improved fuel economy and emissions. Our study reveals that our efforts have made drivability smoother and more responsive, lowered energy consumption while elongating range, and decreased emissions over previous iterations of our vehicle.

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