Evaluation of Ethanol Blends for Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles Using Engine in the Loop
Their easy availability, lower well-to-wheel emissions, and relative ease of use with existing engine technologies have made ethanol and ethanol-gasoline blends a viable alternative to gasoline for use in spark-ignition (SI) engines. The lower energy density of ethanol and ethanol-gasoline blends, however, results in higher volumetric fuel consumption compared with gasoline. Also, the higher latent heat of vaporization can result in cold-start issues with higher-level ethanol blends. On the other hand, a higher octane number, which indicates resistance to knock and potentially enables more optimal combustion phasing, results in better engine efficiency, especially at higher loads. This paper compares the fuel consumption and emissions of two ethanol blends (E50 and E85) with those for gasoline when used in conventional (non-hybrid) and power-split-type plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).