Real-World Thermal Effects on Wheel Assembly Efficiency of Conventional and Electric Vehicles
It is widely understood that cold ambient temperatures negatively impact vehicle system efficiency. This is due to a combination of factors: increased friction (engine oil, transmission, and driveline viscous effects), cold start enrichment, heat transfer, and air density variations. Although the science of quantifying steady-state vehicle component efficiency is mature, transient component efficiencies over dynamic ambient real-world conditions is less understood and quantified. This work characterizes wheel assembly efficiencies of a conventional and electric vehicle over a wide range of ambient conditions. For this work, the wheel assembly is defined as the tire side axle spline, spline housing, bearings, brakes, and tires. Dynamometer testing over hot and cold ambient temperatures was conducted with a conventional and electric vehicle instrumented to determine the output energy losses of the wheel assembly in proportion to the input energy of the half-shafts.