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Optimizing Battery Sizing and Vehicle Lightweighting for an Extended Range Electric Vehicle

In designing vehicles with significant electric driving range, optimizing vehicle energy efficiency is a key requirement to maximize the limited energy capacity of the onboard electrochemical energy storage system. A critical factor in vehicle energy efficiency is the vehicle mass. Optimizing mass allows for the possibility of either increasing electric driving range with a constant level of electrochemical energy storage or holding the range constant while reducing the level of energy storage, thus reducing storage cost. In this paper, a methodology is outlined to study the tradeoff between the battery cost savings achieved by vehicle mass reduction for a constant electric driving range and the cost associated with lightweighting a vehicle. This methodology enables informed business decisions about the available engineering options for lightweighting early in the vehicle development process. The methodology was applied to a compact extended-range electric vehicle (EREV) concept.