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Technical Paper

Assessing Tank-to-Wheel Efficiencies of Advanced Technology Vehicles

This paper analyzes four recent major studies carried out by MIT, a GM-led team, Directed Technologies, Inc., and A. D. Little, Inc. to assess advanced technology vehicles. These analyses appear to differ greatly concerning their perception of the energy benefits of advanced technology vehicles, leading to great uncertainties in estimating full-fuel-cycle (or “well-to-wheel”) greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction potentials and/or fuel feedstock requirements per mile of service. Advanced vehicles include, but are not limited to, advanced gasoline and diesel internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) with gasoline, diesel, and compressed natural gas (CNG) ICEs, and various kinds of fuel-cell based vehicles (FCVs), such as direct hydrogen FCVs and gasoline or methanol fuel-based FCVs.
Technical Paper

Assessing and Modeling Direct Hydrogen and Gasoline Reforming Fuel Cell Vehicles and Their Cold-Start Performance

This paper analyzes fuel economy benefits of direct hydrogen and gasoline reformer fuel cell vehicles, with special focus on cold-start impacts on these fuel cell based vehicles. Comparing several existing influential studies reveals that the most probable estimates from these studies differ greatly on the implied benefits of both types of fuel cell vehicles at the tank-to-wheel level (vehicle-powertrain efficiency and/or specific power), leading to great uncertainties in estimating well-to-wheel fuel energy and/or greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction potentials. This paper first addresses methodological issues to influence the outcome of these analyses. With one exception, we find that these studies consistently ignore cold-start and warm-up issues, which play important roles in determining both energy penalties and start-up time of fuel cell vehicles. To better understand cold-start and warm-up behavior, this paper examines approaches and results based on two available U.S.
Journal Article

Reducing Light Duty Vehicle Fuel Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions: The Combined Potential of Hybrid Technology and Behavioral Adaptation

When comparing the potential of advanced versus conventional powertrains, a traditional approach is to hold glider design constant and simulate “comparable performance” to a conventional vehicle (CV). However, manufacturers have developed hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), and all-electric vehicle (EV) powertrains in gliders designed to synergistically enhance fuel saving benefits of such powertrains by further reducing road load and engine output power (or continuous power for the EV) where no conventional powertrain option is provided. In the U.S. marketplace, there are now several examples of both hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles using gliders common to top selling CVs and a few using low load gliders to further reduce fuel consumption.