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Technical Paper

Comparison of Powertrain Configuration Options for Plug-in HEVs from a Fuel Economy Perspective

The first commercially available plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), the General Motors (GM) Volt, was introduced into the market in mid-December 2010. The Volt uses a series-split powertrain architecture, which provides benefits over the series architecture that typically has been considered for use in electric-range extended vehicles (EREVs). A specialized EREV powertrain, called the Voltec, drives the Volt through its entire range of speed and acceleration with battery power alone and within the limit of battery energy, thereby displacing more fuel with electricity than a PHEV, which characteristically blends electric and engine power together during driving. This paper assesses the benefits and drawbacks of these two different plug-in hybrid electric architectures (series versus series-split) by comparing component sizes, system efficiency, and fuel consumption over urban and highway drive cycles.
Technical Paper

Midsize and SUV Vehicle Simulation Results for Plug-In HEV Component Requirements

Because Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) substitute electrical power from the utility grid for fuel, they have the potential to reduce petroleum use significantly. However, adoption of PHEVs has been hindered by expensive, low-energy batteries. Recent improvements in Li-ion batteries and hybrid control have addressed battery-related issues and have brought PHEVs within reach. The FreedomCAR Office of Vehicle Technology has a program that studies the potential benefit of PHEVs. This program also attempts to clarify and refine the requirements for PHEV components. Because the battery appears to be the main technical barrier, both from a performance and cost perspective, the main efforts have been focused on that component. Working with FreedomCAR energy storage and vehicle experts, Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne) researchers have developed a process to define the requirements of energy storage systems for plug-in applications.