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Evaluating the Performances of Advanced Powertrains

[+] Author Affiliations
Massimo Feola, Fabrizio Martini, Stefano Ubertini

University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Roma, Italy

Paper No. ESDA2004-58081, pp. 429-436; 8 pages
  • ASME 7th Biennial Conference on Engineering Systems Design and Analysis
  • Volume 2
  • Manchester, England, July 19–22, 2004
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4174-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3741-6
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


Over the last few decades a tremendous effort has been made to reduce road vehicles engines contribution to air pollution and fuel consumption. Due to the more stringent limits imposed by governments, various manufactures started working in the incorporation of alternative powertrain configurations, such as pure electric vehicles (EV), hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and fuel cell vehicles (FCV), in the automotive consumer market. In order to appreciate the advantages and disadvantages of these new vehicles over conventional vehicles a comparison must be performed in terms of efficiency and pollutant emissions. However, hybrid vehicles comprise many components with at least two different energy conversion devices (i.e. internal combustion engine and electric machine) drawing energy from at least two different energy storage devices (i.e. fuel tank and battery). In recent times, many hybrid propulsion system configurations have emerged and many others can be imagined comprising multiple reversible and irreversible energy paths. Therefore, considering that in a hybrid vehicle at least two different forms of energy (i.e. fuel chemical energy and electricity) are consumed, fuel consumption alone is no more sufficient to give a measure of the effectiveness of a hybrid propulsion system. This paper presents a first attempt to give a general mathematical form of the traction energy, the global efficiency and the specific fuel consumption of a hybrid electric vehicle that recovers as particular cases the thermal vehicle and the series hybrid electric vehicle. To evaluate the efficiency of the generic propulsion system the complete process from fuel energy and electricity to power available at the wheels is considered. The introduced concept of equivalent fuel consumption can be the basis for the comparison between road vehicles whatever the powertrain is pure thermal or hybrid. In order to get a better understanding of the mathematical analysis and its potential effectiveness some numerical simulations of hybrid vehicles virtual prototypes are performed through a suitable simulation model. The aim of the present analysis is to provide an instrument that allow a quick evaluation of the performances of hybrid electric vehicles.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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