Vehicle Architecture Selection for High Efficiency and Performance Applications

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The Ohio State University

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The drastic spike in global fossil fuel consumption in the late 20th and early 21st century has quickly become cause for concern. Not only are fossil fuels a non-renewable resource, but the release of their combustion products into the atmosphere has a detrimental impact on the environment. With the world’s energy consumption steadily trending upwards and the growth of the transportation industry in developing nations, the automotive industry is exploring alternative energy options. One area of research is electrified drivetrains, which include battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). Currently, the limited range and high cost of BEVs make them infeasible as a replacement for conventional vehicles. However, HEVs offer promise to maintain both high performance and efficiency without requiring significant infrastructure overhaul. General Motors, the US Department of Energy, and MathWorks sponsor the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge to adapt an existing market vehicle to a hybridized platform, improving overall efficiency and emissions while maintaining high performance to appeal to a broad customer market. The purpose of this research is to discuss Ohio State’s architecture selection process for this student-driven competition. This design space exploration begins by broadly evaluating fuel consumption between conventional, HEVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) for B20, E10, and E85 fuel types. Next, general electric motor configurations are evaluated for their impact on fuel economy. The design space exploration concludes with determining the optimal pairing of specific engine, transmission, energy storage system, electric motor, and transmission ratio options. Energy-based vehicle models are used to simulate realistic performance and fuel economy estimates. Additionally, dynamic programming evaluates each component configuration for optimized energy consumption. Completion of the architecture selection process yields an optimal architecture for meeting the Vehicle Technical Specifications (VTS) required by the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge.



Hybrid Vehicle Architecture, HEV, Design Space Exploration, EcoCAR Mobility Challenge