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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter |i

Hybrid-Powered
Vehicles
Second Edition

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ii|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter

Other SAE titles of interest:

Electric and Hybrid-Electric Vehicles


By Ronald K. Jurgen
(Product Code: PT-143.SET)

Advanced Hybrid Powertrains for Commercial Vehicles


By Haoran Hu, Rudy Smaling, and Simon J. Baseley
(Product Code: R-396)

History of the Electric Automobile: Hybrid Electric Vehicles


By Ernest H. Wakefield
(Product Code: R-187)

For more information or to order a book, contact SAE International at 400 Commonwealth
Drive, Warrendale, PA 15096-0001, USA; phone 877-606-7323 (U.S. and Canada only) or
724-776-4970 (outside U.S. and Canada); fax 724-776-0790; e-mail CustomerService@sae.org;
website http://books.sae.org.

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter |iii

Hybrid-Powered
Vehicles
Second Edition

John M. German

Warrendale, PA, USA

Copyright 2011 SAE International

eISBN: 978-0-7680-4852-0

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iv|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter

400 Commonwealth Drive


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E-mail: CustomerService@sae.org
Phone: 877-606-7323 (inside USA and Canada)
724-776-4970 (outside USA)
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Copyright 2011 SAE International. All rights reserved.

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ISBN 978-0-7680-3497-4
Library of Congress Catalog Number 978-0-7680-3497-4
SAE Order No. T-125
Information contained in this work has been obtained by SAE International from sources
believed to be reliable. However, neither SAE International nor its authors guarantee the
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Phone: 877-606-7323 (inside USA and Canada)
724-776-4970 (outside USA)
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Visit the SAE Bookstore at
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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|v

Table of Contents
Preface______________________________________________ vii
Executive Summary____________________________________ xi
Chapter One

Hybrid Vehicles
Transitional Technology or Ultimate Solution?______________ 1
Chapter Two

Hybrid System Design___________________________________ 7


Chapter Three

Hybrid Components___________________________________ 21
Chapter Four

Hybrid Design Constraints______________________________ 33


Chapter Five

Plug-In Hybrid Design and Challenges____________________ 37


Chapter Six

Real-World Examples__________________________________ 43
Chapter Seven

Hybrid System Optimization:


Challenges and Opportunities___________________________ 55
Chapter Eight

Customer Acceptance__________________________________ 63

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vi|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Contents

Chapter Nine

Future Hybrid Technology Development__________________ 77


Chapter Ten

Future Conventional Hybrid Markets_____________________ 87


Chapter Eleven

Future PHEV Markets_________________________________ 101


References__________________________________________ 113
About the Author____________________________________ 117

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|vii

Preface
In the early days of the automobile, there was spirited competition between vehicles powered by electricity and those powered by internal-combustion engines.
From around 1890 through 1905, electric vehicles, internal-combustion powered
vehicles, and steam cars all were competitively marketed and sold in the United
States. Electric vehicles had an early development lead in the United States due
to the work of electricity pioneers such as Edison, Tesla, and Westinghouse. Also,
the limited range of electric vehicles was sufficient for the small U.S. cities of that
period, and roads between cities were largely inadequate for vehicle travel.1
It was obvious from the beginning that batteries imposed severe limitations on
the range and utility of electric vehicles. Ten gallons of gasoline weighs only about
28 kg (62 lb) but contains about 330 kWh (kilowatt-hours) of energy (1.1 million
BTU). By comparison, even a modern lead-acid battery weighing the same 28 kg
(62 lb) provides only about 1.1 kWh. This overwhelming energy advantage of liquid fuel ensured the dominance of the internal-combustion engine for the last 100
years, despite its relatively low efficiency.
While most developers went straight to internal-combustion powered vehicles,
some tried to marry the advantages of the electric vehicle and the internalcombustion engine into a hybrid vehicle. The first hybrid vehicle was built in
1898, and several manufacturers sold hybrid vehicles in the early 1900s. However, hybrid vehicles also have significant problems. They require two propulsion
systems, which take up space, add weight, and greatly increase the cost. Another
problem is that careful coordination of the operation of the engine and the motor
is necessary to achieve much of the efficiency benefits and to avoid drivability

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viii|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Preface

problems, which was not possible with mechanical controls. Thus, production of
hybrid vehicles did not survive the continued development of the internal-combustion engine in the early 1900s.
The oil crises of 1973 and 1979 turned the auto industry on its head. Gasoline shortages, fuel price spikes, and predictions of continued oil shortages and
increasing fuel prices caused the public to suddenly demand higher-efficiency
vehicles. The U.S. Congress also responded in 1975 by passing Corporate Average
Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, which mandated that cars double their average
fuel economy by 1985 and that the U.S. Department of Transportation set costeffective standards for light trucks.
As fuel prices went down in the early 1980s and stayed down, the buying public
gradually forgot about fuel economy concerns and returned to demanding other
attributes it valued more highly than fuel savings, such as luxury, performance,
and utility. The average fuel economy of new cars and light trucks combined
peaked in 1987 and slowly declined through 2004.
Gradually rising fuel prices through the 2000s reversed this trend. The U.S.
National Highway and Transportation Safety Agency (NHTSA) also contributed
by effectively raising light truck CAFE standards starting with 2005. The long war
in Iraq and the 2008 fuel price spike to more than $4 per gallon reawakened concerns about energy security and vehicle efficiency. Although oil prices moderated
somewhat in 2009 and 2010, concerns remain that the supply of cheap oil will
come to an end soon. Average fuel economy of new vehicles has increased from
24.0 mpg in 2004 to 28.3 mpg in 2010.2
Global warming is another increasing concern. Every gallon of gasoline burned
produces about 20 lb (9.07 kg) of carbon dioxidethe primary greenhouse gas
accused of increasing global temperatures. Pressures are rising worldwide to
decrease oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Most countries have
imposed high fuel taxes to raise revenue and reduce oil consumption and greenhouse gases. Standards to reduce vehicle fuel consumption and greenhouse gas
emissions are being implemented and strengthened worldwide.

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Preface|ix

The increasing concerns with global warming and energy security have spurred
increasing interest in hybrid vehicles. This interest was facilitated by increasingly
sophisticated computer controls and improved batteries. Sophisticated computer
controls allow maximum efficiency benefits while providing smooth, seamless
coordination of the two propulsion systems. Advanced batteries, such as nickelmetal hybrid (NiMH) and now Lithium-ion (Li-ion), provide higher energy density and much longer cycle life. Hybrid vehicles offer a way to significantly reduce
fuel use, with corresponding reductions in global warming gases, fuel cost to consumers, and criteria air pollutants from fuel refining, distribution, and evaporative
emissions during refueling.
An early recognition of the potential of hybrid vehicles was the Supercar program announced by U.S. President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, and the
chief executive officers of Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler in the fall of 1993.
Officially named the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV), the
goal was to work together to build a family car that got 80 mpg (34 km/L), or
approximately three times the mileage of an average car.
The program spurred advances in materials and hybrid design, but it did not
produce a vehicle that the automakers felt could be mass-produced at a price consumers would be willing to pay. While the objectives were laudable, the primary
problem with the Supercar program was the arbitrary goal of 80 mpg (34 km/L).
This goal was never questioned during the nine-year process, and it led the automakers to choose options that were not cost-effective or were not marketable. For
example, gasoline engines were not considered because the 80-mpg (34-km/L)
target could not be reached with a gasoline-electric hybrid system. Similarly, the
80-mpg (34-km/L) target forced expensive choices for lightweight materials and
extreme aerodynamic improvements that were not cost-effective at the time. Arbitrary adherence to an arbitrary target ensured that the Supercar program would
not succeed in putting a high-mileage vehicle into production.
The program was successful in spurring public interest in hybrid vehicles and
advancing material and component designs. The announcement of the PNGV
program also helped spur Toyota into designing its own hybrid vehicle in secret.
The goal of Toyota was a more realistic 55 mpg (23.4 km/L) or twice the mileage

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x|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Preface

of an average car. Toyota unveiled its design at the 1997 Tokyo Motor Show: the
Prius, a highly efficient gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle. The initial design was tailored to the congested urban driving conditions in Japan and the performance was
not adequate for the U.S. market. However, the Prius began selling in Japan while
Supercar was still establishing concepts.
There is no question that the world must improve the efficiency of vehicles, but
many uncertainties remain about how and when. There is no consensus on when
or if liquid fuel production will peak and how much fuel prices will increase in
the future. There are many different ways to design a hybrid vehicle with different tradeoffs. The recent rise in oil prices and the development of higher energy
density Li-ion batteries has also created interest in hybrids that can be recharged
from the electric grid for further reductions in fuel consumption. There are many
competitors to hybrid technology, such as diesels, fuel cells, electric vehicles, alternative fuels, and even advanced gasoline engine technology. Hybrid vehicles are
challenged by the cost and complexity of having two different propulsion systems
in the same vehicle. The goal for hybrids is to find ways to reduce costs and to use
the on-board electric power to provide additional features desired by customers,
thereby producing a vehicle that most consumers would be willing to purchase.

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|xi

Executive Summary
Gasoline and diesel internal-combustion engines have two huge advantages over
competitors. First, liquid fuels have extremely high-energy density, allowing long
driving ranges with small storage tanks. Second, they enjoy an established infrastructure that would cost hundreds of billions of dollars to recreate for any new
fuel. These have proven to be daunting barriers to alternative fuel and propulsion
technologies.
Even more important, the internal-combustion engine keeps raising the bar every
time it is challenged. For example, 15 years ago, it was common knowledge that
the internal-combustion engine was inherently dirty and must be replaced to
achieve air-quality goals. Engineers responded by developing emissions control
technology that reduced criteria-pollutant emissions so much that little additional
improvement is available from any alternative.
The remaining drivers to switch to a new propulsion technology or fuel are global
warming and energy security. Again, recent developments in computer simulation and computer-aided design are facilitating the design of a host of new technologies to improve the efficiency of conventional vehicles and engines. These
improvements make it harder to justify spending hundreds of billions of dollars to
create a new infrastructure because they reduce the incremental efficiency advantages of alternative technologies. Thus, internal-combustion engines running on
liquid fuels will likely remain the dominant technology for light-duty vehicles
until the supply of relatively cheap oil starts to run out.
The increasing concerns with global warming and energy security also are spurring interest in hybrid vehicles. Hybrid vehicles use the existing infrastructure

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xii|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Executive Summary

and offer a way to significantly reduce fuel use, with corresponding reductions in
global warming gases, fuel cost to consumers, and upstream air pollutants from
fuel refining, distribution, and refueling evaporative emissions.
A hybrid vehicle combines two different types of propulsion systems. Most hybrid
vehicles combine an electric motor and an internal-combustion engine, although
other types of hybrid systems are possible. In light-duty vehicles, parallel hybrid
systems generally are used, where the internal-combustion engine, the electric
motor, or both can drive the vehicle. This design offers improvements in efficiency
by turning off the engine at idle, using the motor as a generator to recapture energy
usually lost to the brakes, improving alternator efficiency, reducing accessory loads,
and using the electric motor to improve the efficiency of the engine. For example,
the engine can be downsized as a result of the motor assist on acceleration, the
engine can be operated at higher efficiency speed and load points by carefully integrating engine operation with operation of the electric motor and transmission, and
the electric motor and battery pack can be used to supply propulsion energy at low
speeds and loads, allowing the engine to be shut off under inefficient conditions.
Hondas hybrids bolt the electric motor to the engine, which is an example of a
single-clutch parallel system. Either the engine or the motor or both can directly
provide power to the drivetrain. Toyota chose to develop a more sophisticated
input power-split system for its hybrids, starting with the Prius, using a planetary
gear system and two motors. Ford independently developed a similar system. The
input power-split excels at optimizing engine and motor operation during city
driving and it replaces the conventional transmission. However, it has some efficiency losses during highway driving and it is more complicated and expensive
than the simple parallel hybrid system.
Another large step in efficiency and petroleum reduction can be gained by using
a large battery pack to provide additional electric-only operation and recharging
the battery pack from the electric grid, commonly referred to as a plug-in hybridelectric vehicle (PHEV).
The amount of operation using only the electric motor, the amount of engine
downsizing, and the amount of recaptured braking energy must be balanced

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Executive Summary|xiii

against the high cost of energy storage. Lead-acid batteries are inexpensive and
may be used for some low-power hybrid systems, but they have low-energy density and short cycle life. Nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries have much longer
cycle life and much higher power and energy density. They have also proven to
be exceptionally reliable in-use and have exhibited no problems with abuse of any
kind. Unfortunately, the raw materials are expensive and relatively heavy, limiting
power and energy density.
Battery costs rise linearly with increases in the amount of energy storage, while the
incremental efficiency gains diminish. The high cost and weight of energy storage
especially impacts the cost-effectiveness of PHEVs with grid-connected recharging capabilities due to the need for large, expensive battery packs to provide significant amounts of all-electric range.
Li-ion batteries offer higher energy density, higher power density, higher efficiency, and less expensive raw materials. Challenges for Li-ion are abuse tolerance,
manufacturing, and calendar life. Consumer-grade Li-ion batteries, such as those
used in laptops, do not have adequate abuse tolerance and lifespan for automotive
applications. New Li-ion chemistries have been designed with greatly improved
abuse tolerance and much longer life, but manufacturing of these batteries
requires new facilities with expensive clean rooms and high precision equipment.
Despite the less expensive raw materials, near-term costs for automotive-grade Liion batteries are higher than NiMH due to investments in new Li-ion chemistries
and improved manufacturing facilities.
It is important to understand that, unlike lead-acid and NIMH batteries that use a
consistent chemistry, Li-ion refers to a family of chemistries. There are a virtually
infinite variety of anode, cathode, and electrolyte chemistries used in Li-ion batteries. Further, Li-ion batteries can be designed to enhance power capacity or energy
capacity. At least five different automotive-grade Li-ion chemistries are being
brought to the market, each with unique properties and advantages and disadvantages. Manufacturers are faced with multiple design options and virtually no longterm in-use data to validate the abuse tolerance and lifespan of their choices. While
Li-ion batteries have demonstrated good cycle life, they can deteriorate over time
without being cycled and the higher the temperature, the faster they deteriorate.

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xiv|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Executive Summary

Improvements to Li-ion batteries are already in development and should start


arriving around 2015. These second generation batteries will have incremental
improvements in abuse tolerance, lifespan, power and energy density, and cost.
Designs optimized for power should be almost perfect for conventional hybrids
and will help conventional hybrids break into mainstream markets. New anode
materials with silicon and new cathode materials with improved metal oxides are
also being developed. These will be the basis for third generation Li-ion batteries emerging sometime after 2020. These batteries should have almost twice the
energy density of current, first generation batteries and costs will also be much
lower, improving the cost-effectiveness of PHEVs.
In the near term, NiMH will continue to dominate the hybrid market due to its
proven reliability, lower current cost, and the many uncertainties about Li-ion,
such as abuse tolerance, calendar life, and which chemistries will win out in the
long run. Li-ion batteries will begin with relatively small volume applications
to gain real-world experience while minimizing risk. The highest-sales hybrid
vehicles will be the last to convert to Li-ion, likely sometime around 2018. However, Li-ions higher-power density, higher-energy density, higher efficiency, and
lower future cost ensures that NiMHs days are numbered. The higher-power density is especially important for conventional hybrids, as it will allow for a smaller,
cheaper battery pack. For PHEVs, the higher-energy density and lower future cost
are especially important and all PHEVs will likely use Li-ion batteries.
Currently, hybrid vehicles are too expensive for the mass market. Mass-market
acceptance of the hybrid cost increment is challenging because the average customer severely discounts expected-lifetime fuel savings. Plus, fuel costs are a relatively minor part of the overall cost of owning and operating a vehicle. The cost of
driving a mile, adjusted for inflation and increases in vehicle fuel economy, is less
today at $3.00 per gallon than it was before the first oil crisis in 1973. Combined
with higher income, fuel costs as a portion of disposable income are only half
today of what they were before the first oil crisis.
Most customers are loss averse. This means that they values losses more than
equivalent gains, and the more uncertain the benefits of a purchase, the less likely
consumers are to make the bet. This principle explains why most customers

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Executive Summary|xv

severely discount fuel savings, as the benefits only occur in the future and are
highly uncertain. Future fuel prices, actual in-use fuel economy, and how much the
vehicle will be driven before it is sold are all highly uncertain at the time of vehicle
purchase. Thus, the average new-vehicle customer would be willing to pay only
about $1,300 to $2,000 extra for a hybrid vehicle, depending on the vehicle size.
Hybrid vehicles currently cost two to three times that amount. Also, improvements
coming in the future to conventional vehicles and engines will lower baseline fuel
consumption and reduce the gallon savings from adding a hybrid system. If gasoline prices stay at about $3.00 per gallon, the amount new-vehicle customers would
be willing to pay for a hybrid will drop to $1,000 to $1,600 extra in the future.
Of course not all customers are the same. Early adopters are not risk averse and
are willing to pay much more than the average customer for new technology.
These were the conventional hybrid purchasers over the last decade and they will
be the PHEV customers in the future. Unfortunately, early adopters are only 2 to
3% of the market. This explains why hybrids still are only 2.8% of new vehicle sales
after a decade on the market and the Prius, which specifically targets early adopters, has almost as many sales as all other hybrids combined.
Mainstream customers are very different from early adopters. To sell to mainstream customers, hybrids will have to greatly improve the benefit-to-cost ratio.
Using the high-electric power to provide additional consumer features and
improving the efficiency of the hybrid system, including the engine, will increase
the benefits to consumers.
The high-voltage, high-power electrical system on hybrids offers many possible
advantages and features, such as use of more efficiency electrical devices, providing electrical features desired by customers, and further optimization of the engine
and hybrid efficiency. Customer features could include part-time four-wheel drive
(4WD), off-board power, heated seats, wiperless windshield systems, ride-control
systems, steer-by-wire, four-wheel steering, voice-activated controls, voice-recognition security systems, video systems, cellular phones, navigation systems, audio
amplifiers, high-speed Internet access, stability control, short-range radar and
video-camera warning systems, visibility systems for older drivers, and systems to
detect and wake drowsy drivers.

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xvi|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Executive Summary

More sophisticated hybrid control strategies and integration of additional electric


components will improve hybrid efficiency while maintaining the smoothness
and excellent drivability demanded by consumers. The largest benefit will come
from using the electric motor to keep the engine operating at the highest efficiency possible, by shutting the engine off at low loads, reducing engine speeds,
and selectively recharging the battery pack to increase the load on the engine.
Other benefits will come from use of higher-power, more durable batteries, use of
the electric motor to reduce turbo lag, synergies between motor and transmission
operation, and possible recovery of waste-heat energy using electric-turbo compounding. Optimization of all the interactions in a hybrid system requires a great
deal of engineering resources and software development but, in the long term, can
provide efficiency gains and additional value to consumers.
While additional features and improved efficiency will help mainstream market
acceptance of hybrids, the primary challenge for conventional hybrid vehicles is to
reduce the cost. Incremental improvements in electric motors, power electronics,
and integration of the hybrid system into the transmission and braking systems
will help reduce hybrid costs in the future. A particular concern is availability of
the rare earths, primarily neodymium and dysprosium, used in hybrid permanent
magnet motors. These are both expensive, and China currently produces the large
majority of both materials. Thus, cheaper and more available materials are being
evaluated to substitute for neodymium and dysprosium.
Reducing overall hybrid costs by more than half will require far more than these
incremental improvements. New conventional hybrid models being introduced
in the 2011 and 2012 model years demonstrate two new trends that will dramatically slash the cost of conventional hybrid systems. The first is the widely anticipated movement to Li-ion batteries. NiMH batteries must be oversized, from an
energy storage view, to provide the high-power assist and regenerative energy
capture rates demanded by conventional hybrids. Li-ion batteries optimized for
high power will allow much smaller battery packs, greatly reducing the cost. For
example, BMW is already using a small 0.4-kWh Li-ion battery pack for the 2011
ActiveHybrid 7, which provides 14 kW of electrical assist and 19 kW of regenerative braking. By 2020, most conventional hybrids will use small, high-power

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Executive Summary|xvii

Li-ion batteries in the range of 0.4-0.8 kWh, depending on vehicle size, greatly
reducing the cost of the battery pack.
The second new conventional hybrid trend is even more significant. Three major
manufacturers who have not previously invested in input-powersplit hybrid systems independently determined that the two-clutch, parallel hybrid system is
more cost effective. Nissan, Hyundai, and VW are all introducing 2011 hybrid
models using a parallel hybrid system with a second clutch between the engine
and the motor. Declutching the engine from the motor allows a much larger
motor to be used and eliminates motor friction during braking, enabling additional engine downsizing, larger amounts of regenerative braking energy, and
improved optimization of engine operation. With the second clutch, a relatively
simple parallel hybrid system can deliver 9095% of the benefits of the input-powersplit system while reducing total system costs by about a third.
Declutching the engine from the motor enables major improvements in efficiency.
However, it creates an issue with how to restart the engine when the motor is
already in use. Nissan bump starts the engine by engaging the clutch between the
engine and the motor, while the second clutch in the transmission slips to try to
absorb the lurching while the engine comes up to speed. This is a low-cost solution with high efficiency, but it could cause drivability problems. Hyundai added
an 8-kW belt-alternator-starter (BAS) system to restart the engine. This solution has excellent drivability and high efficiency, but adds significant cost. VW
retains the torque converter between the motor and the transmission and uses the
lock-up clutch in the torque converter to help restart the engine. This has excellent drivability and low cost, but overall efficiency is reduced due to losses in the
torque converter (Nissan and Hyundai used the motor to eliminate the torque
converter). Each manufacturer chose a different attribute to sacrifice and it will be
interesting to see which system prevails in the market.
Future hybrid costs will decline dramatically due to use of the two-clutch parallel hybrid system combined with a small, high-power Li-ion battery, integration
of the motor and clutches into the transmission, and incremental reductions to
motor, power electronics, and integrated braking control costs. By about 2025,
incremental costs should range from about $900 for a small car to about $1450 for

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xviii|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Executive Summary

a larger light truck. Combined with future improvements in hybrid efficiency and
additional electrical features desired by customers, this is well within the range at
which most mainstream customers will accept hybrid systems.
It will take some time to develop and implement all these improvements. Hybrid
costs will likely outweigh the benefits for most customers until about 2020, after
which a tipping point will occur and most customers will accept hybrids. Hybrid
sales will increase slowly, at the rate of about 0.5% of the market each year, until
this tipping point occurs. After about 2020, hybrid sales will rapidly increase and
should capture about 75% of the market by about 2030. Even vehicles that do
not adopt hybrid systems because of cost or load-carrying concerns will likely
adopt BAS systems, to enable idle-off, improved alternator efficiency, and limited
amounts of assist and regenerative braking at modest cost.
Ironically, Toyotas success the last decade with the input powersplit system may
prove to be a handicap. It is highly unlikely that the input powersplit system can
compete with the two-clutch system in the long run, but it will be very difficult for
Toyota to abandon its huge investment in the input powersplit system. The longer
Toyota waits to make the switch, the more expensive it will be.
Diesel engines are unlikely to be able to compete with hybrid vehiclesat least in the
United States. Diesels are inherently more expensive than gasoline engines, plus emissions control is much more difficult for diesels and adds another $1,000 to $2,000 to the
price. While diesels are currently somewhat cheaper than hybrids and offer similar fuel
savings, hybrid costs will come down rapidly in the future and improvements to the gasoline engine will reduce the incremental fuel savings from the diesel. By the time the diesel overcomes its historically poor image, the cost effectiveness of hybrids will be much
better than diesels. The diesel also cannot match the consumer features provided by the
high-electric power, improved alternator efficiency, part-time 4WD, and benefits from
sophisticated integration with advanced gasoline-engine technology offered by hybrids.
The situation is very different for PHEVs than for conventional hybrids. Short-term
costs for PHEVs will be very high. NiMH batteries do not have adequate energy
density for PHEV applications, so Li-ion batteries optimized for energy storage are
essential. While automotive grade Li-ion batteries are currently very expensive, prices

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Executive Summary|xix

for high-energy density designs are expected to decline from about $800$1,000/kWh
today to less than $300/kWh in the future, and perhaps as low as $200/kWh. This
will dramatically improve the cost-effectiveness of future PHEVs, but the lowest-cost
batteries will not be available until the third-generation batteries reach the market
sometime after 2020. By 2020, conventional vehicles will be far more efficient and
conventional hybrids will be on their way to dominating the mass market. When compared to these advanced conventional hybrids, mainstream customers will not consider the fuel savings from PHEVs to be large enough to offset the additional purchase
price, even at $200$300/kWh, unless real fuel prices rise substantially.
While the economic payback for PHEVs is a significant issue, it is not the primary
barrier to PHEV mainstream market acceptance. More importantly, loss aversion
applies to all factors associated with vehicle purchase decisions, not just the fuel savings. PHEVs have far more market uncertainties than conventional hybrids. Mainstream customers will be uncertain about how much fuel they will save, how much
electricity and gasoline will cost, how much hassle it will be to plug in, what the performance tradeoffs will be, how reliable the vehicle will be, how much it will cost to
install recharging equipment and the impact it will have on resale value, and the durability of the battery and cost to replace it. Just the guidelines issued by Southern California Edison for installation of recharging equipment are enough to scare off many
mainstream customers (www.sce.com/pev). Recognizing these uncertainties, Honda
and Toyota spent millions of dollars in advertising to reassure early hybrid customers
that the vehicles did not need to be recharged.
A related factor is that the different types of PHEVs will confuse most customers.
PHEVs will range from the 12-mile (19.3-km) all-electric range (AER) and blended
operation of the engine and motor on the 2012 Toyota PHEV, to operation only on
the electric motor for the 35-mile (56.3-km) AER of the Chevrolet Volt. The different
types of conventional hybrid systems on the market are confusing enough without
adding considerations of plugging in the vehicle, different AER ranges, and blended
versus electric-only mode operation. Mainstream customers will wait until the best
solution emerges before taking on a risk purchasing a PHEV. Few customers are willing to risk spending $30,000 or more on the Betamax of vehicles.
Access to charging is another limitation for the PHEV market. While at least half of
new vehicle customers have convenient access to electrical outlets, subsequent owners

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xx|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Executive Summary

are much less likely to have garages and driveways. Maximum market share for PHEVs
will be limited to the number of households that have ready access to electrical outlets.
A frequently claimed benefit from PHEVs is the ability to use the electricity stored in
the battery packs to provide valuable services to the electricity grid. Nighttime charging,
which helps to balance daily loads, is feasible and desirable, However, advanced ancillary
utility services that dynamically manage the grid load, such as vehicle-to-grid (V2G),
are unlikely to be cost-effective. Customers will buy PHEVs to reduce gasoline usage
and will not want their batteries discharged. Automotive Li-ion batteries are a premium
product and there are much cheaper batteries that could be installed to provide ancillary
services, aggregating the automotive battery pack services would be complex and incur
expenses, and existing energy storage systems, such as electric water heaters and refrigerators, could provide the same service without deteriorating expensive battery packs.
There will be significant niche markets for PHEVs. In addition to fleet sales, home
recharging can be a valuable feature for customers who dislike refilling gasoline at
service stations. Some customers will purchase PHEVs because they hate oil companies, want to make a statement about petroleum imports, or to show off their green
credentials. These latter reasons are similar to the reasons behind the sales success of
the Prius. Thus, most early PHEV customers will be people trading up from the Prius.
However, not all Prius customers have ready access to an electrical outlet, so the early
market for PHEVs will be smaller than current Prius sales, perhaps 100,000 per year.
As the niche markets expand, they will lead to further development and more vehicles
over which to spread development costs. This will provide incremental cost reductions that, with future Li-ion battery improvements, will increase PHEV sales to about
300,000 per year by 2020. However, with the mass-market penetration of conventional
hybrids after 2020, this scenario alone is unlikely to move PHEVs into the mainstream
market and PHEV sales will remain stagnant for some time after 2020.
Long-term PHEV success will be strongly influenced by fuel availability and alternatives such as BEVs and fuel cells. Real fuel prices would have to double or triple to
create a strong mainstream market for PHEVs, which is not likely for some time, but a
genuine threat of supply disruption would drive a large number of additional customers to purchase PHEVs.

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Executive Summary|xxi

There is no way of knowing when the world will start running out of relatively inexpensive liquid fuel. Future oil supply will be influenced by continuing advances in
oil recovery technology, economic development in Third-World countries, efficiency
improvements in conventional vehicles and hybrids, Middle East stability, and development of alternative sources of fuel, such as oil shale, oil sands, bitumen deposits,
biofuels, and gas-to-liquid. The world could experience severe oil-supply problems
and price increases by 2020, or continuing technology improvements and the development of oil alternatives could push this back until the next century.
After 2030, PHEVs will also face potential competition from BEVs and fuel-cell vehicles (FCVs). BEVs and FCVs face opposite challenges. Electricity is readily available
and much cheaper than gasoline, but even with the third-generation Li-ion batteries
available after 2020 the limited range and slow recharge times will not be acceptable
to the mainstream market. BEVs require a genuine breakthrough in energy storage to
penetrate the mass market. FCVs show great promise on the vehicle side, with long
range, fast refueling, future costs comparable to PHEVs, and high efficiency. Their
challenges are on the infrastructure side, due to difficulties in creating, distributing,
and storing hydrogen.
Future improvements to conventional vehicles and mainstream implementation of
advanced hybrid vehicles can roughly triple fuel economy by 2030, with additional efficiency improvements possible through 2050. This will extend the supply of oil and reduce
the benefits of switching to alternative fuels. If these efficiency improvements keep fuel
available at a reasonable price and provide adequate contributions to carbon reduction,
then PHEV sales will slowly increase after 2030, but will remain relatively small.
If fuel shortages or global warming requires maximum possible fuel/carbon reductions, this will require solutions beyond conventional hybrids. If either the infrastructure problems with FCVs or the energy-storage problems with BEVs are solved, then
PHEVs will be largely passed over in favor of FCVs or BEVs. PHEV sales might rise
to 10 or 20% of the market during the transition period, but they will never dominate
the market. Only if the problems with FCVs and BEVs cannot be solved will there be
large-scale production of PHEVs.

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|1

Chapter One

Hybrid Vehicles
Transitional Technology or
Ultimate Solution?
Until relatively recently, air pollution was the primary concern associated with
the combustion of fuel and remains the primary concern in many developing
countries with major air pollution problems. Global warming has been rising rapidly as a concern over the last few decades and will likely continue to increase in
importance in the future. Energy security also is a rising concern, especially with
the recent Gulf Wars and the spike in oil prices in 2008. Vehicles consume most of
the oil imported to the United States and are one of the primary contributors to air
pollution and carbon emissions, which contributes to global warming. Thus, pressure is intensifying to improve the efficiency of propelling vehicles.
Traditionally, the internal-combustion engine was viewed as inherently dirty, and
it was a common belief that a different source of propulsion would be needed to
clean up our air. In addition, the internal-combustion engine is inefficient and has
contributed to fossil-fuel use, energy security concerns, dependence on foreign oil

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2|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 1

suppliers, lead poisoning, and leaking storage tanks. Because of these problems,
many alternatives to the gasoline internal-combustion engine have been proposed
over the years, such as steam power, turbine engines, and electric vehicles. There
also have been many proposals for the use of alternative fuels, such as methanol,
ethanol, compressed natural gas, and propane. The latest contender is the fuel
cell, powered by hydrogen. However, to date, the internal-combustion engine has
proven to be very resilient in beating back all challengers.
It is essential to understand why the internal-combustion engine running on fossil
fuel has been so successful. There are three overriding reasons for its dominance.
One reason is the extremely high-energy density of liquid fuels. A compact fuel
tank can provide enough fuel for hundreds of miles of operation, plus refueling
takes only a few minutes. The second reason is the costs of switching to an entirely
new infrastructure are enormous and, so far, have not been worth the incremental benefit of switching to an alternative propulsion system or fuel. Finally, and
perhaps most importantly, every time the internal-combustion engine has been
challenged, engineers have been able to develop significant improvements that
greatly reduce the incremental benefit of switching. For example, 15 years ago, it
was common knowledge that the internal-combustion engine was inherently
dirty and that it must be replaced to help local communities meet air pollution
standards. Thanks to the development of modern catalysts and computer controls,
air pollutants have been reduced to levels undreamed of only 15 years ago. In
fact, emissions from vehicles meeting the Tier 2 emissions standards of the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which phased in from the 2004 through
2007 model years, are so low that there is little pollution advantage to any alternative to a gasoline vehicle. EPA is also starting the rulemaking process to implement Tier 3 emissions standards, to reduce emissions even further.
The remaining drivers to switch to a new propulsion technology or fuel are
global warming and energy security. However, the fuel efficiency of the internalcombustion engine also has increased greatly due to advances in technology. The
average car today achieves over twice the fuel economy of the average car 35 years
ago in addition to accelerating much faster. Even during the period from 1987
through 2006 when the fuel economy of new vehicles did not increase, vehicle
efficiency continued to improve. However, the efficiency improvements were

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 1|3

used to increase performance and luxury and safety features that added weight
while maintaining fuel economy. If the 2006 car fleet had the same weight, performance, and manual transmissions as the 1987 fleet, the average fuel economy
in 2006 would have been 38 mpg instead of 29.4 This did not result in an increase
in fuel economy because the technology was used to boost attributes more highly
desired by consumers, such as performance, utility, comfort, and safety, without
decreasing fuel economy. Although the technologies were not used to increase fuel
economy, these are real efficiency gains that are narrowing the available incremental efficiency benefits from switching to an alternative propulsion source or fuel.
Due to major improvements in computer simulations and computer-aided design,
a host of new technologies can still be added to the conventional internal-combustion engine. These improvements will further raise the bar and make it harder to
justify spending hundreds of billions of dollars to create a new infrastructure.
Hybrid propulsion systems offer another way to improve the efficiency of the
internal-combustion engine. Modeling of lifecycle carbon emissions varies
depending on the assumptions made. However, an advanced-technology gasoline engine with a hybrid-electric system can yield carbon emissions equivalent
to or even lower than an electric vehicle or a fuel-cell vehicle if the electricity and
hydrogen are created from fossil fuels3. Electric and fuel-cell vehicles show a significant advantage on carbon emissions only if the electricity and hydrogen are
generated using a low-carbon source, such as nuclear, solar, wind, hydroelectric,
or geothermal energy.
Due to the ongoing efficiency improvements to the internal-combustion engine
and the additional benefits of hybridization, carbon emissions also are becoming
a weaker driver for replacement of the conventional internal-combustion engine.
Thus, the future of hybrid vehicles will likely be based primarily on the availability
of oil and the cost of the hybrid system. There are three possible paths:

1 Continued improvement of the internal-combustion engine, including


increased penetration of advanced diesel engines. This scenario is likely to apply
as long as oil prices remain low and hybrid costs remain high. Advances in drilling
technology have dramatically reduced per-well costs and finding and development
costs. Both per-well costs and the cost of producing a barrel of oil in non-OPEC

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4|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 1

countries are less than one-third of what they were 30 years ago. These advances
help offset production losses from the depletion of major oil fields and push back
the production peakthat is, the time when the production rate can rise no
higher. (Virtually all geoscientists agree that a large amount of oil remains in the
ground; it is simply becoming more difficult to get to it.) The production peak is
important because competition for available oil will lead to major price increases,
drastic conservation, and economic stagnation. Although many geoscientists predict that the production peak will occur before 2020, predictions of imminent oil
supply collapse have been made regularly since around 1870, beginning with the
state geologist of Pennsylvania. Other geoscientists predict a long plateau in oil
production, rather than a peak, or admit that it is beyond their ability to forecast
when the production peak will occur. In addition, alternative sources of liquid
fuel such as oil shale, oil sands, bitumen deposits, biofuels, and gas-to-liquid
have the potential to provide relatively cheap fuel for the foreseeable future.

2 Market transition to hybrid systems with an internal-combustion engine and


an electric motor over the next 20 years. This scenario will supersede the first
scenario when one of the following occurs: (a) hybrid costs are reduced to the
equivalent of about $1,000 to $1,600 per vehicle, including the value of additional
consumer features enabled by the high-electric power from the hybrid system, or
(b) oil prices increase greatly or society demands low-carbon emissions, but fuelcell and battery-electric vehicles do not offer enough incremental benefits to justify spending hundreds of billions of dollars on a new infrastructure.
3 Transition to fuel-cell or battery-electric vehicles. Eventually, an alternative
to internal-combustion engines running on liquid fuels must be implemented.
However, if oil prices remain low, it will be difficult to justify transitioning to
battery-electric vehicles with short range or the investment in an entirely new
hydrogen infrastructure, especially one with the storage difficulties of hydrogen.
The battery-electric and fuel cell scenarios are highly dependent on when the oilproduction peak occurs and the ability to develop alternative oil sources, such as
oil sands. Fuel cells and battery-electric vehicles are not likely to replace the internal-combustion engine as long as oil and other liquid fuels are readily available.

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 1|5

The first path, continued dominance of internal-combustion engines without


hybrids, is not likely, especially in the United States, Europe, and Japan. Stringent
fuel economy regulations are being adopted in all of the developed countries and
increasingly in developing countries. These regulations will help drive hybrid market penetration and reduce hybrid prices to acceptable levels by about 2020. However, there currently is no way to determine whether hybrid vehicles will come to
dominate the market for the foreseeable future (the second path) or are a transitional technology to fuel-cell and electric vehicles (the third path).
Note that conversion of a substantial portion of the in-use fleet to hydrogen or
electricity would greatly reduce demand for petroleum. If the demand for petroleum falls faster than declining production, petroleum prices will return to historically low prices. Thus, it is likely that any transition from highly efficient hybrid
vehicles to fuel-cell and electric vehicles will be gradual and will take decades.
The purpose of this book is to describe the factors that will influence the future
path, identify viable niche markets for initial plug-in hybrid sales, and outline
the key hybrid development issues needed for acceptance by the mass market.
Think of it as a roadmap to help gauge progress in critical areas and the chance of
increased market share in the future.

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|7

Chapter Two

Hybrid System Design


Many sources of information on hybrid designs are available, such as manufacturer websites, the U.S. Department of Energy, technical papers, and press releases
on production and prototype hybrid vehicles. Thus, if you are knowledgeable
about the different types of hybrid designs you may wish to skip much of this
chapter, although you may wish to read the section on efficiency benefits.
It is important to understand the tradeoffs involved with different types of hybrid
designs. There are virtually an infinite number of ways to design a hybrid system
and many different methods of achieving similar fuel-consumption benefits. These
methods have different tradeoffs on cost and customer acceptance, which will
influence market acceptance and future hybrid design.
A hybrid vehicle joins two different types of propulsion systems. Most hybrid
vehicles combine an electric motor and an internal-combustion engine to improve
overall efficiency and recapture regenerative braking energy. Other types of
hybrid systems also are possible. For example, Chrysler built a prototype vehicle
in the early 1990s that combined a combustion engine with a flywheel that stores
mechanical energy and provides power to the wheels. Flywheels have recently
been used in some Formula 1 racing vehicles under new rules that allow recapture

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8|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 2

of limited amounts of kinetic energy. Flywheels have an advantage in that a single


device both stores energy and provides power to the wheels. However, to achieve
reasonable amounts of energy storage, the flywheel must be spun at hundreds of
thousands of revolutions per minute. Practical designs to achieve these speeds
reliably in mass production have not yet been developed.
Ford, Eaton, and the EPA have cooperated on a hybrid that combines an internalcombustion engine with a hydraulic/nitrogen gas system. The hydraulic system is
powered by compressed nitrogen gas, which is recompressed by the hydraulic system during braking. This system can provide considerable power from a stop and
has the advantage of high efficiencies in transferring power back and forth to the
compressed gas. However, the system runs out of compressed gas quickly, plus it is
too heavy and bulky for use in cars and light trucks. It is finding some applications
in heavy-duty utility trucks, which have plenty of room for the hydraulic system
and the compressed nitrogen gas.
For light-duty vehicles, only the hybrid-electric vehicle currently offers customers
improved fuel economy and adequate performance at a cost they might be willing
to pay. The large amount of electric power available from a hybrid-electric system
also can be used to provide additional features desired by customers, which is a
potentially large advantage over non-electric hybrid systems. Thus, the remainder
of this book will focus on hybrid-electric vehicles.

Efficiency Benefits
Despite the fuel-economy improvements in vehicles during the last 35 years,
the average efficiency of a gasoline internal-combustion engine in typical in-use
operation is still only about 1520%. About 60% is lost to heat, roughly half to the
exhaust and half to the cooling system. About 15% to 25% is lost to fuel consumed
during idle and decelerationwhen no useable work is being doneas well as to
engine friction. Engine friction includes the energy needed to pull air past a partially closed throttle valve in the air-intake tract, commonly referred to as pumping losses. The remaining energy is engine output. Of this, roughly 5% to 10% is
consumed by drivetrain losses and by accessory loads such as air conditioning,
power steering, and generating electricity in the alternator. The remaining 15% or
so is used to overcome vehicle tractive energy losses, such as inertia, aerodynamic

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 2|9

drag, and tire rolling resistance. These vary widely depending on drive cycle, with
inertia losses making up over half of the tractive losses in low-speed urban driving
and less than 20% of the total in highway driving.
Adding an electric motor and energy storage to the internal-combustion engine
can significantly improve efficiency in a variety of ways, depending on system
design.

1. Idle-Off
The average vehicle sits and idles approximately 20% of the time in city driving.
Turning off the engine at idle can reduce fuel consumption by about 5 to 8%.
Turning off the engine during deceleration can save additional fuel. This idea
received considerable interest after the two oil crises in the 1970s. Volkswagen sold
a vehicle in Europe in the early 1980s that turned off the engine at idle and automatically restarted the engine. However, this system was not acceptable to most
customers because of the time it took to restart the engine and to return to stable
engine operation.
Use of a more powerful electric motor can restart the engine much more rapidly
than a conventional starter motor, plus modern computers and fuel injection have
resolved start-up problems. A 3- to 5-kW electric motor is sufficient to spin the
engine up to normal idle speed in less than half a second. This allows smooth,
rapid restarts that are acceptable to the driver. In addition, fuel injection can be
delayed until after the engine is already at normal idle speed, which virtually eliminates unburned fuel and its attendant hydrocarbon emissions. Idle-off systems
need little energy storage and can be implemented with relatively small, cheap battery packs, although lead-acid battery packs will need to be replaced periodically.

2. Regenerative Braking
A significant amount of energy is lost in conventional vehicles when the vehicle
slows down or brakes. This energy is lost to friction, primarily in the brakes, and
to mechanical friction and pumping losses in the engine. An electric motor can be
used as a generator to capture some of this energy, instead of losing it to friction.
When the vehicle is slowing down or braking, the inertia of the vehicle is used to
drive the motor/generator. This mechanical rotation through the magnetic field

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10|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 2

produces electricity, which is used to recharge the energy storage device. This is
free energy because it normally is lost to friction. This energy must be stored
until it can be reused for propulsion, when power from the gasoline engine is
boosted by power generated by the electric motor or the vehicle is driven on the
electric motor alone. This process is referred to as regenerative braking.
The fuel consumption benefit from regenerative braking is a function of the drive
cycle, the size of the electric motor, and the capacity of the storage device. A larger
motor allows more energy to be recaptured during rapid decelerations, which
would exceed the output of a smaller motor. Similarly, a larger storage device
allows energy to be recaptured more rapidly and/or from longer decelerations,
which would exceed the capacity of a smaller storage device.
However, these relationships are far from linear. Most accelerations and decelerations are relatively mild and of relatively short duration. An electric motor of only
10 to 20 kW, depending on the size of the vehicle, is sufficient to capture most of
the available regenerative braking energy. A larger motor offers the potential for
more regenerative braking, but the incremental amount is much smaller. It also
comes with more problems. Large regenerative braking rates must be coordinated
carefully with the friction brakes of the vehicle. Otherwise, the vehicle may slow
down more rapidly than expected by the driver, or the vehicle may jerk forward
and backward as the regenerative braking is applied. Most modern hybrids electronically control the hydraulic pressure in the conventional friction brakes. This
allows them to give priority to regenerative braking and only use the friction
brakes to supplement as required to maintain expected braking performance.
Larger amounts of regenerative braking place proportionally larger requirements
on the energy storage system. Thus, the cost of the energy storage system increases
proportionally to the maximum regenerative braking capability, while the incremental efficiency benefits diminish rapidly. As will be discussed in more detail
later, the high-power capability of Li-ion batteries can allow large rates of regenerative braking energy to be captured with a smaller battery pack.
Depending on the mass, aerodynamic drag, and tire rolling resistance of the vehicle, about 35 to 55% of the tractive energy is lost to engine and wheel braking on

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 2|11

the EPA city fuel-economy cycle and about 5 to 15% on the highway cycle5. A relatively low-cost hybrid system that enabled idle-off and provided modest acceleration boost from a stop and during wide open throttle (WOT) might improve fuel
economy by 5 to 10% from regenerative braking (in addition to the 5 to 10% from
idle-off). Stepping up to a system that provides boost during most accelerations
and recaptures proportionally larger amounts of regenerative braking can improve
fuel economy by 15 to 20%. It is possible to gain more fuel economy benefits from
regenerative braking, but beyond this point the costs rise steeply with the required
increases in the electric motor and storage capacities.
Another consideration is the location of the electric motor. To minimize cost and
complexity, it is desirable to bolt the motor directly to the engine. This results in
the engine turning during deceleration and some potential regenerative braking
energy being lost to engine friction. Installation of a clutch between the engine
and the electric motor eliminates engine friction during braking and increases the
amount of regenerative braking energy available for recharging the battery. However, the clutch adds cost and increases packaging problems, especially for frontwheel-drive vehicles with limited space between the wheels.

3. Engine Downsizing
The amount of power needed to propel a vehicle varies greatly, depending on vehicle speed, load, and operating conditions. The vehicle must be designed to meet
the most demanding requirements, such as hard accelerations or climbing a hill
with a loaded vehicle. However, this peak power is needed infrequently. Minimal
power is needed to maintain the speed of a vehicle while cruising on a level road,
thus only a small fraction of the available power from the engine is needed most of
the time. In a hybrid system, the electric motor can provide a power boost when
appropriate, enabling use of a smaller engine without degrading performance.
Other things being equal, a smaller engine is more efficient for a given load
because it has lower frictional losses, less heat loss to the engine block and cylinder head, and larger throttle openings that reduce the energy lost in forcing intake
air past the throttle (commonly referred to as pumping losses).
The amount of engine downsizing is roughly proportional to the size of the electric motor and the energy storage system. The larger the motor and the amount of

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12|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 2

energy storage, the more the engine can be downsized. Thus, the incremental efficiency benefit from engine downsizing is roughly proportional to the incremental
cost of the energy storage and electric motor.
Note that this does not translate into proportional cost-effectiveness for the entire
system. Fuel economy improvements of about 20% are available from idle-off and
regenerative braking for a system with a 10- to 20-kW motor and corresponding
energy storage. Such a system also allows modest engine downsizing, yielding an
additional fuel economy benefit of 5 to 15% for a total benefit of about 25 to 35%.
Doubling the size of the electric motor and energy storage system would add only
another 10 to 15% in benefits from additional regenerative breaking and engine
downsizing. In addition, the more the engine is downsized, the larger the concern
that some types of driving might deplete the energy storage system, such as climbing a hill or towing a trailer. The more the system depends on the electric motor to
maintain performance, the larger the performance drop should the energy storage
device become depleted.
Also note that engine downsizing is not required. Adding an electric motor without downsizing the engine can dramatically increase performance, especially at
low-engine speeds where the electric motor has very high-torque output. Fuel
savings from idle-off, regenerative braking, engine-operation optimization, and
accessory improvements are maintained, resulting in significant improvements in
both fuel economy and performance. This approach can be thought of and marketed as an environmental supercharger. This strategy has not proved successful
to date, most notably the market failure of the Honda Accord hybrid that used a
V6 engine, but Mercedes and BMW are planning high-performance hybrids in the
near future.

4. Engine Efficiency
Engines are least efficient when operating at low loads. A hybrid system can be
designed to help keep the engine at higher loads and to minimize engine operation during less efficient modes. Some examples are as follows:

a. The engine is least efficient at low engine speeds and loads. The electric motor
can be used to supply propulsion energy at low speeds and loads, allowing the

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 2|13

engine to be shut off during inefficient conditions. Note that, unlike idle-off, motoronly operation is not free energy on a conventional hybrid. The propulsion energy
comes from the battery and the engine must be used to recharge the battery. The
benefit of motor-only operation on a conventional hybrid is the difference in engine
efficiency during low-load operation and during higher-load operation used for
charging. This engine efficiency benefit must also be able to cover the losses in the
battery and motors during charging and discharging. Thus, the benefits of motoronly operation are primarily at low-load conditions and are relatively modest.

b. The instantaneous high torque available from the electric motor allows the
engine to turn slower, and hence more efficiently, during highway driving while
maintaining adequate acceleration response.
c. Careful integration of the engine with operation of the electric motor and
transmission allows the engine to operate at higher-efficiency speed and load
points. For example, using the motor to provide assist during normal accelerations
actually reduces engine efficiency, as it reduces the load on the engine. A more
efficient strategy is to only assist the engine on acceleration if the engine is already
at its maximum output and to use the motor to keep the engine at lower engine
speeds during normal driving.
d. The boost from the electric motor can facilitate the use of higher-efficiency
engine designs, such as the Atkinson cycle gasoline engine. The Atkinson cycle
uses a longer expansion stroke to extract more energy from the combustion process and boost efficiency. The downside of the longer expansion stroke is that it
allows less time for the exhaust and intake strokes, resulting in significantly lower
peak torque and horsepower. This is more acceptable on a hybrid vehicle because
the electric motor can provide power boost during acceleration.
e. If additional charging of the battery pack is needed beyond that provided by
regenerative braking, the engine can be controlled to supply the additional energy
under higher engine efficiency modes.
There are tradeoffs with some of the potential engine efficiency benefits. For example, turning off the engine and operating on only the electric motor can require

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14|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 2

increases in motor and energy storage requirements, with corresponding increases


in cost, weight, and packaging concerns. Also, turning the engine at slower speeds
may limit the amount of engine downsizing.

5. Electrical Accessories
The additional electric power in hybrid vehicles can be used to improve the efficiency of engine accessories, such as the air conditioning compressor, power steering pump, and water pump. On conventional vehicles, most accessories are driven
by direct mechanical connections to the engine, such as belts, gears, or chains. The
mechanical efficiencies often are very low. A larger problem is that the accessory
speed goes up and down with the engine speed. This is wasteful because the accessory must be sized to provide adequate operation at low engine speeds and draws
more power than is needed at high engine speeds. Using electric motors to power
accessories allows them to be operated independently of the engine and only as
needed, leading to significant efficiency improvements.
On conventional vehicles, the use of electrical accessories is limited by alternator load, which is already reaching the limits of a 14V alternator. Vehicle electric
demand has increased from a few hundred watts 20 years ago to more than a
kilowatt today. Inducing high currents in a 14V system results in high-efficiency
losses and requires large, heavy, and expensive electrical cables. The higher voltage electric motors in hybrid systems are much more efficient than conventional
belt-driven alternators. Hybrid-electric motors can also produce the high power
and high voltage needed for electric air conditioning compressors and electric
pumps for power steering and circulation of fluids. The increase in overall vehicle
efficiency from improved alternator efficiency and computer-controlled electric
pumps is in the range of 5 to 10%.

Types of Hybrid Electric Systems


The ways in which the electric motor and the engine can be designed and how
they interact are virtually limitless. The two basic configurations are serial and
parallel. Powersplit designs use planetary gear systems to provide elements of both
parallel and series operation. Hybrid designs are further divided based upon the
ability to recharge the batteries from the grid (plug-in hybrid).

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 2|15

1. Series Hybrid
In the series hybrid, only the electric motor is used to directly drive the wheels
(Figure 2.1). Energy for the motor can come from either the engine driving a generator or the energy storage device. The energy storage device can be recharged by
the engine and generator set or by using the generator to capture energy normally
lost to braking.
Series hybrid systems optimize engine operation and efficiency. Because the
engine is not connected directly to the wheels, it can be run at its most efficient
point and shut off when it is not needed. The system also eliminates the need for
clutches and conventional transmissions. However, the system requires the engine
output to be converted into electricity with a generator and the electricity to be
converted back into mechanical motion at the motor. This introduces significant
inefficiencies if the engine is used as the primary power source. Therefore, this
configuration usually is used for PHEVs with a small engine that provides a rangebooster to a large battery pack. This configuration has very low emissions and has

Figure 2.1 Series hybrid system diagram.


(Courtesy of Toyota Motor Co.)

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16|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 2

excellent efficiency during stop-and-go driving because it minimizes inefficient


engine operation and maximizes energy recaptured from regenerative braking. However, it requires a large, heavy, energy storage system that significantly
increases cost and reduces vehicle performance. Also, efficiency during highway
driving is lower, due to losses in converting the mechanical power from the engine
into electricity and then back to mechanical motion in the motor. In addition, the
internal-combustion motor must be large enough to meet minimum acceleration
needs should the battery pack become depleted. For light-duty vehicles, the size
and cost of the energy storage does not justify the additional benefits, except perhaps on longer-range grid-connected hybrids.

2. Parallel Hybrid
In a parallel hybrid system, both the engine and the electric motor are connected
directly to the drivetrain (Figure 2.2). The highest efficiency range of each is
selected and used, depending on operating condition. A parallel system is more
complicated than a series system and poses additional challenges in integration of
the two power sources. The major advantage is that large efficiency gains can be
realized with even a relatively small and lightweight energy storage device. This
minimizes the additional cost of the energy storage device and the performance
penalty from the additional weight.

3. Powersplit Hybrids
The input powersplit hybrid design uses a planetary gear system and two electric
motors (Figure 2.3). It is based on the parallel type, but it has more flexibility to
optimize the operation point of the engine and allow limited series-like operation.
The hybrid transmission consists of the powersplit device, the generator, the electric motor, and the reduction gears. The power from the engine goes to the powersplit device, which uses a planetary gear to split the power and transmit it through
two paths. The engine is directly linked to the rotational shaft of the planetary
carrier inside the gear mechanism and the engine output is transmitted to the
outer ring gear and the inner sun gear via pinion gears. The rotational shaft of the
ring gear is connected to the motor and provides a direct mechanical path to the
wheels. The rotational shaft of the sun gear is connected to the generator and provides an electrical path. The powersplit device delivers a fixed amount of torque to

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 2|17

Figure 2.2 Parallel hybrid system diagram.


(Courtesy of Toyota Motor Co.)

each path, although an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission is also provided, which can change speed while continuously varying the rpm
of the engine and the rpm of the generator and the electric motor (in relation to
vehicle speed).
The generator also acts as an engine starter and starts the engine by rotating the
sun gear. When the engine is running, the generator always produces electricity,
which must be used to charge the battery or delivered to the motor to propel the
vehicle or some combination thereof. The propulsion motor provides propulsion on electricity alone with the engine off and assists the engine when needed.
Control of the two electric motors must be coordinated to achieve regenerative
braking and battery state-of-charge targets. Motor sizing and controls must be
coordinated with the engine to balance torques. The continuously variable ratio
allows the engine operating point to be matched to vehicle conditions.
A variation of the powersplit transmission is the two-mode system developed by
GM, Chrysler, and BMW. This system allows power to be split both before and

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18|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 2

Figure 2.3 Input powersplit system diagram.


(Courtesy of Toyota Motor Co.)

after the transmission. This allows multiple direct mechanical paths, resulting in
higher efficiency during highway driving. The electric motors can also be smaller.
However, the system requires additional clutches to switch between input- and
compound-split operating modes, resulting in additional complexity and cost.

4. Grid-Connected Hybrid
Hybrid designs can be further divided based on whether or not the vehicle has
plug-in capacity. If the energy storage device can be recharged from the electric
power grid while the vehicle is parked, this is commonly referred to as a gridconnected or plug-in hybrid. The advantage of a grid-connected system is that
it allows significant driving range in all-electric mode without turning on the
engine. The engine is used primarily to extend vehicle range if the energy storage
device becomes depleted and to provide additional power under high-load conditions. The grid-connected feature can be added to either parallel or series hybrids.

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 2|19

Grid-connected hybrids have many of the features of a pure electric vehicle. They
have some amount of zero-emissions vehicle operation, plus much of the propulsion
energy can be generated by electric powerplants that do not use fossil fuels. They also
have most of the problems of a pure electric vehiclein particular, long recharge
times and the need for a large, heavy, and expensive energy storage device. The need
to deep discharge the energy storage device on a continuous basis also may reduce
the life of the energy storage, leading to very expensive replacements. Recent developments in Li-ion batteries have helped reduce these problems. The first niche market plug-in hybrid vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt, was introduced in late 2010, although
plug-in hybrids still face substantial cost and market barriers for the mass market.

5. Through-the-Road Parallel Hybrid


The simplest way to arrange a parallel hybrid is to mount the electric motor in line
with the engine using clutches, as previously illustrated. An interesting alternative
is to power one set of wheels (either front or rear) with the conventional engine,
and the other set of wheels with an electric motor or motors. A single electric
motor can drive both wheels on an axle using driveshafts, or two electric motors
can be used, one mounted at each wheel. This system is referred to as a throughthe-road parallel hybrid because the two power sources are run in parallel by
independently driving different wheels.
The primary advantage of this system is that it adds part-time all-wheel-drive
(AWD) capability. It also allows more flexibility in the mounting location of the
electric motor. However, the system adds considerable complexity and cost. In
addition, the AWD capability is limited to the energy in the battery pack and cannot be maintained indefinitely.
Many vehicle customers highly value AWD capability. Although the part-time
nature of the through-the-road hybrid system may reduce the value somewhat,
many customers would likely be willing to pay an additional $1,000 or so. This
value currently is less than the additional complexity and cost of the through-theroad design. However, with additional development and higher sales volumes,
this may become a key hybrid feature, especially for sport utility vehicles (SUVs).
Toyota was the first company to test market acceptance in the United States of
through-the-road systems on the 2005 Lexus RX330.

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|21

Chapter Three

Hybrid Components
The electric motor is used frequently, both for acceleration and regenerative braking. Thus, efficiency and high torque throughout the hybrid system are important
attributes. Another design variable is the voltage of the hybrid system. High-motor
power capacities are best met at higher voltage, which improves efficiency and
reduces amperage and wire size. The operating voltage can affect the choice of battery and the type of power electronics, which has cost implications.

Electric Motors
There are two basic types of electric motors. One type is an induction alternating current (AC) motor. This design uses part of the electric current to generate
the magnetic field, within which the motor windings turn. The second design is a
permanent magnet direct current (DC) motor. This type of motor generally uses
three-phase windings and switching modules to sequentially control the flow of
electricity to each phase.
The AC design is simpler and cheaper than the DC design. Direct current (DC)
motors are more expensive primarily because of the cost of the permanent magnet. The most efficient DC motors use magnets sintered with rare earth metals,

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22|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 3

such as neodymium and dysprosium. The lower cost of the AC design may be
the deciding factor for low-power systems, such as simple idle-off systems with
integrated starter/generators or systems that provide assist only during the initial
vehicle launch from a stop. However, brushless DC (BLDC) permanent magnet
motors are more efficient, more compact, and lower in weight. For any hybrid
system that routinely uses the motor to assist on acceleration or to recapture large
amounts of regenerative braking energy, the benefits of the BLDC motor usually
are worth the additional cost.
The electric motor in general is a mature technology. However, integration into a
hybrid-electric vehicle poses some unique packaging challenges. For example, if
the electric motor is located between the flywheel and the transmission clutch, it
is important to make the motor as thin as possible to minimize increases in powertrain length. This is especially important for transverse-mounted front-wheeldrive applications, in which there is limited distance between the wheels (Figure
3.1). The first hybrid-electric vehicles paid an additional premium to cover the
development and tooling costs for these unique electric motor designs. These costs
can be expected to come down in the future as production volumes increase.
Substantial improvements have been made in hybrid-electric motors over the last
decade. For example, the electric motor in Hondas first hybrid, the 2000 Insight,
was 60-mm (2.36 in) thick and produced 10 kW. For the 2003 Civic Hybrid,
Honda used asymmetric windings to increase torque by 30%. The 2005 Accord
Hybrid used an internal magnet and resolver pickup and divided the magnet in
two to reduce eddy current flow. The 2006 Civic Hybrid replaced the round wire
windings with flat coil wire and improved the performance of the permanent
magnet. The net result of these changes was to increase the power output from 10
to 15 kW and improve overall motor efficiency by about 3%, with no increase in
motor width.6,7
Further improvements are expected in hybrid-electric motors in the future. Due
to the need for substantial cost reductions in all parts of the hybrid system, these
improvements will likely be directed primarily at reducing costs, rather than further improvements in efficiency.

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 3|23

Figure 3.1 Thin electric motor designed to fit between the engine and
transmission on the Honda Civic Hybrid.
(Courtesy of Honda Motor Co.)

Energy Storage
Unless significant all-electric range is desired, energy requirements for hybridelectric vehicles are relatively modest compared to the power requirements. Electrical energy is used primarily for acceleration and regenerative braking, which
demand a large amount of power (kW) but are short and do not need a large
amount of energy (kWh). Most applications also add electric-only operation during low-speed, low-load conditions. Due to the high cost of energy storage, it is
more cost effective to use the engine to power the vehicle at higher loads than to
further increase the amount of energy storage.
Power requirements for the hybrid system are substantial. To provide significant
engine downsizing or improved performance, the electric motor must provide at
least a 50% torque boost at low engine speeds. Although the electric motor can

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24|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 3

be biased to provide its maximum power at relatively low engine speeds, this still
requires an electric motor that has at least 15% of the power output of the engine.
Even for a small car with little electric-only operation, the electric motor must be
at least 10 kW (about 13 hp). The electric motor power requirements scale up with
vehicle size, the use of electric-only operation, the maximum regenerative braking
capture rate, and the amount of desired engine downsizing or increased performance. The energy storage device in a hybrid vehicle must be able to provide the
high power demanded by the electric motor during acceleration and recapture
large amounts of energy during brief braking events.
Battery packs are the primary type of energy storage for hybrid electric vehicles.
Currently, the only reasonable alternative is the ultracapacitor. Batteries developed for electric vehicles in the 1990s were optimized for energy storage in order
to maximize all-electric vehicle range. These batteries are not suitable for hybrid
vehicles, which require much higher power density. Battery packs for hybrid
vehicles must be sized to deliver sufficient power without overheating. Batteries that cannot be designed to provide optimal amounts of power result in more
energy storage than is needed for normal driving conditions and increased cost
and weight of the battery pack.
Ultracapacitors are higher-power versions of electrolytic capacitors that store
energy as an electrostatic charge. They excel at rapid transfer of power and offer
the potential for better durability and lower cooling requirements compared
to batteries. They are ideal for assisting acceleration and recapturing regenerative braking energy. Unfortunately, they have very low energy density. Although
ultracapacitors provide enough energy for most acceleration and regenerative
braking events, they can run out of energy on hills or when the vehicle is heavily
loaded. Manufacturers generally have not considered their use for hybrid vehicles
and the higher power capacity of Li-ion batteries will make it harder for ultracapacitors to compete.

1. Lead-Acid Batteries
The only advantage of lead-acid batteries is low cost. Advanced lead-acid batteries with higher power, such as the valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) battery,
are being developed. However, even VRLA batteries have low-power density and

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 3|25

short cycle life compared to NiMH and Li-ion batteries. The low-power density
means a larger battery pack, which increases the weight of the system and requires
space for it, degrading performance and utility of the vehicle. The short cycle life
is an even larger concern because the need for periodic replacement of the battery
pack raises the effective cost of the system. It is uncertain how customers will react
to the cost and hassle of periodically replacing the battery pack.
Due to their low cost, lead-acid batteries will likely be used in some low-power,
hybrid-vehicle applications that do not need much energy storage, such as simple
idle-off systems. However, they are not feasible for hybrid systems with significant
amounts of motor assist and regenerative braking.

2. Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) Batteries


Nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries have higher power and energy densities
and a much longer life cycle than lead-acid batteries. They also demonstrate very
high abuse tolerance and other safety characteristics, and their power output is
not affected by the battery state of charge. However, NiMH batteries are much
more expensive than lead-acid batteries. Other concerns are high self-discharge
rates, low-temperature operation, and higher cooling requirements. Nickel-metal
hydride batteries are much better suited for hybrid systems and were the battery of
choice for every hybrid introduced prior to 2010 in the U.S.
NiMH batteries have proven to be exceptionally reliable in vehicle applications.
Relatively few hybrid vehicles have needed battery replacement. This exceptional
reliability has been a major factor in increasing market acceptance of hybrid vehicles. The proven and excellent track record, combined with larger than anticipated
cost reductions, continues to make NiMH the battery of choice for all higher volume hybrid vehicles, including all hybrids from Toyota, Honda, and Ford. Li-ion
is being introduced on a wide variety of new hybrid models, but most of these
applications are on low volume models. This minimizes the risk to manufacturers
should the reliability or safety of these new chemistries not meet expectations.
NiMH battery cost has dropped to lower levels than projected five years ago.
However, the raw materials, especially nickel, are expensive and limit further cost
reductions. Given the many advantages of the Li-ion battery (discussed in the next

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26|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 3

section), NiMH will gradually be replaced by Li-ion chemistries that build good
in-use track records for reliability and safety. The highest volume hybrid models
will be the last to make the switch to Li-ion, sometime in the 2016 timeframe.

3. Lithium-Ion Batteries
Lithium-ion batteries have higher energy and power densities than NiMH batteries and their raw materials are cheaper. They also have better charging and discharging efficiency, better low-temperature performance, and a low self-discharge
rate. However, the reliability, durability, and abuse tolerance of consumer-grade
Li-ion chemistries, the most prevalent of which is lithium-cobalt oxide (LCO), are
inadequate for vehicle use. Many new automotive-grade Li-ion chemistries have
been developed in the last decade that promise to address these concerns. However, there is little experience in the real world with these new chemistries and
their current cost is higher than NiMH batteries.
It is important to understand that, unlike NiMH batteries that have a consistent
chemistry, Li-ion refers to a family of chemistries. There are a virtually infinite
variety of anode, cathode, and electrolyte chemistries used in Li-ion batteries.
Each has unique properties and advantages and disadvantages. Further, Li-ion
batteries can be designed to enhance power capacity or energy capacity. For example, the electrodes of lithium-ion batteries are coated on metal foil. Thick coatings
result in larger amounts of electrode materials and high specific energy. Thin coatings increase specific power due to higher electrode surface area per unit volume.
HEV batteries need high power-to-energy ratio and use thin electrode coatings,
whereas PHEV batteries need higher energy capacity and have thicker electrodes.
Manufacturers are faced with multiple design options and relatively little in-use
data to validate the effectiveness of the different choices.
In addition to the various chemistry options, there are important choices in cell
production. Windings can be spiral or elliptical. The windings can be packed in
cylindrical or prismatic metal cans, or in a soft-pouch laminate package. Some
manufacturers, such as Hyundai, refer to the laminated pouch design as Lipolymer to try to differentiate it from other Li-ion batteries, but it is still a Li-ion
chemistry. Cylindrical cells are always spirally wound, prismatic metal cans use
spiral or elliptical windings, and soft-pouch windings can be cylindrical, folded, or

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 3|27

stacked prismatically. Each design option has advantages and downsides. The soft
pouch is attractive, as it is easier to cool due to its larger surface area and is less
expensive to manufacture, but the design has little tolerance for outgassing and
the seal may not be as durable.
Table 3.1 provides a summary of some of the more prominent Li-ion cell designs
on the market or being developed for near-term deployment. Although the list
is far from exhaustive, it illustrates the rapid development of automotive-grade
chemistries, the different approaches taken by different companies, and the fierce
competition for market share.
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) published a very informative report on Liion batteries in 2010.8 The findings and projections in the report are not necessarily any better or any worse than other battery reports, but the level of detail and
transparency included in the analyses is unusual and very helpful. Figure 3.2 presents BCGs assessment of the tradeoffs between the five most prominent battery

Table 3.1
Properties and developers of near-term Li-ion battery cells.

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28|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 3

chemistries at the cell level. These are not all of the chemistries currently under
development, just the ones the BCG considers to be the most prevalent. The Performance criterion refers to the ability of the battery to function at cold and hot
temperature extremes; the other criteria are self-explanatory.
Each chemistry has advantages and disadvantages and none has a clear overall advantage over the others. In addition, all of the chemistries are relatively
unproven in the real world, so the evaluations are somewhat uncertain. This is
especially true for life span. While all five of these automotive grade chemistries
have demonstrated acceptable cycle life (the ability to be charged and discharged
enough times for the typical miles driven over the vehicle life), accelerated evaluation of how batteries age over time is much more difficult. High-ambient temperatures accelerate the aging effects and degrade Li-ion batteries even when the

Figure 3.2 Advantages and disadvantages of different


Li-ion cell chemistry.
(Reproduced with permission from The Boston Consulting Group, Batteries for E-cars report 2010.)

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 3|29

car is not in use, some chemistries more than others. For example, the National
Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) projected that NCA chemistry exposed
to a typical metrological year in Phoenix would experience about a 40% loss in
energy capacity in 10 years, without being used.9 This is likely less of a concern for
conventional hybrids, as hybrid applications use a relatively small depth-of-discharge and substantial degradation can be tolerated. Energy storage degradation is
a much larger concern for PHEVs, as a large depth-of-discharge is generally used
to minimize the size of the battery pack and battery deterioration directly reduces
all-electric range.
It is also difficult to evaluate many potential safety effects under laboratory conditions. These uncertainties mean that the optimum solution is far from clear. There
will be an interesting shaking out period as different manufacturers evaluate different chemistries on their initial Li-ion battery offerings.
Specific power, life span, and safety are the most important characteristics for
conventional hybrid vehicles, with cost an additional consideration. According to
the BCG, NCA has the highest specific power and is likely to have good life span,
but it is the worst chemistry for safety and its cost is also higher than most chemistries. The other chemistries all have good specific power and safety, so the choice
may fall to those that are best on life span and cost, such as LFP and NMC.
Specific energy, cost, and performance are much more important for PHEVs
than for hybrids due to the much larger battery pack needed to support extended
operation on electricity alone, and specific power is less important. Thus, all the
criteria except specific power are important for PHEVs, making the tradeoffs and
choices even more difficult. The low specific energy and high cost of LTO likely
makes it unsuitable for PHEV use, but the other chemistries are all possible candidates, depending on manufacturer philosophy and pack design.
Battery pack and cooling system design are other important parameters that
can have significant impacts on performance, life span, and cost. These can be
designed to mitigate undesirable cell chemistry characteristics, or a cell chemistry with excellent life span and abuse tolerance can use a less expensive pack and
cooling system to reduce cost.

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30|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 3

There is growing interest and research activity addressing the drawbacks of current
Li-ion cell chemistry and production design. New Li-ion cell chemistries in the lab
show promise for improving performance, although these new designs are not likely
to see production much before 2020. Manufacturers will not settle on stable Li-ion
battery chemistry and cell designs for a long time, perhaps decades, and the ultimate
solutions for HEV and PHEV battery packs will almost certainly be different.

Power Electronics
DC motors generally use three-phase motor windings. Three switching modules
are needed to control current flow to the proper windings as the motor turns.
These switches must be able to rapidly and accurately turn large amounts of current on and off, as well as controlling the direction and phase of the current. This
operation produces a substantial amount of heat; thus, the power control unit
must be cooled to keep the heat from affecting the electronics. The size and cost of
the power electronics are substantial, due to the high power demands of the system and the need for cooling.
As with all electronics, major improvements have been made in the power electronics for hybrid vehicles. Inverters, condensers, and heat sinks have been integrated into the power electronics and cooling system (Figure 3.3). Efficiency has
been improved and the amount of heat generated and the size and weight have all
been reduced. Improvement should continue steadily in the future, continuously
improving performance and reducing cost. Higher-temperature components are
being developed that require less cooling, which should further improve performance and reduce cooling costs and packaging problems.

Cooling Systems
Both the battery pack and the power electronics must be cooled. Charging and
discharging a battery involves chemical reactions that generate heat as a byproduct. High battery temperatures degrade performance and shorten battery life.
Power electronics generate a significant amount of heat and do not function properly if they become too hot. Efficient cooling systems are needed for both. Significant improvements have already been made to minimize the size and weight of the
cooling system, including combining the battery pack and power electronics into a
single unit. Further improvements are expected in the future.

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 3|31

Figure 3.3 Power electronics and integrated cooling system on the


Honda Insight.
(Courtesy of Honda Motor Co.)

Cooling system design is especially important for Li-ion chemistries. A highcapacity cooling system with a liquid or an air-conditioning loop could help compensate for Li-ion chemistries with relatively poor life span. Conversely, a Li-ion
chemistry with excellent life span may only need a simple, cheaper air-cooling
system.
As discussed, above, a significant problem for PHEVs is that Li-ion batteries may
degrade due to exposure to high-ambient temperatures even while parked. One
possible way to help address this problem is to actively cool the battery pack when
the vehicle is plugged in, using electricity from the grid. This concept is currently
in the development phase. NREL estimated that limiting the peak temp to 20C
(68F) reduced the 15-year loss in Phoenix from 45% to 30%.9 Unanswered questions include how often PHEVs would be plugged in during the hottest parts of
the day, the amount of electricity it would take to keep the battery cool, and how
this would affect the overall operating costs.
Cooling system design is an important factor in the overall cost and effectiveness
of various Li-ion chemistries at the battery pack level.

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|33

Chapter Four

Hybrid Design Constraints


The design of hybrid systems is an exercise in tradeoffs. There are a variety of ways
to improve fuel efficiency in a hybrid vehicle, such as idle-off, regenerative braking, engine downsizing, motor-only operation, engine optimization, and off-board
recharging. Except for idle-off, each of these features can be used to different levels.
The primary consideration is the tradeoff between engine operation and the
amount of energy storage. Larger electric motors and battery packs allow more
acceleration assist and more engine downsizing, recapture more regenerative
braking energy, and enables additional all-electric operation to replace the most
inefficient engine operation modes. Very large battery packs and motors allow offboard recharging from the electric grid. However, as noted previously, substantial
fuel economy improvements are available with a relatively small amount of energy
storage. Increasing motor and energy storage beyond this point yields diminishing
fuel-economy benefits. Because battery packs are expensive and their additional
weight affects performance, it is more difficult to build a competitive vehicle with
a large battery pack.
Due to the high cost of storing electric energy, the internal-combustion engine
will continue to be the primary source of power for light-duty hybrids. This is

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34|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 4

reflected in the hybrid designs that have been implemented by different manufacturers, which all share the basic design of a parallel hybrid system that uses electric
motors primarily to provide assist on acceleration and to recapture regenerative
braking energy. Motor-only operation at low-load conditions is common, but the
efficiency gains are limited by the size and cost of the battery pack.
Even within the design limitations imposed by the cost and weight of the battery
pack, a multitude of options and tradeoffs can be considered when designing a
hybrid system. How much regenerative braking is desired? What is the desired tradeoff between fuel economy and performance? Should the engine be downsized, and,
if so, how much? Is there a smaller engine that will fit the desired application? How
should the electric motor be packaged? How big of a motor should be used? Where
should the batteries go, and is there room for them? How much does the additional
weight affect performance, and how can this be minimized? Should the system offer
more features, maximize FE benefits, or minimize cost? There really is no right or
wrong solution; the result simply reflects the manufacturers individual goals.
The most basic hybrid system is the belt-driven alternator-starter (BAS). This
design simply replaces the conventional starter and alternator with a higher-power
BAS electric motor on a conventional vehicle. The BAS is capable of restarting the
engine rapidly, allowing the engine to be turned off when the vehicle is stopped.
The starter generator motor can be mounted on the driveshaft or it can be connected with a belt. Most BAS systems under development use a 42V lead-acid battery pack, although 12V systems also are being evaluated and GM is launching an
115V system in 2012. The systems include some regenerative braking to recharge
the battery pack, but the amount is often limited to the energy used to restart the
engine and help with accessory electrical loads. Some systems can provide some
boost for initial acceleration from a stop, but they usually do not assist acceleration most of the time. These systems are relatively inexpensive and can provide
some additional power for accessories, but the fuel economy improvement generally is only 5 to 15%. 12V BAS systems generally are not classified as hybrid vehicles because of their limited amount of assist and regenerative braking.
The next step is to use a larger, full-function electric motor and a high-voltage,
high-power battery pack. This significantly increases the cost of the system, but it

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 4|35

enables large amounts of regenerative braking, engine downsizing, and integration


of the engine and motor functions. Depending on the sophistication of the system
and the amount of engine downsizing, fuel economy improvements can range
from approximately 20 to 40%.
The next step in design sophistication is to add motor-only operation. These systems use the electric motor to propel the vehicle at low speeds and loads, eliminating engine operation in its most inefficient modes. However, as explained, above,
there is little efficiency benefit from motor-only operation above 15 to 20 mph
(24.1 to 32.2 km/h). Even below 15 to 20 mph (24.1 to 32.2 km/h), the engine
must be used for harder accelerations; therefore, the efficiency benefits are primarily in congested, low-speed urban driving. Large amounts of motor-only operation
require larger battery packs, driving up cost and weight. Motor-only operation at
low speeds achieves some efficiency improvement at reasonable cost, but the overall fuel economy impact under typical U.S. driving conditions is modest.
All of Hondas hybrids use their integrated motor assist (IMA) system, which is a
parallel hybrid design with the motor bolted directly to the engine. This reduces
cost and packaging constraints, but it limits the available motor-only operation and
regenerative braking due to engine friction losses. Installing a second clutch between
the engine and the motor can eliminate this problem. The second clutch introduces
some additional complexity, cost, and packaging constraints, but it makes larger
motors more practical, increases regenerative braking energy, and greatly improves
the efficiency of motor-only operation. Another issue for a two-clutch parallel system
is engine restart. As the engine is not turning when it is off, it must be brought up to
speed when engine operation is desired. This requires bump starting the engine
with the electric motor or starting the engine with a second motor. The first method
has drivability issues and the second adds additional cost.
The input powersplit system, such as used by Toyota and Ford, is able to provide
all of the desired efficiency features while minimizing drivability and packaging issues. In addition, the system allows unequaled control of engine operation,
maximizing engine efficiency especially in city driving. The downside is that the
system is relatively complicated and somewhat heavy, requiring a powersplit
device and an extra motor/generator and inverter. The propulsion motor must also

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36|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 4

be sized to handle the combined output from the generator and the battery pack
to avoid loss of maximum performance, resulting in a much larger motor and
power electronics. There are also inefficiencies during highway driving, as part of
the power from the engine must always be converted to electricity in the generator
and back to mechanical propulsion in the propulsion motor.
The relative benefits of each type of conventional hybrid system are summarized
in Figure 4.1. Each step provides more benefits, but also has higher complexity
and cost. All of these systems have been put into production someplace in the
U.S., Europe, and Japan, illustrating the difficulty in assessing the relative cost
effectiveness of each system.

Figure 4.1 Increasing benefits and cost with each step in hybrid design.

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|37

Chapter Five

Plug-In Hybrid Design


and Challenges
The final step in hybridization extends the motor-only range by allowing the
battery to be recharged from the electric grid. The original rationale for gridconnected hybrids was that they were seen as a way to extend the range of a BEV,
while relying mainly on the grid for recharging. The value of such vehicles was
related to their potential for offering urban operation with no combustion emissions at the vehicle. However, the net value of electric-only driving range diminished around 2000 as ultra-clean gasoline engines (with or without electric hybrid
drive) become available through the use of advanced catalytic converters and precise combustion controls.
The oil price spike in 2008, rising concerns about energy security and global
warming, and the emergence of improved Li-ion batteries have revived interest
in PHEVs. Unlike conventional hybrids, motor-only operation results in direct
petroleum savings, and the cost of recharging off the grid in most parts of the
country is only about $1 per equivalent gasoline gallon. The Greenhouse gas
(GHG) benefits are lower than the petroleum benefits, as GHG emissions are

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38|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 5

Common terms applied to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs)


Charge-Depleting Mode: The battery pack is continuously depleted to provide
propulsion and accessory energy for the vehicle. It can either provide all the
energy or the engine can assist as needed for acceleration. PHEVs run in chargedepleting mode until the battery pack reaches its minimum allowed state of
charge and the vehicle enters the charge-sustaining mode.
Blended Operation: If the engine assists with acceleration during charge-depleting mode, this is often referred to as blended operation.
Charge-Sustaining Mode: The PHEV operates similar to a conventional hybrid,
with the engine as the power source for propulsion and the battery pack has
no net-energy discharge. This occurs after the battery pack has reached its minimum allowed state of charge.
Charge-Depleting Range: The distance the vehicle operates in Charge-Depleting
Mode, starting with a full charge. Note that this is highly dependent on operating conditions. Vehicle speed, acceleration, ambient temperature, road grade,
wind, and trip length can all have significant impacts on the range. The range
is usually determined with respect to the EPA city and highway test cycles
although these test results need to be discounted to reflect real-world range.
All-Electric Range (AER): The distance a PHEV can be driven in all-electric mode.
For PHEVs that use blended operation this is usually a calculated number based
upon the charge-depleting range and the proportion of energy supplied by the
battery pack and the engine during charge-depleting mode. Similar to chargedepleting range, actual AER is highly dependent on operating conditions. AER
is frequently expressed as the range on the EPA city test cycle, but needs to be
discounted to reflect real-world range.
Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV): A marketing term for a series-hybrid. It
was invented by GM for the Chevrolet Volt to try to separate it from other PHEVs
in the market.

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 5|39

Utility Factor: The relationship between range and the proportion of in-use driving that is covered by this range. Utility factors are used to weigh the fuel and
electricity consumption in charge-sustaining mode with charge-depleting mode
when calculating overall fuel consumption. SAE published J2841, Utility Factor
Definitions for Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles Using Travel Survey Data, in 2010, to
address this issue.10
Depth-of-discharge: The ratio of the amount of energy storage actually used to
the nominal amount of energy storage. For example, if a battery pack is rated at
20 kWh, but only 12 kWh is actually used, then the battery pack has a 60% depth
of discharge (12 kW/20 kW).

c reated during the generation of electricity for the grid, but they can also be significant if the electricity grid is clean. However, even with improved Li-ion batteries,
the cost and weight of the battery pack are substantial, leading to important design
considerations.
PHEVs avoid most of the design tradeoffs faced by manufacturers of conventional
hybrids, as a large battery pack is required for significant AER. Thus, PHEVs automatically include all of the features discussed in the last chapter and summarized
in Figure 4.1. However, PHEVs face new, important tradeoffs on the amount of
AER and operating strategy.
The primary trade-off is how far the vehicle can travel on the electricity from the
battery pack, commonly referred to as AER. Longer AER reduces petroleum consumption and operating costs, but requires proportionally larger energy storage
capacity. Batteries are expensive and the additional weight negatively affects performance and interior space.
Another important consideration is the amount of engine operation while the
vehicle is operating in charge-depleting mode. Electric motors sized to meet maximum vehicle power demands must be far larger than if they are sized for normal
vehicle operation. Motor and inverter cost and size are largely proportional to the

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40|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 5

maximum power output of the motor, thus using blended operation and turning on the engine to cover infrequent high-acceleration events will dramatically
reduce the size, weight, and cost of the motor and inverter. Battery costs are also
affected. As discussed in Chapter 9, Li-ion batteries optimized for energy storage
cost less per kWh. A large motor may exceed the power capacity of Li-ion batteries optimized for energy storage, requiring a shift to more expensive batteries with
higher power output.
Sizing the motor, power electronics, and battery-power capacity to meet maximum-power demands avoids all use of petroleum up to the amount of daily driving set by the AER. It also enables the use of a series hybrid with a smaller engine
optimized for maximum efficiency, if desired. However, the additional petroleum
and operating-cost savings are relatively small, as high-load events are infrequent
and the engine efficiency advantages of the series hybrid will diminish in the future
as all engines are redesigned to be more efficient under all operating conditions.
Another consideration is the battery pack depth of discharge (DOD). Batteries deteriorate more rapidly at very high and very low state of charge, so avoiding these regions increases battery life. Also, the battery must be able to provide
propulsion energy under all conditions. This constant power demand places an
increasing burden on the battery as the battery state of charge drops. In order to
avoid accelerated battery deterioration, either higher-cost, high-power batteries
must be used or the DOD must be limited further at low state of charge. The trade
off is that limiting DOD directly increases the required size, weight, and cost of
the battery pack. Manufacturers must balance these impacts when establishing
battery operation controls. This is especially difficult in the near term, as realworld experience with Li-ion battery deterioration is extremely limited.
A related consideration is battery capacity as the battery ages. The AER will gradually diminish as the battery ages. The manufacturer must balance the risk of customer unhappiness with the loss of range as the battery ages, as well as the cost of
installing additional battery capacity.
Yet another related consideration is real-world range. This is especially important
at low-ambient temperatures when heat is required to warm up the passenger

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 5|41

cabin. Internal-combustion engines use waste heat from the engine to warm up
the passenger cabin. No additional energy is needed to supply this heat, beyond
that consumed by the circulating fan, as this is just waste heat that would normally
be lost to the cooling system. PHEV manufacturers have the choice of using the
battery to supply cabin heat, greatly reducing the range before the engine must be
turned on, or turning the engine on immediately at cold temperatures to provide
cabin heat. Customers who likely purchased a PHEV for the sole reason of avoiding petroleum use are likely to complain in either case.
A lesser but still potentially
important consideration is battery recharge time. According to
GM, the 2011 Volt with 8-9 kWh
of useable battery capacity can be
recharged in about 10 hours on
110V. A 10-hour recharge time is
likely acceptable to most customers, but perhaps not all. In addition,
GM said that recharging above 95F
(35C) or below 25F (4C) significantly increases charging time.11
GM offers a 240V charger that can
recharge the battery in about four
hours, as shown in Figure 5.1. GM
recommends owners install the 240v
charger if the battery is recharged
frequently above 95F (35C) or
below 25F (4C). The cost of the
charger is $490, plus installation.
According to a GM press release,
Installation of the Voltec 240V
charging unit is estimated at $1475
but can vary based upon electrical
requirements.12

Figure 5.1 240V charger offered by


GM for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt.
(General Motors Corp. Used with Permission of
GM Media Archive.)

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42|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 5

PHEV Fuel and Electricity Consumption


It is very difficult to measure PHEV fuel and electricity consumption. As a minimum, the following factors must be determined to calculate overall consumption:
1. Fuel and electricity consumption during charge-depleting mode;
2. Fuel consumption during charge-sustaining mode;
3. Charge-depleting range;
4. Relationship between charge-depleting range and the proportion of overall,
in-use vehicle operation, or utility factor.
SAE published utility factors for PHEVs in 201010, but the other three factors must
be measured. All three of these factors are dependent on the test cycle and
ambient conditions. The calculation is further complicated if the vehicle control
strategy changes as the battery state-of-charge diminishes instead of transitioning directly from the charge-depleting mode to the charge-sustaining mode at
a set battery state-of-charge. SAE has been developing PHEV test procedures
for several years and a new SAE procedure, J1711, should be in place by 2011 to
establish procedures for measuring these factors.
There are additional issues with real-world fuel consumption, which J1711 does
not address. The EPAs existing procedures for adjusting the consumption on the
city and highway test cycles to reflect real-world operating conditions do not
apply to PHEV and electric vehicles. Thus, the charge-depleting range and AER
calculations are currently based on the unadjusted test results. Based upon existing adjustments developed by the EPA for conventional vehicles and hybrids, the
test results are likely overstated by about 40%, i.e., the real-world range is likely
about 70% (1/1.4) of the range determined from the test results.
EPA and NHTSA issued a proposed rule on September 23, 2010 that included
proposed real-world adjustments for PHEV and electric-vehicle fuel consumption
and range.13 The final rule is expected in late 2011, but it will not apply to 2011
and possibly 2012 PHEVs and electricity vehicles.

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|43

Chapter Six

Real-World Examples
The first modern hybrid vehicles were introduced in the U.S. 10 years ago. Hybrid
technology has improved, and a variety of vehicles have been introduced over the
last decade. The first commercial PHEV, the Volt, was introduced in late 2010.
These vehicles help to illustrate how engineers handle the design tradeoffs in the
real world and how they can be creative about applying hybrid concepts to actual
vehicles.
Rather than choose between series and parallel systems, Toyota developed the
first application of the input powersplit hybrid system that combines some of the
advantages of both.14 As discussed, above, the input powersplit system offers great
flexibility in engine operation and calibration, especially in city driving. The system also acts as a continuously variable transmission (CVT), eliminating the need
for a conventional transmission.
The first Prius (Figure 6.1), introduced in the U.S. in 2000 as a 2001 model, used
a NiMH battery pack rated at 288V and approximately 2 kWh of storage capacity. The electric motor was rated at 33 kW, allowing limited operation on only the
electric motor at light loads and speeds less than about 15 mph. The Prius also
used an Atkinson cycle engine for maximum efficiency. The overall design excels

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44|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 6

at low-speed fuel efficiency. This was reflected in the fuel economy ratings, where
the city rating of 52 mpg was higher than the highway rating of 45 mpg for the
2001 model. Under the new fuel economy labeling adjustments introduced by
EPA in 2008, the 2001 Prius would have been rated at 42 city and 41 highway.
The Prius has been redesigned twice since 2001 and the 2010 model Prius is larger,
more fuel efficient, and more powerful. It still uses the input powersplit system
and an Atkinson cycle engine, but the engine displacement has increased from 1.5
L to 1.8 L and the drive motor from 33 kW to 60 kW. The battery pack has maintained a relatively constant power output of about 28 kW while reducing the number of cells, the voltage from 288V to 202V, and the energy storage from 2 kWh to
1.3 kWh. Despite the additional power, the larger vehicle, and the smaller battery
pack, fuel economy has increased dramatically from 42 city and 41 highway to 51
city and 48 highway. Drivability has also improved, in part due to the introduction
of an electronically controlled braking system (ECB) for the 2003 model that controls the coordination between the conventional hydraulic friction brakes and the
regenerative braking system.
Honda developed an electric motor assist system that locates a high-torque, highefficiency brushless DC motor between the engine and the transmission,15 which
Honda calls integrated motor assist (IMA). The IMA system (Figure 6.3) has been
used on all Honda hybrids, starting with the 2000 model Insight (Figure 6.2) and
the 2003 model Civic Hybrid. This motor is only 60 mm (2.4 in.) thick and is connected directly to the crankshaft of the engine (Figure 6.4). This is a simple method
to package a parallel hybrid system and minimizes the weight increase and cost.
The 144V NiMH battery pack used in the 2000 Insight was about half the size and
weight of the battery pack in the 2001 model Prius. It was rated at approximately
1.0 kWh of storage. The electric motor generated 10 kW. With a much smaller battery pack and electric motor as compared to the Prius, the Insight reduced costs
while providing much of the benefits of the input powersplit system. The 2006
Civic Hybrid used a 15-kW motor that is the same size as the original Insight
motor. The battery pack in the new 2010 Insight has been reduced in size and
energy capacity from 1.0 kWh to 0.58 kWh while maintaining the same 10-kW
power output of the 2000 Insight.

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 6|45

Figure 6.1 The Toyota Prius.


(Courtesy of Toyota Motor Co.)

Figure 6.2 The Honda Insight.


(Courtesy of Honda Motor Co.)

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46|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 6

Figure 6.3 The hybrid system layout for the Honda Insight
and the Civic Hybrid.
(Courtesy of Honda Motor Co.)

As the engine cannot be decoupled from the electric motor in the Honda hybrids,
the 2003 model Civic Hybrid introduced an innovative cylinder-idling system to
increase the amount of power available for regenerative braking. The cylinderidling system deactivates valves on three of the four cylinders during deceleration,
cutting engine friction by 50% and allowing more power to be recaptured by the
electric motor.
Many other hybrid models have been marketed since the Insight, Prius, and Civic
Hybrid were introduced. Table 6.1 presents a summary of these models through
the 2010 model year.

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 6|47

Figure 6.4 Electric motor placement on the Honda Civic Hybrid.


(Courtesy of Honda Motor Co.)

All of Hondas hybrids use the parallel 1-clutch hybrid system used in the Insight
and the Civic Hybrid. The Mercedes S400 uses a similar system, although developed independently. The S400, introduced in 2010, is also the first hybrid to use a
Li-ion battery pack in the U.S.
All of Toyotas hybrids use the input powersplit system used in the Prius. The Ford
and Nissan hybrids also use the input powersplit system. The Nissan Altima uses
the Toyota system under license from Toyota, while Ford developed its input powersplit system independently. The 2010 Ford Fusion hybrid was a major improvement in refinement, delivering better city fuel economy and better drivability than
the Toyota Camry hybrid.
The Mercedes ML450 uses a unique 2-motor design. Instead of using a powersplit
system, the ML450 has an 80-hp motor on the transmission output shaft dedicated

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48|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 6

to driving under electric power and an 83-hp motor closer to the engine is set up
specifically for acceleration.16
GM was the only manufacturer to introduce 42V hybrid systems in the U.S. The
2004-7 Silverado/Sierra hybrid was a parallel 1-clutch system similar to Hondas,
but used three 12V lead-acid batteries instead of the much higher capacity NiMH
battery pack used by Honda. The Vue/Aura/Malibu hybrids used a 42V BAS system. While the latter is still in production, neither system sold well.
GM also collaborated with Chrysler and BMW on a 2-mode powersplit hybrid
system. GM introduced this on the 2008 Silverado/Sierra pickups and it was also
used on the Yukon/Tahoe/Escalade SUVs, the Chrysler Aspen/Durango SUVs (for
a single model year), and the BMW ActiveHybrid X6.
Toyotas decade-long commitment to hybrid vehicles is clearly seen in the 2009
calendar year sales. The Prius alone captured 48% of all hybrid sales. The rest of
Toyotas hybrids had 55,863 sales, still 57% higher than the total sales of Hondas
hybrids (35,691). Fords hybrid sales were close behind Hondas, with GM a distant
4th at 16,136 sales. Note that the Mercedes and BMW hybrids were not introduced
until the 2010 calendar year, so they had no sales in 2009.

Electrical Accessories
The first hybrids from Honda and Toyota carried over most of the conventional
mechanical pumps to reduce development time. Current hybrids have taken
advantage of the hybrid motors high efficiency and power output to replace most,
if not all, of the mechanical pumps with computer-controlled electric pumps.
Using electric motors instead of mechanical pumps offers significant improvement
in the efficiency of accessory drives. Not only are they more efficient than conventional hydraulic, pneumatic, or mechanical systems, they turn on only as the
system needs them, have no losses when turned off, and can control speed or load
as needed.
For example, a major increase in efficiency is possible by using an electric air conditioning compressor instead of a belt-driven mechanical compressor. The first
application was the 2004 Toyota Prius, which used an electric inverter air condi-

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 6|49

Table 6.1
Production hybrid vehicles through the 2010 model year.

tioning system that provided cool air even when the gasoline engine is turned off.
Another example is replacing the conventional hydraulic power steering pump
with an electric pump. Electric power steering pumps improve the overall efficiency of the vehicle by about 2% because the electric pump eliminates the power
loss needed to maintain hydraulic pressure even when the vehicle is not turning.
Significant efficiency increases also are achieved by replacing the water coolant
pump, oil pump, and fuel pump with electric pumps.
In addition to improved efficiency, conversion of all accessory drives to electricity
eliminates accessory drive belts, creating a beltless engine. This eliminates the cost

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50|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 6

of the accessory drive system and belt maintenance. It also improves engine packaging and allows a more compact engine compartment.

Electric Power and Customer Features


Discussion about the future of hybrid vehicles generally centers on how the fueleconomy benefits stack up against the increased cost. However, offering features
that customers value may also influence hybrid vehicle success. In addition to the
possibility of using the hybrid system to boost performance or to provide parttime 4WD capability, there is the potential to put all that electric power to good
use.
General Motors was the first to test market one use of electric power. The 42V
hybrid system introduced in 2003 on GMs full-size pickup trucks, the Chevy Silverado and the GMC Sierra, used an AC-induction motor/generator integrated
into the drivetrain for idle-stop and a limited amount of acceleration assist. The
fuel economy improvement was modestabout 10 to 15%due to the limited
power capacity of the lead-acid batteries used for this system. However, fuel
economy improvement on these vehicles may have been secondary to the onboard electrical generating capability. Instead of hauling a separate generator with
its own fuel system and no emission controls, the on-board engine and generator
could be used to provide convenient, low-pollution electric power. The pickups
used a 4.8-kW electric motor to provide continuous 20-amp power through each
of two 110V outlets (Figure 6.5). These vehicles were targeted primarily at construction site work, but could also appeal to campers and outdoor enthusiasts and
to farmers and homeowners for backup power in case of a power failure.

Military Applications
Military actions have three unique characteristics that make hybrid vehicles very
desirable. Consumers do not place a high value on fuel savings because real fuel
prices (adjusted for inflation) are relatively low and fuel is readily available anywhere in the United States. The situation is completely different for overseas military action, where fuel may be transported thousands of miles. Fuel is the single
largest supply component in a military action, and the price of delivering a gallon
of fuel to a battlefield can easily reach $50. Thus, even a 10 to 15% improvement in

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 6|51

Figure 6.5 The General Motors hybrid electric system


with 110V electrical outlets.
(Courtesy of General Motors Corp.)

fuel efficiency is extremely desirable to the military, as long as it does not impact
performance and utility.
The military also places a high value on electric power because it must be able to
furnish its own electricity in a hostile country. The use of electronic controls and
components for weapons, intelligence, and communication is accelerating. Generating electricity directly from hybrid vehicles could eliminate the need for procuring, shipping, towing, and refueling large generator sets.
Finally, for stealth operations, hybrid vehicles can operate from the stored electrical energy, avoiding the noise and heat signature from a running internalcombustion engine. The hybrid energy storage system can supply electricity to
power on-board electronics for substantial periods with the engine shut off. Mili-

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52|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 6

tary vehicles also would have the ability to travel limited distances on the electric
motor alone, making it easier to move equipment without detection.

Urban Heavy-Duty Applications


Urban bus operation is ideally suited for hybrid systems. Hybrids work best in
the stop-and-go driving that is characteristic of urban bus operation. The electric motor develops full torque at zero rpm, which is very helpful in launching a
vehicle and accelerating at low speeds. Furthermore, the frequent stops allow more
energy to be recaptured with regenerative braking and minimal time is spent at
steady-state cruises operating on only the engine. Note that the lack of high-speed
driving on urban buses makes the series hybrid a potentially viable option as well.
Another benefit is reduced brake maintenance and transmission repair. Brake
repairs are the single largest maintenance item for urban buses. Because the electric motor helps to slow down the vehicle as it converts momentum into electricity, there is less heat lost to the friction brakes, and brake maintenance is reduced
by about one-third. Transmissions also last longer, due to launching the vehicle
primarily on the electric motor.
Thousands of urban buses with hybrid-electric powertrains, both parallel and
series, have been placed in service. One of the first large purchases was a contract
awarded by New York City Transit to Orion Bus Industries for 325 production
hybrid diesel buses.17 The Orion VII bus was equipped with a BAE SYSTEMS
series hybrid propulsion system. It used a single 110-kW AC-induction electric
motor powered by a diesel-driven generator, with a Hawker advanced lead-acid,
absorbed electrolyte battery pack. The motor and battery pack were chosen in an
attempt to minimize the costs of the system. The battery pack was more durable
than anticipated, contributing to further sales of more advanced hybrid designs.
Urban delivery vehicles are another good application for hybrid vehicles. Federal
Express was an early purchaser of 20 delivery trucks with parallel hybrid systems
from Eaton Corporation. The trucks used a four-cylinder diesel engine instead
of the six-cylinder diesel engine used in other Federal Express delivery trucks,
and fuel economy was about 50% better. Eaton used lithium-ion batteries, which

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 6|53

was the first market experience with the durability of lithium-ion batteries in a
hybrid vehicle.
Eaton and Orion took opposite approaches to both hybrid system design and
battery selection, illustrating the variety of factors affecting hybrid systems. Both
parallel and series hybrid systems have found many other urban heavy-duty applications. However, despite the substantial advantages of hybrid systems in urban
bus and delivery truck applications, hybrids have been slow to penetrate these
markets. This is primarily due to the very high cost of the hybrid systems. Both
bus and urban delivery vehicles are relatively small markets with many different
designs. Thus, the hybrid systems are still built one vehicle at a time and economies of scale have been difficult to achieve.
Another issue is the number of miles traveled each year. If the truck travels less
than 15,000 miles per year, fuel costs are a relatively small proportion of the total

Figure 6.6 The Eaton hybrid system for Federal Express delivery-truck
applications, using an auto-clutch and an electric motor/generator
located between the engine and transmission.
(Courtesy of Eaton Corp.)

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54|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 6

purchase and operating costs and there are not enough fuel savings to justify the
cost of the hybrid system. Most trucks that travel more than about 25,000 miles
per year dont gain the full benefits of the hybrid system, as they dont make
enough stops and are pushing a lot of air out of the way at higher speeds. Thus,
there is a sweet spot between about 15,000 and 25,000 miles a year that is best for
hybrid trucks.
For trucks with low daily miles driven and central refueling, pure electric drive
may make more sense. However, one concern is that if you bring a hundred
electric trucks into a building, an electrical substation is needed to recharge the
trucks.

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Chapter Seven

Hybrid System
Optimization: Challenges
and Opportunities
Optimizing operation of the engine, electric motor, regenerative braking, battery, and accessories is extremely difficult and requires enormous engineering
resources. David Hughes, Advanced Hybrid System Manager at General Motors,
stated that the toughest part of engineering the Saturn VUE hybrid was writing the software that enables the engine and motors to work together smoothly.18
The software for each new generation of hybrid vehicles builds upon the lessons
learned during the previous version, yielding increasingly sophisticated control
systems. Even after 10 years of development and optimization, there is still considerable potential to improve system optimization.
Given the high level of quality found in virtually all vehicles today, customers will
not accept problems with reliability or drivability. Batteries must be reliable and
durable, and the transition of power from the engine to the motor and from the
brakes to regenerative braking must be smooth and invisible to the driver. Because

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56|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 7

poor drivability and battery reliability will set back customer acceptance of hybrid
vehicles, early system optimization for hybrid vehicles focused on making the
transitions smooth and on optimizing battery life.
This focus on smooth transitions between the engine and the motor and between
braking and regenerative braking resulted in compromises in efficiency on early
hybrid models. For example, it is desirable to recapture as much energy as possible
with regenerative braking. However, regenerative braking slows down the vehicle.
Regenerative braking strategies must be designed around the drivers expectations of normal vehicle behavior. If the driver is slowing down but has not hit the
brakes, the amount of energy recaptured by regenerative braking must be proportional to the deceleration rate. Anything more than this will cause the vehicle
to slow down too quickly, and the driver may respond by opening the throttle.
The rate of regenerative braking can be increased when the driver starts to brake
because the driver expects the vehicle to slow down. However, the vehicle must
retain a linear braking response to the force applied to the brake pedal, which limited the regenerative braking increment in the early hybrid vehicles. Brake-by-wire
systems, first introduced on the 2003 Toyota Prius, enable the capture of much
more regenerative braking energy because the computer can use the regenerative
braking system to slow down the vehicle under most conditions and apply the
mechanical brakes only when the desired braking rate exceeds the capacity of the
energy storage device to absorb energy. Such systems are now standard on almost
all hybrids, but careful calibration is still necessary to maximize the capture of
regenerative braking energy while ensuring smooth transitions between regenerative braking and the friction brakes.
Another example of compromises is the application of power between the engine
and the electric motor. For maximum efficiency, it is desirable to shut off the
engine under light-load conditions, when the engine is relatively inefficient. However, the engine cannot be restarted instantly. Without the engine running, the
power from the electric motor is limited to the output from the battery pack. If the
driver suddenly wants high acceleration when the vehicle is operating on only the
electric motor, the vehicle will not respond until after the engine can be started
and brought up to a reasonably high speed. This can result in jerking and hesitation. To alleviate this problem, the vehicle can be run on the electric motor only

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 7|57

up to a portion of the battery power capacity, to maintain some reserve capacity to


start the vehicle accelerating on the motor while the engine is coming up to speed.
Even when the engine is running, power control between the engine and the
motor is an uneasy balance. For maximum efficiency, it is desirable to run the
engine at the lowest speed possible and to use the motor to provide torque boosts
as needed. However, this also could result in hesitation if the driver suddenly
wants to accelerate. It also could result in the engine changing speed without any
input from the driver as road conditions change. Most drivers would not accept
noticeable changes in engine speed, which limits the ability to run the engine at
maximum efficiency.
Battery capacity is also limited by durability considerations. Battery deterioration
increases rapidly as the battery approaches the maximum and minimum states of
charge. Thus, hybrid batteries generally are not allowed to exceed about 80% of
maximum storage capacity or drop to less than about 20%. Strategies to avoid a
low state of charge include keeping the engine on at idle, charging the battery pack
during cruises, and limiting acceleration assist. These strategies are implemented
at different battery storage levels, plus the amount of charging and acceleration
assist changes as the battery drops to lower charge levels. It requires a great deal
of software to properly balance battery durability with system efficiency. Another
balance is the effectiveness and cost of the battery-cooling system. The battery can
be used harder with liquid cooling or a secondary air conditioning loop in the battery pack, but the cost of the cooling system is higher. Li-ion batteries designed for
high-power output could reduce some of these durability concerns and tradeoffs.

Future Opportunities
There is still a great deal of untapped potential for future system optimization.
The possible hardware combinations and software strategies are virtually limitless.
Discussing the details of each component is beyond the scope of this book (and
likely the patience of the reader). Instead, it is illustrative to look at a hypothetical advanced system that incorporates a variety of features and controls. Note that
while some of these features and controls have already been incorporated into
various hybrid models, some of the advanced concepts may never make it into
production due to high cost or development problems, or simply because better

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58|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 7

technology is developed in the future. Therefore, this discussion should not be


treated as a roadmap for future hybrid systems, but as a way to illustrate some of
the potential efficiency benefits that may be possible with continued development
and optimization. Components of such a system might include the following:

1 Optimized engine operation. For maximum efficiency, it is highly desirable to


be able to vary the engine speed independently of vehicle speed. CVTs are ideally
suited for this, but they have torque limitations. They also have higher friction
losses on the highway than conventional automatic transmissions. The planetary
gear system used on the input powersplit system operates similarly to a CVT, but
the split of power to the wheels and the generator from the engine is fixed and
cannot be changed. Another possibility may be dual-clutch automated manuals,
which allow rapid, smooth shifts between gears under computer control.
2 Turbocharger with electrically assisted boost. This is an electric motor mounted
in parallel with the exhaust turbine.
3 Atkinson cycle or boosted EGR engine to increase peak engine efficiency.
4 Li-ion battery pack optimized for high power.
5 Electric motors on both drive axles to maximize regenerative braking capacity
and provide part-time 4WD.
6 All electric pumps, including water pump, oil pump, power steering pump,
and heat pump (for cooling and supplemental heating as needed).
7 Drive-by-wire and brake-by-wire.
Operation during different modes might be as follows:

1 Low-speed, low-load operation. The vehicle is operated using only the electric
motors and the battery pack. The engine is shut off to avoid operation at its most
inefficient points.

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2 Acceleration starting from motor-only operation. If higher acceleration suddenly is needed, the engine is restarted and brought up to speed as quickly as
possible. Until the engine gets up to speed, reserve energy from the Li-ion battery
pack is used to provide extra power to the electric motors so that the acceleration
can begin without hesitation. Drive-by-wire is used to seamlessly integrate the
system output as the engine is started and gets up to speed. Power from the battery
pack is increased initially while the engine is coming up to speed, but unless maximum acceleration is desired power from the battery is eliminated once the engine
comes up to speed. This increases the load on the engine, improving engine efficiency.
3 High-speed operation. This is run primarily off the engine. The transmission
is varied to keep the engine at its lowest revolutions per minute, to reduce engine
friction and heat losses. At higher loads, the turbocharger is used to keep the
engine operating at low-engine speeds. At lower loads, the turbocharger is not
used. Instead, the electric boost motor in the turbocharger operates as a generator,
using waste exhaust heat to run it in reverse and generate electricity. This recovery
of waste heat is virtually free energy, similar to regenerative braking energy, which
is used to recharge the battery.
4 Acceleration starting from engine operation. Additional power is supplied
virtually instantaneously by powering the electric-drive motors from the battery
pack, supplying electric boost to the turbocharger to increase airflow, and adjusting cam timing to increase cylinder filling. Except for accelerations that exceed the
maximum engine power, motor power is eliminated as the computer changes the
gear ratio to raise the engine speed and as the exhaust turbine spins up the turbocharger. For maximum acceleration, the motor power can be added to the engine
power.
5 Regenerative braking during deceleration. The computer interprets drive-bywire and brake-by-wire signals and uses regenerative braking to provide the deceleration rate desired and expected by the driver. If the throttle is closed but the
driver has not activated the brake, the computer shuts off the engine, declutches
the engine from the motor, and uses regenerative braking to mimic the expected
engine braking. When the brakes are applied, the stopping force is first provided

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60|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 7

by increased rates of regenerative energy. The computer always disengages the


engine, avoiding engine friction, and allowing more energy to be recaptured. If the
desired braking rate exceeds the ability of the battery pack to absorb energy, the
computer activates the conventional friction brakes to make up the difference.

6 Control of accessory drives. Hybrid vehicles increasingly use electric water


pumps, oil pumps, power steering pumps, and air conditioning compressors. Not
only are the electric pumps more efficient than mechanical pumps, but they also
allow the computer to control the operation of each device. For example, instead
of using a thermostat to control water temperature, the water pump can be modulated to deliver the exact amount of water needed to maintain the desired temperature under different driving conditions. This reduces water pump losses and,
more importantly, reduces heat losses in the engine, as the engine is never overcooled and can be kept at the optimum temperature. The electrical air conditioning compressor can be controlled not only to provide the appropriate amount of
cooling air, but it can be operated from the battery pack when the engine is turned
off to maintain passenger comfort. In the future, an electrical heat pump could
also provide heat quickly as needed for cold-weather comfort or for individual
temperature-controlled passenger seats. The computer would integrate the need
for cooling, heating, and accessory loads into the desired output from the engine
and the electric motor.
Such integration of motor, engine, regenerative braking, electrical supercharger, and
accessory strategies has the potential to greatly increase vehicle efficiency. Engine
efficiency could be increased substantially due to the use of higher-efficiency engine
concepts, such as the Atkinson cycle or boosted EGR, much lower engine friction, running the engine near its most efficient point almost all of the time, engine
downsizing, maximizing regenerative braking energy, capturing additional free
energy from the exhaust, and reducing accessory loads. The potential efficiency
improvements from a fully optimized system are discussed in Chapter 10.
Of course, such systems increase the cost and complexity of the components.
Required components include a 20W to 50W electric motor depending on the
size of the vehicle (two if part-time all-wheel drive is desired), variable valve
timing, complete conversion of accessories from mechanical to electric devices,

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 7|61

an electrically assisted turbocharger that is still in the development stage, and


unproven conversion of waste exhaust heat into electricity. It will likely be at least
another decade before such systems become feasible and cost effective.
The software challenge is no less daunting than the hardware challenge. Such a
system would have to control all of the following:
Electricity flow to and from every electric device
Power to and from the electric motor/generators
Charging and discharging of the battery pack
Boost from both the exhaust turbine and electric assist
Valve timing and duration
Transmission gearing
Integration of regenerative and mechanical braking
Cooling of the battery pack and power electronics
These all are in addition to the already complex control of fuel and emissions.
Every interaction must be optimized. Smooth, seamless acceleration and braking must be maintained under all conditions. The workload to accomplish this is
overwhelming and can be accomplished only by constantly adding features and
sophistication over several generations of development.
The risks of developing advanced electrical components and writing extensive
software to integrate their operation are very large. The engineering and development resource costs are extremely high and likely can be recovered only if hybrid
vehicles consistently increase market share. On the other hand, the potential benefits also are very large. The learning curve for this type of integration is extremely
steep and encompasses all parts of vehicle operation. It is unlikely that any

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s upplier would have sufficiently broad expertise to handle the necessary integration and software. Thus, companies in front on hybrid development may be able to
maintain a competitive edge in integration and software for years, if not decades.
Toyota was the first company to recognize the potential competitive benefits from
being in front on hybrids. Toyota plans to offer a hybrid powertrain option for
every vehicle it sells and the company is making every part of the hybrid system
itself or in direct coordination with a supplier. It also had the cash reserves to
write off early losses from its hybrid development. Honda and General Motors
also made early commitments to developing their own hybrid systems, but both
companies faltered in the later part of the 2000s and neither kept pace with Toyotas development efforts. No other company made sustained efforts to develop
hybrid vehicles. The European companies in particular were focused on diesel
development instead of hybrids. Toyotas gamble on hybrid vehicles has succeeded
so far, as the company continues to dominate hybrid sales both in the U.S. and
worldwide.
Most vehicle manufacturers have recently become much more serious about
developing and selling hybrid vehicles, driven by lower hybrid costs, improved Liion batteries, increasing consumer interest in higher fuel economy, and growing
worldwide regulation of vehicle efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions. Chapter
10 discusses the likely future direction of the hybrid market.

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Chapter Eight

Customer Acceptance
It is not enough for new technology to be equal to the old technology.This ignores
loss aversion. The new technology needs to be clearly superior and must have a
proven track record before most consumers will make the switch.Loss aversion
applies to many factors beyond future fuel savings, such as durability, reliability,
safety, performance, convenience, range, and resale value. The more uncertainty in
the purchase decision, the less likely the consumer is to make the purchase.
Of course, not all consumers are the same. The primary way that early adopters
differ from mainstream customers is loss aversion.Early adopters are not loss
aversethats what makes them early adopters.Selling to early adopters can help
build sales volumes and absorb development costs, but the mainstream market is
very different.When a new technology is first introduced, consumer uncertainty
is very high. Consumers concerns diminish over time as the technology proves
itself through sales to early adopters and the amount mainstream customers will
be willing to pay gradually rises.But it is a slow process and the more uncertainties associated with the new technology the longer the process will take, even if the
new technology actually is just as good or better.

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64|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 8

Loss Aversion
Energy analysts have long noted that consumers appear to have high implicit
discount rates for future fuel savings when choosing among energy using
durable goods.19 The basis for this behavior is the loss-averse nature of most
consumers, combined with uncertainty. The principle of loss aversion holds that
most individuals value losses more than equivalent gains.20 The more uncertain
the benefits of a purchase, the less likely consumers are to make the bet. Gal
characterizes this as ...the most robust and important finding of behavioral
decision theory.
The loss-aversion principal has been repeatedly demonstrated in other fields,
such as the difference in returns between stocks and a risk-free investment like
treasury bills. David Greene was the first analyst to apply this theory to vehicles.4
Improvements in fuel efficiency are rarely free and consumers pay the cost of
the efficiency technology up front when they purchase the vehicle. The value
to consumers is the present value of fuel savings that occur in the future over
many years, less this initial cost. Unfortunately, the value of the future fuel
savings is highly uncertain, due to uncertainties about future fuel prices, differences between the fuel economy label value and real-world fuel economy
(your mileage will vary), how much the vehicle will be driven each year, and
how long the vehicle will be kept. The principle of loss aversion holds that these
uncertainties will cause most consumers to severely discount the value of the
future fuel savings.
Even more importantly when discussing hybrids and PHEVs, loss aversion also
applies to the perceived impacts of new technology on other features highly
valued by consumers, such as durability, reliability, safety, performance, convenience, range, and resale value. Much of the resistance of mainstream consumers
to paying for new technology is not so much discounting of the fuel savings,
although that is a piece. Rather, few customers are willing to be test subjects for
what they consider to be unproven technology or for technology that involves
unfamiliar tradeoffs between attributes desired by customers. No one wants a
$30,000 Betamax.

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 8|65

Few customers are as immersed in the details of technology as the readers of


this technology profile. It can take a long time for the average consumer to
become comfortable that there are not real concerns with new technology, such
as battery packs. For example, the Prius and the Honda hybrids have been on
the market for a decade. According to all the rating reports, such as J.D. Power
and Consumer Reports, their reliability has been much better than the average vehicle. Yet, a survey by Synovate Research in 2009 found that only 30% of
potential buyers identified hybrids as reliable, compared to more than 60% for
conventional vehicles.21

Early adopters are far less concerned about uncertainty and many are willing to
pay a premium above the fuel savings, helping to establish early niche markets for
new technology. Unfortunately, early adopters are generally considered to be no
more than 23% of the new vehicle market. A recent study by the Deloitte group22
assessed the PHEV and BEV early adopter and early majority customers. The
report found that 1.3 million men and women nationwide fit the early majority
profile for PHEVs and BEVs and that early adopters are an even smaller portion
of the adult population. While the general population of early adopters is larger
than those assessed by Deloitte specifically for PHEVs and BEVs, their assessment
supports that a new technology must break into the mainstream market to achieve
sales of more than 23% per year.

Conventional Hybrid Customer Acceptance


Conventional hybrids have several positive features that are desired by customers, in addition to the obvious fuel savings. Hybrids use widely available fuel; thus,
there are no concerns about creating a new infrastructure to support fueling or
recharging. Customers benefit from extended range and fewer trips to the gas station. The vehicle is quieter insideat idle, when the engine is turned off, and on
the highway, where electric-motor assist allows the engine to run at slower speeds.
There is little impact on how the vehicle operatesit drives and operates similarly
to a conventional vehicle. Brake life is extended because the electric motor captures some of the energy that usually is dissipated in the brakes.

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Hybrids also can provide features desired by customers. The motor could be used
to boost performance instead of reducing engine displacement. Part-time allwheel drive can be added by using a through-the-road hybrid system. The high
electrical power can support additional features, such as off-board electricity generation, heated seats and windows, multimedia, four-wheel steering, and dynamic
ride control.
Some potential barriers to consumer acceptance of hybrid vehicles also exist.
Room must be found in the vehicle for the electric motor, battery pack, and power
electronics. This is less of a problem on low-power hybrid designs and for large
vehicles, but it can pose challenges for small cars or even for large vehicles if
extensive electric motor-only operation or plug-in capability is desired. The additional hybrid components also add weight to the vehicle, which reduces performance. For example, the hybrid system adds about 200 lb (90.7 kg) to the Honda
Civic Hybrid. However, the weight effect is relatively minor compared to the performance and efficiency boosts from the hybrid system.
The primary challenge facing hybrid vehicles is simply the additional cost of the
components and customer loss aversion. Vehicle purchasers respond rationally to
the cost of putting fuel in their vehicles. This means that uncertainty about future
fuel prices, real-world fuel economy, and how many miles the vehicle will be
driven before resale causes most customers to severely discount the future stream
of fuel savings. As the primary advantage of hybrids and PHEVs is fuel savings,
this is a serious concern. To magnify the problem, fuel costs are already a relatively
minor part of the cost of owning and operating a vehicle and are lower today than
before the first oil crisis in 1973 (see sidebar on Real Fuel Prices). Barring a genuine, sustained shortage of liquid fuel, fuel costs as a proportion of total disposable
income will drop even more in the future due to rapidly increasing fuel efficiency
and continued economic growth.
Loss aversion also applies to the normal concerns about durability, reliability, safety, performance, and resale value associated with any new technology.
Although early adopters can be a ready market for new technology, mainstream
customers will wait until the technology is proven before entering the market.

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 8|67

Figure 8.1 shows calendar year hybrid sales from Bradley Berman of www.hybrid
cars.com as a percent of total calendar vehicle sales from Automotive News. Hybrid
market share has steadily increased over the last decade, but is still less than 3% of
the new vehicle market. The sales rate turned upwards after 2004 and growth has
been relatively steady from 2004 to 2009 at a rate of about 0.5% per year. This indicates that mainstream customers are still waiting for the technology to be proven
and the cost to come down.
An important corollary is that most of the benefits of reducing fossil-fuel use are
shared by all of society, but are severely discounted by mainstream vehicle purchasers. Experience with vehicle emission standards has shown that, despite widespread
support for mandatory pollution controls that raise the cost for everyone, few customers are willing to pay more individually for vehicles with lower emissions.

Figure 8.1 Hybrid Market Share by Calendar Year

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68|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 8

While it is difficult to determine exactly how much the average customer discounts
future fuel savings, a reasonable assumption based on modeling of uncertainties
and loss aversion4 is that the average customer values about three years of fuel savings or about 50,000 miles. Some simple modeling can assess what the average
new-vehicle customer might be willing to pay in exchange for the fuel savings.

Table 8.1 lists the results for three different sizes of vehicles (small cars, mid-size
cars, and mid-size SUVs) at $3 per gallon to represent average U.S. fuel prices in
late 2010. The baseline fuel economy values are representative of in-use fuel economy (fuel economy label values) for 2010 Model Year (MY) vehicles. Fuel prices
in Japan and many countries in Europe are about $6 per gallon, so the numbers in
the table can be multiplied by two for these countries. A reasonable factor for the
fuel economy improvement from a basic parallel hybrid system with corresponding engine size reduction is probably about 40% over the EPA combined cycles.
Sensitivity cases of 15% (for integrated-starter generator (ISG) systems with limited regenerative braking), 60% (for advanced hybrids with some learning), and
80% (for potential future hybrids with advanced features and integration) also are
shown in Table 8.1. The main case of 40% FE improvement and $3 per gallon indicates that the average purchaser might currently be willing to pay about $1,261
(small car) to $1,948 (mid-size SUV) for a hybrid vehicle.
From a customer point of view, the results are sobering. The amount that the average customer would be willing to pay for the fuel savings is only about half of the
current cost of the hybrid system. From a societal view, the fuel savings over the
full life of the vehicle (which are about three times the values in Table 8.1) are
likely to justify the additional cost of hybrid systems. However, the typical customer does not value the fuel savings enough to pay for the incremental cost. To
address the cost differential, hybrid system costs must decrease, the price of gasoline must increase significantly, the efficiency must improve substantially, and/or
the high electric power of the hybrid system must be used to provide additional
features desired by the customer.

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 8|69

Table 8.1
Consumer Value of Fuel SavingsFirst 50,000 Miles at $3/Gallon, 2010 MY Vehicles.

Note that improvements to conventional vehicles will reduce the amount that consumers will be willing to pay for hybrids in the future. MIT3 estimates that conventional vehicles will improve efficiency by 60% with naturally aspirated engines
and 80% with turbocharged engines by 2030. Table 8.2 lists the fuel savings for
the first 50,000 miles at $3 per gallon after increasing the baseline fuel economy of
the three vehicles by 60%. Future improvements in hybrid systems and improved
system optimization will increase the hybrid efficiency benefit, partially offsetting
the reduced fuel savings. MIT3 estimated that a hybrid with a naturally aspirated
engine would improve fuel economy by about 80% compared to a conventional
naturally aspirated engine and about 60% compared to a conventional turbocharged engine. Thus, the main case of a 60% improvement suggests that future
hybrid customers might be willing to pay only about $1,023 (small car) to $1,607
(mid-size SUV) for an improved hybrid system in the 2025 to 2030 timeframe.

PHEV Customer Acceptance


Loss aversion is a much larger problem for PHEVs than for conventional hybrids.
Not only do PHEVs demand behavioral changes that hybrids do not, they have
many more areas of uncertainty for the mainstream consumer, including:
How much will I pay for electricity?
How often do I need to plug in?
How much hassle will it be to plug in? Can I be electrocuted if it is raining or if
I work on my vehicle?

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70|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 8

Table 8.2
Consumer Value of Fuel SavingsFirst 50,000 miles at $3/gallon, 2025-30 MY Vehicles.

What will it cost to install recharging equipment and how complicated is it?
How does the PHEV system affect performance?
How will the need for the next owner to install expensive recharging equipment
affect resale value?
What kind of PHEV (or BEV) is best for me? What amount of all-electric range
should I get and should I get a vehicle with a blended strategy or electric-only
operation? What if I move or change jobs?
In addition, the following uncertainties are far more important for PHEVs due to
the much larger battery pack and additional components needed for charging:
How long will the battery last?
How much will it cost to replace it?
How reliable will the vehicle be?
Just the installation of recharging equipment can be a daunting task for potential PHEV purchasers. For example, Southern California Edison recently posted
recommendations for potential purchasers of an electric vehicle at www.sce.com/
pev. Following are exerts from their recommendations (the actual recommendations are far more extensive);

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 8|71

Step 1: Complete SCEs Getting Plug-In Ready Checklist


Review vehicle charging options and recommendations
Familiarize yourself with SCEs electric vehicle rate options and charging implications at SCE.com/pev.
Engage an electrical contractor to evaluate your current residential charging
capabilities and to provide an estimate for any home electrical work.
Step 2: Contact SCE to Select an EV RateDiscuss vehicle choice and charging
preferences and explore electric vehicle rate options with an SCE representative.
Step 3: Perform Any Necessary Home Equipment UpgradesObtain any required
city electrical inspections and authorize the electrical contractor to obtain
required permits and complete desired electrical work.
Just having to deal with a contractor and pulling permits is likely to discourage
many mainstream customers, especially if the local area does not have streamlined
permitting processes for installing recharging equipment. A far larger uncertainty
yet is the variety of PHEVs and BEVs that will be offered by different manufacturers. Each manufacturer claims their system is the besthow is the average
customer supposed to choose between the different PHEV ranges and operating
strategies? Few customers have the expertise and analytical skills to match their
specific driving patterns with the optimal PHEV system for their driving. The
variety of choices will cause mainstream customers to wait until the best system
proves itself in the market with early adopters.21
The uncertainties with PHEVs are far more extensive and important than they are
with conventional hybrids. This will cause the growth rate of PHEV sales to be
substantially lower than that of conventional hybrids, even without considering
the substantial additional costs associated with the large battery packs. Given that
conventional hybrid sales are still less than 3% of the market after 10 years, it is
difficult to envision anything but a niche market for PHEVs for some time.

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72|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 8

The one scenario that could change this is a genuine shortage of liquid fuels. If
customers thought that they would not be able to obtain gasoline, many would be
willing to pay a substantial premium for the ability to plug-in at home and continue to drive.

Real Fuel Prices


Adjusted for inflation, the price of gasoline has not changed substantially since
1950 (Figure 8.2). In fact, until recently the general trend was downward, except
for interruptions from the oil crises in the 1970s and the first Gulf War. While the
oil price spike in 2008 reached a new high in real fuel prices, real fuel prices fell in
2009 to the same level as in 1950. Fuel prices rose again in 2010 to about $2.70
per gallon, but this level is about 15% lower than during the oil crises in the
1970s and only about 15% higher than during the 1950s.

Figure 8.2 Real gasoline prices from 1950 to 2010,


adjusted for inflation.

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 8|73

However, this is not the whole story, as the average fuel economy of the in-use
fleet has increased substantially since the 1970s (Figure 8.3). As a result, the real
(inflation-adjusted) fuel cost of driving in 2010 (about 12 cents per mile) is substantially lower than it was at any time from 1970 to 1985, when the real fuel cost
ranged from 14 to 21 cents per mile (Figure 8.4). Even during the fuel price spike
of 2008, the real fuel cost of driving a mile was the same as it was in the early
1970sthe good old days before the first oil crisis.

Figure 8.3 Real gasoline prices, plus average


in-use vehicle fuel economy.
But this is still not the whole story, as this drop in the real cost of driving has
coincided with substantial increases in disposable income. As a portion of per
capita disposable income, the real cost of driving 10,000 miles per year has
dropped in half from before the first oil crisisfrom 6 to 7% in the early 1970s
to slightly more than 3% in 2010 (Figure 8.5). When consumers decide how
to spend their money, the proportion of their disposable income that goes
to driving 10,000 miles is about the same as it was in the late 1980s and early

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74|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 8

Figure 8.4 Cost of gasoline per mile, adjusted for inflation.

Figure 8.5 Fuel costs as a portion of disposable income.

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 8|75

1990s, when the market was shifting rapidly from cars toward SUVs and pickup
trucks.
Not only is fuel cheap todayeven at $2.70 per gallonit will almost certainly
become cheaper in the future. There are major improvements coming to conventional vehicles, including widespread penetration of hybrid vehicles, which
will almost triple fuel economy in the next 20 years. Combined with future economic growth, the share of income needed to purchase fuel will steadily decline
in the future. Barring a genuine shortage of liquid fuel, fuel economy will continue to rank low in priority for most new-vehicle purchasers.

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|77

Chapter Nine

Future Hybrid Technology


Development
All vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers are working on ways to reduce the
cost and improve the efficiency of hybrid components. The following are key
development issues to monitor.

Electric Motor and Power Electronics


While electric motors in general are a mature technology, their design continues
to be optimized for vehicle applications. Early hybrid motors were new, specialized
designs with substantial research and development (R&D) costs. Cost-reduction
opportunities are improved designs for the high-power density motors needed for
hybrids and better integration of the motors into the vehicle. Some additional cost
reduction will also occur as hybrid sales volumes increase.
Size and weight restrictions are far more important in a hybrid vehicle than in traditional motor applications; thus, development has and will continue to focus on
these areas. For example, it would be highly desirable to mount an electric motor
directly to each wheel in the front or rear of the vehicle, if not both. This would

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78|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 9

simplify the system, enhance regenerative braking, reduce packaging issues, and
easily add part-time 4WD capability. However, current motors are too heavy and
mounting them on the wheel adds too much unsprung mass, which affects ride
and handling.
It has been suggested that switched-reluctance motors may offer advantages over the
BLDC motor because they provide good efficiency and reliability with reasonable
cost and weight. However, there is no indication that any manufacturer is currently
considering AC or switched-reluctance motors for full-function hybrid vehicles.
A major concern is the future cost and supply of rare earths needed for permanent magnet motors, primarily neodymium and dysprosium. While neodymium
is actually fairly common, it is usually found with thorium, which is radioactive.
Processing neodymium profitably or finding ores that are free of thorium is difficult. China currently processes 97% of the worlds neodymium supply and most
of the dysprosium supply. Thus, a high priority for manufacturers and suppliers
is to establish new processing facilities for neodymium and dysprosium or, better
yet, to find substitute materials that are cheaper and more readily available. One
approach is to use ferrite magnets. While ferrite magnets are weaker, changing the
placement might allow them to match the rare earth magnet attraction. Ferrite
materials are readily available and are far cheaper, but it will take years of development and validation before they can be considered for commercialization. Toshiba
is attempting to adapt its samarium-cobalt (SmCo) magnets for electric vehicle
motors. Samarium is a rare-earth metal in ample supply in Australia and the U.S.
Currently the magnetic force is less than neodymium, but Toshiba is attempting to
increase the magnetic force by changing the material makeup.
The key for power electronics is the development of higher-temperature components that require less cooling. Higher-power, higher-temperature electronic components are being developed to reduce costs. As with all electronics, advances in
power electronics should continue steadily into the future, continuously improving performance and reducing cost.
The cost of both the electric motor and power electronics is roughly proportional
to the power (kW) supplied by the motor and electronics. The U.S. Department of

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 9|79

Energy (DOE) estimates that the total cost of the electric motor and power electronics is about $22/kW in 2010 and will fall to about $12/kW in 2015.23

Energy Storage
Energy storage costs are still a significant obstacle to widespread market acceptance of hybrid-electric vehicles. Lead-acid batteries may be used in some lowpower stop-start applications due to their low cost, but their limited power density
and short cycle life are not suitable for full-function hybrid vehicles. NiMH batteries have worked acceptably for past and current hybrid applications, due to their
higher power density, longer cycle life, and better response to high-power pulses.
Unfortunately, the raw materials in NiMH batteries are both heavy and expensive.
Substantial cost reduction has been achieved due to better manufacturing techniques and higher volumes, but costs will likely remain at unacceptably high levels
for the mass market because of inherently high material costs and marginal energy
and power density rates.
As discussed in Chapter 3, improved lithium-ion battery chemistries have recently
been developed to meet the rigorous demands of vehicle applications. These new
chemistries offer the potential for far longer life and much better abuse tolerance
than the Li-ion chemistries used in consumer appliances, but are currently more
expensive than NiMH and have not been proven in the field.
In the near term, NiMH will continue to dominate the hybrid market due to its
proven reliability and the many uncertainties about Li-ion, such as abuse tolerance, calendar life, and which chemistries will win out in the long run. In addition, manufacturing is a major near-term cost challenge for Li-ion. Long, thin
electrodes are needed for power. Manufacturing these thin electrodes with good
reliability and long life requires extra tight coating specifications and a moisturefree, dust-free manufacturing environment. This, in turn, requires expensive clean
rooms and precision equipment that are not used in making consumer Li-ion
cells. Additional experience with and development of these manufacturing facilities will reduce manufacturing costs in the future. Combined with much lower
material costs, Li-ion should be significantly cheaper than NiMH in the long term,
but near-term costs are high for automotive-grade Li-ion batteries.

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80|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 9

Li-ion batteries will begin with relatively small-volume applications to gain realworld experience while minimizing risk. The highest-sales hybrid vehicles will
be the last to convert to Li-ion. However, Li-ions higher power density, higher
energy density, higher efficiency, and the potential for lower future cost ensure
that NiMHs days are numbered. The higher power density is especially important for conventional hybrids, as it will allow for a smaller, cheaper battery pack.
Thus, Li-ion will gradually replace NiMH batteries in conventional hybrid vehicle
applications, with the conversion complete sometime around 2018. For PHEVs,
the higher energy density and lower cost potential are especially important and all
PHEVs are likely to use Li-ion batteries.
For hybrids to move beyond early adopters and into the mainstream market it is
essential to reduce battery costs. The BCG report8 contained an unusual amount
of detail about the potential cost of Li-ion batteries, both for current low-volume
batteries and for higher volume batteries in 2020. Again, these numbers are not
necessarily any better than other cost estimates, but the amount of detail and
transparency is helpful.
The BCG evaluated seven steps in the value chain for battery production and use:
component production, cell production, module production, pack assembly, vehicle integration, use, and reuse and recycling. For each step, estimates were made
of the cost of materials, purchased parts, labor, depreciation, R&D, scrappage, and
retail markup for a 15-kWh NCA chemistry PHEV battery pack. For current lowvolume NCA Li-ion production, the cost is about $700/kWh at the cell level and
pack-level costs add about $400/kWh, for a total cost of about $1,100/kWh (Figure 9.1).
Other reports suggest near-term Li-ion battery costs may be a little lower than
BCGs estimate of $1,100/kWH. For example, the U.S. DOE estimated 2010 PHEV
Li-ion battery pack costs of $700/kWh to $950/kWh.24 In fact, Li-ion battery
prices may be falling faster than costs. An August 25, 2010 article by Bloomberg
News suggests that the largest battery manufacturers in Japan and South Korea
may be sacrificing profit for market share in an attempt to drive smaller battery
manufacturers out of the business.25

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 9|81

Figure 9.1 Low-Volume Cost Estimates for NCA Li-ion Battery.


(Reproduced with permission from The Boston Consulting Group, Batteries for E-cars report 2010.)

As discussed in Chapter Three, Li-ion is a family of chemistries. The second generation of automotive-grade Li-ion batteries with improved design is expected to
start arriving around 2015. These batteries will have incremental improvements in
abuse tolerance, lifespan, power and energy density, and costs.
New anode materials with silicon and new cathode materials with improved metal
oxides are also being developed. These will be the basis for third generation Li-ion
batteries emerging sometime after 2020. These batteries should have almost twice
the energy density of first generation batteries and costs will also be much lower.
Combined with anticipated improvements in manufacturing of Li-ion batteries,
costs are expected to drop dramatically in the future.
The BCGs NCA battery cost estimates for 2020 (Figure 9.2) include additional
development of batteries and manufacturing facilities and much higher sales. Cell
costs drop from about $700 to about $300/kWh. The incremental pack level costs
drop even more, from about $400 to about $100/kWh, for a total cost of about
$400/kWh.

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82|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 9

Figure 9.2 NCA Li-ion battery cost decline from 2009 to 2020.
(Reproduced with permission from The Boston Consulting Group, Batteries for E-cars report 2010.)

Cost estimates from other organizations suggest that PHEV battery costs should
continue to drop after the 2020 timeframe used by the Boston Consulting Group.
A 2008 report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology3 estimated 2030
battery costs for a 16-kWh battery pack of $270/kWh, without profit margin.
Argonne National Lab26 has published the most optimistic future Li-ion battery
costs. They estimated a 19-kWh LMO chemistry would cost about $200-kWh at
the pack level, without profit margin. However, the Boston Consulting Groups
assessment of different Li-ion chemistries (Figure 3.2) suggests that battery life
span and high- and low-temperature performance may be particularly challenging
for LMO. Argonnes cost estimates for the other 19-kWh battery pack chemistries,
NCA, LFP, NMC, and LTO, were all around $260/kWh, without profit margin.
It is also important to understand that battery costs per kWh are not constant.
Battery cost is a function of both energy density and power density. If the total
energy capacity of the battery pack is larger, the power density can be lower while
maintaining the same total power output. Higher power density increases the cost
per kWh, so the larger the battery pack, the lower the cost per kWh. Thus, all of

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 9|83

the cost estimates, above, are only valid for a PHEV battery pack in the 16-kWh
range.
Both MIT and Argonne projected battery cost per kWh for different size battery
packs. MITs cost estimates for 2030 were $750/kWh for hybrid battery packs,
$420/kWh for a blended PHEV with a 10-mile (16-km) AER (PHEV-10), and
$270 for a PHEV with a 60-mile (96-km) AER (PHEV-60). Argonne forecasted
LMO chemistry battery costs of about $520/kWh for hybrids, $300/kWh for a
blended PHEV-10, and $200/kWh for a PHEV-40. For the other cell chemistries,
Argonne forecasted battery costs of about $650/kWh for hybrids, $380/kWh for
a blended PHEV-10, and $260/kWh for a PHEV-40. None of these costs include
profit margins.
For conventional hybrids, an important advantage of Li-ion batteries over NiMH
is the much higher power density. NiMH battery packs in current hybrid vehicles
are oversized from an energy capacity view. The larger size is necessary to provide
the required power for acceleration assist and rapidly capture regenerative braking
energy without overheating the battery and shortening battery life. High-power
Li-ion battery designs can supply the needed power with a much smaller battery
pack without deterioration concerns. The cost advantage from Li-ion batteries in
conventional hybrids will not be due only to lower $/kWh, but more importantly
to the use of a much smaller battery pack. High-power applications of the secondgeneration Li-ion battery packs available after 2015 will be almost perfect for
hybrid vehicles and will help accelerate battery size and cost reductions.
PHEVs need high-energy density and low-cost batteries. The second-generation
Li-ion batteries will be an improvement, but PHEVs will need the third generation
batteries available after 2020 to really improve their cost effectiveness.

Electrical Accessories
Hybrid systems also can enable secondary efficiency improvements by providing
electrical power needed to replace mechanical devices and pumps with superior
electrical equivalents. Electric replacements currently tend to be much more costly
than existing mechanical devices. However, this is largely due to the decades of

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84|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 9

development and huge volumes enjoyed by the mechanical devices. As hybrid


vehicles become more widespread, there will be investment opportunities for
more efficient electrical devices and pumps, such as air conditioning compressors,
power steering pumps, water pumps, and oil pumps. This offers significant opportunities to reduce costs and improve accessory efficiency.

Dynamic Programming and System Optimization


The efficiency of hybrid systems is continuously improving with practice. Techniques to integrate the engine, motor, and regenerative braking have substantially
improved over the last decade, but future improvements are still practical. Because
of quality constraints, the drivability of hybrid vehicles must be as good as that
of conventional vehicles. Transitions to and from the engine and motor must be
seamless, and there cannot be any jerking of the vehicle with regenerative braking.
These constraints make it difficult to extract the highest efficiency from the engine
and to maximize regenerative braking.
Development of dynamic programming for optimal power management will continue to improve efficiency without any negative impact on drivability.
Synergies between the hybrid system, the engine, and the transmission are also
still in development. For example, the dual-clutch automated manual transmission
(DCT) offers 510% improvements in fuel economy and improved shift quality
compared to conventional automatics. It uses conventional manual transmission
gears, with the odd-numbered gears on one shaft and the even-numbered gears
on a second shafteach shaft with its own clutch. The computer disengages the
clutch on one shaft while simultaneously engaging the clutch on the second shaft,
leading to extremely smooth shifts with no torque interruption. However, the DCT
has a problem with launch quality when there are no gears engaged and the vehicle
must launch on a single clutch. Current production DCTs use a hydraulic clutch
to smooth launch quality, but this adds cost and reduces efficiency. If the DCT is
combined with a hybrid system, the vehicle can launch on the electric motor and
engage the clutch after the vehicle is rolling, eliminating the cost and efficiency degradation of the hydraulic system. In fact, it may be possible to use an even cheaper
single-clutch automated manual transmission by using the electric motor to provide torque while the transmission shifts and cover up the engine torque gaps.

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 9|85

There are also many ways to use hybrid systems to improve engine drivability and
efficiency. Motor torque can be used to cover up the delayed response from turbocharged engines (turbo lag). The engine can be run at lower rpm without degradation in instantaneous power response by using motor torque while the engine
speed is being increased. The engine can be shut off at its lower efficiency operating points and the vehicle run on the motor alone. The computer can look for
opportunities to recharge the battery pack while the engine is running. Engines
operate more efficiently at higher load, so recharging the battery pack while the
engine is running can boost engine efficiency and the additional battery charge
can be used to turn the engine off more aggressively. All of these strategies are just
beginning to be implemented in production.

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|87

Chapter Ten

Future Conventional
Hybrid Markets
Table 10.1 summarizes additional hybrid models that have been announced, but
are not yet in production. Due to the volatile nature of these announcements,
Table 10.1 may be incomplete or inaccurate.
Table 10.1 illustrates two clear trends in hybrid vehicles. One is a move toward
Li-ion batteries. The second is a move toward the parallel hybrid system with two
clutches. Both are good news for hybrid mass-market acceptance.
The trend toward Li-ion batteries for hybrids is widely expected due to the much
higher power density and the potential for lower cost. Uncertainty about Li-ion
life span and abuse tolerance means that manufacturers are being cautious with
their initial Li-ion offerings, tending to use them for low-volume applications and
without taking advantage of the higher power density to reduce battery size. Early
exceptions to this are Hyundai, which is using Li-ion batteries for the potentially
higher volume Sonata Hybrid, and BWM, which is using a very small 0.4-kWh
Li-ion battery for the 14-kW/19-kW propulsion/regenerative braking motor in the

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88|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 10

Table 10.1

Projected Hybrid Deployment by Make, Model Year.

HybridVehicle
Models

Automaker
Toyota
Honda

Nissan
Chrysler
GM

BMW

Hyundai
Kia

Volkswagen
Audi
Porsche

RAV4
CRZ
Odyssey
M35
Ram
LaCrosse
ActiveHybrid7
ActiveHybrid5
3Series
Sonata
Optima
Jetta
Touareg
Cayenne
A8
A6
Q5

Projected
Model
Year
2012
2011
2012
2011
2012
2012
2011
2012
2013
2011
2011
2012
2011
2011
2012
2013
2012

HybridType

Battery
Type

Inputpowersplit
Parallel:1clutch
2motor
Parallel:2clutch
2modepowersplit
BAS
Parallel:1clutch
Parallel:2clutch
Parallel:2clutch

NiMH

Liion

Liion
Liion
Liion
Liion

Battery
Capacity
(kWh)

0.58

1.24

0.5
0.4

Parallel:2clutch

Liion

1.43

Parallel:
2clutch(all)

Liion
NiMH
NiMH
Liion
Liion
Liion

1.1

1.2
1.53

ActiveHybrid 7. After optimum high-power chemistries and designs are proven in


early vehicle applications, hybrid battery pack size should drop to 0.4 to 0.8 KWh,
depending on vehicle size, while maintaining adequate power assist.
The trend toward 2-clutch parallel hybrid systems is even more significant. Three
major manufacturers that have not already made a major investment in input
powersplit systems have independently decided to invest in the 2-clutch parallel
hybrid systemNissan, Hyundai, BMW, and VW-Audi-Porsche. This is because
the input powersplit system, while elegant and sophisticated, is an inherently
expensive system. The planetary gears are expensive to manufacturer, two electric
motors are required, and each electric motor is larger than the single motor in a
parallel system, driving up both motor and power electronic costs. Use of a second
clutch in the parallel system allows the motor to be disengaged from the engine,
increasing the useable motor size to 20-50 kW and increasing motor-only operation and regenerative braking energy with relatively little additional cost. As a

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 10|89

result, the 2-clutch parallel system can deliver 9095% of the benefits of the input
powersplit at much lower cost.
This is supported by recent estimates of the cost and benefit of hybrid systems
from the U.S. National Research Council (NRC), EPA/NHTSA, and Energy and
Environmental Analysis (EEA). The NRC Committee on the Assessment of Technologies for Improving Light-Duty Vehicle Fuel Economy27 found that the input
powersplit system delivered a 37% improvement in fuel economy at a current cost
of $4,502 for a 4-cylinder engine, including a 50% factor for retail price equivalent
(RPE). They estimated a 34% improvement for the parallel hybrid at a current
cost of $2,926 for a 4-cylinder engine including RPE. Thus, the NRC estimated
the parallel hybrid would deliver 92% of the efficiency benefit of the input powersplit at only 65% of the cost. EPA and NHTSA estimated similar hybrid costs
for the 2012-16 light-duty vehicle CAFE/greenhouse gas standards rulemaking.28
They estimated the cost of the input powersplit for 2016 MY vehicles would range
from $3,967 for a small car to $7,210 for a large truck, while the cost of a parallel hybrid with a single clutch would range from $2,854 to $4,431, or only 61% to
72% of the cost of the input powersplit. A 2007 report from EEA29 estimated that
for 2005 the single-clutch parallel system would improve fuel economy by 51% at
a price, including RPE, of $2,950, while the input powersplit would improve fuel
economy by 60% at an RPE of $4,500. For 2015, the single-clutch parallel hybrid
was estimated to improve efficiency by 56% at an RPE of $2,100, compared to 70%
improvement at a cost of $3,300 for the input powersplit. The parallel hybrid was
estimated to deliver 80% of the benefits at 64% of the cost. Note that all of these
parallel hybrid estimates were for a single-clutch parallel system. The dual-clutch
offers additional efficiency benefits due to additional regenerative braking energy
capture and extended motor-only operation, narrowing the efficiency advantage
of the input powersplit, although at a slightly higher cost due to the addition of a
second clutch.
The NRC Committee27 also found that the current cost of the 2-mode powersplit
system was $8,645 for a 4-cylinder engine, including RPE, and that it did not have
any efficiency advantages over the input powersplit. Thus, the 2-mode system is
unlikely to be used except perhaps in special applications where towing capacity is
important.

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90|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 10

The upcoming Nissan M35h, Hyundai Sonata, and VW hybrids illustrate the
2-clutch parallel hybrid systems of the future. All use two clutches around a single
electric motor placed inline with the engine and transmission, a conventional
automatic transmission, and similar-sized electric motors, 30 kW for the Sonata,
38 kW for the Touareg and Cayenne, and 50 kW for the M35. All incorporate
significant motor-only operation up to at least 30 mph (48.2 km/h). Where they
primary differ is in how they handle the problem of restarting the engine from
motor-only operation.
The Hyundai Sonata uses a 270V, 8-kW BAS system to restart the engine as
needed, in addition to and independent of the operation of the 30 kW electricpropulsion motor. This guarantees smooth and fast engine restarts and excellent
drivability. It also allowed Hyundai to hard couple the traction motor to the input
of the transmission and eliminates the automatic transmission torque converter.
The torque converter has significant efficiency losses, so using the motor to fill in
torque during transmission shifts and during launch provides an additional efficiency benefit. The Sonata can drive in electric mode up to 62 mph (99.7 km/h),
although it requires a very light foot to keep the engine from restarting at higher
speeds. The 2.4-L engine uses the Atkinson cycle for further efficiency benefits,
using the propulsion motor to make up for the lower power from the Atkinson
cycle. The 30-kW propulsion motor generates electricity during regenerative
braking, but recharging of the battery pack from the engine can only be done by
the 8-kW BAS motor. The downside of this system is simply the cost of the BAS
system.
The Nissan M35 is a rear-wheel-drive vehicle that also replaces the transmission
torque converter with the electric propulsion motor for additional efficiency.
However, Nissan chose to use a single 50-kW motor/generator to perform all the
hybrid features, which includes restarting the engine (Figure 10.1). This means
that when additional power is needed, the engine must be bump-started by
engaging the clutch between the motor and the engine while the vehicle is moving. The engine creates a drag on the vehicle until it reaches idle speed, which
causes the vehicle to slow down momentarily if not properly mitigated. To handle
this lurch, Nissan uses a second clutch near the rear of the transmission specially
designed to slip and moderate the engine drag during bump starts. Nissans system

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 10|91

is cheaper and simpler than Hyundais, but it remains to be seen if the drivability is
acceptable to customers.
The first application of the VW 2-clutch system will be in the VW Touareg and
Porsche Cayenne SUVs. These vehicles will use a NiMH battery, although VW
plans to switch to Li-ion batteries in future vehicles. Like Nissan and Hyundai,
VWs system uses a conventional automatic, but unlike Nissan and Hyundai
it continues to use a conventional torque converter to maintain towing capacity. VW took advantage of the lockup clutch in the torque converter to help the
single 38-kW motor/generator restart the engine. When the vehicle is in electricdrive mode, the hybrid clutch between the engine and the motor is disengaged
and the torque converter lockup clutch between the motor and the transmission
is engaged. To crank the engine, the lockup clutch is control-slipped while the
hybrid clutch is engaged. The motor torque is also increased by the amount of the
momentary torque transferred to the engine during the drag operation. After the

Figure 10.1 Nissan M35 Hybrid System.


(Courtesy of Nissan North America).

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92|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 10

engine reaches idle speed, fuel is injected to start the engine, the hybrid clutch is
disengaged so the engine can freely rev to match the speed of the motor, and the
lockup clutch is re-engaged. When the engine revs match the speed of the motor,
the hybrid clutch is also engaged. While this system requires a high degree of calibration sophistication, VW claims it results in fast, smooth engine starts.
It is interesting that Nissan, Hyundai, and VW each choose a different optimization of cost, drivability, and efficiency. Nissan optimized cost and efficiency, but
may incur some lurching when the clutch engages the engine. Hyundai optimized
drivability and efficiency, but added the cost of the BAS system. VW optimized
cost and drivability, but lost some efficiency due to inclusion of a conventional
torque converter. It will be interesting to see which design prevails in the market,
or if all continue to be used for different applications.

Hybrid market forecast


Hybrids are well on their way to overcoming mainstream customer-loss aversion.
Although hybrid vehicles currently cost too much for the mainstream customer,
customers who drive a lot or value the fuel economy savings and hybrid features
more highly have been buying hybrids for 10 years. These hybrids have had excellent reliability, making customers more comfortable with the concept and also
with the fact that they operate exactly like conventional vehicles. Thus, the key to
mainstream consumer acceptance of hybrids is reducing hybrid vehicle cost and
increasing the benefits, both by providing electrical features for which customers
will pay a premium and further improving the efficiency of hybrid systems.
Cost reduction is the single most important factor in long-term hybrid sales.
Hybrid costs have already dropped substantially and will continue to decrease
with ongoing development of motors and power electronics and as the best Li-ion
chemistries emerge and manufacturers make the battery pack smaller. BMW is
already using a small 0.4 kWh to power a motor with 14-kW boost and 19-kW
generation. Parallel hybrids with 2-clutches will likely use larger motors than
BMW, in the 20-kW to 50-kW range depending on vehicle size, but continued
improvements in Li-ion batteries will reduce the battery size to 0.4-0.8 kWh,
correlated with the motor and vehicle size. Even at $650850/kWh, these batteries will only cost $350$550, plus about $100 in fixed costs. Motor and power

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 10|93

e lectronic costs will drop to less than the $12/kWh forecasted for 2015,23 plus
roughly $150 in base cost, or about $350$650. Additional costs are: wiring, about
$200; integration of the motor with two clutches into the drivetrain, roughly
another $200; hydraulic pressure control for blended brakes, about $100; and a
DC-DC converter, which should be less than $100. There may be additional costs
for the electrical air conditioning compressor as well, but these have not been
included here for consistency, as there are real-world efficiency benefits from electrical compressors that are not generally included in the hybrid efficiency benefits.
Hybrid cost credits are: reductions in engine size, about $100; elimination of the
conventional alternator and starter, about $100; and eliminating the torque converter, $50$100. Thus, net costs should eventually drop to roughly $1,150 for a
smaller car up to $1,600 for a larger light truck, plus retail markups.
These estimates are supported by 2030 hybrid cost estimates from MIT.3 MIT only
modeled the efficiency and cost of a parallel hybrid system due to its initial assessment that the powersplit system was too expensive. MIT projected an incremental
hybrid cost of $1,900 for a mid-size car. However, MIT inexplicitly assumed battery pack size would not significantly decrease in the future compared to current
hybrids with NiMH batteries and modeled a 1.0-kWh Li-ion battery pack for a
25-kW motor. Current vehicles with NiMH batteries use similar-sized battery
packs and BMW is using a 0.4-kWh Li-ion battery pack on the 2011 ActiveHybrid
7. Thus, MITs battery size is overstated by at least 75%, meaning that its battery
cost is likely overstated by at least $300. In addition, MITs motor and controller
cost estimates were $15/kW higher than the 2015 forecast by EERE 2010 of $12/
kW, so the motor cost is likely overstated by about $150. With these two corrections, the MIT projected costs would be about $1,450 for a mid-size car. Also note
that MITs hybrid battery cost estimate of $750/kWh is higher than Argonnes cost
estimate of $500$650/kHw for future Li-ion conventional hybrid batteries.
Hybrid costs will gradually decrease as the hybrid market expands, due to further development and more vehicles over which to spread development costs.
The lower costs, in turn, will lead to more sales. At some point, hybrid sales will
become large enough to justify fully integrating the motor and clutches into a
redesigned transmission. Once this occurs, the incremental cost of integrating the
motor and clutches into the drivetrain can be virtually eliminated. One p
ossible

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94|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 10

example is a dual-clutch automated manual transmission (DCT) design from Getrag with the electric motor integrated into the transmission (Figure 10.2). Such
integration would eliminate both the launch problem of the DCT and the problem
with finding room between the engine and the transmission for the electric motor
and clutches. Integrating the motor into the transmission can further reduce the
cost of the hybrid system by about $150. Thus, in the long run, the two-clutch
parallel hybrid system should cost about $975 for small cars up to about $1,425 for
larger trucks, plus retail markups (Table 10.2). At these costs, the payback period
from reduced fuel costs is less than three years, within the acceptable discount
demanded by mainstream customers.

Figure 10.2 Dual-clutch automated manual transmission


with integrated electric motor.
(Courtesy of Getrag Corporate Group)

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 10|95

Manufacturers can also take advantage of the high-voltage, high-power electrical system on board to provide additional features valued by customers. An early
example was the 115V and 230V power outlets offered by GM and Chrysler in
their full-size pickup trucks. A host of electrical devices entering the market
require additional amounts of electric energy that may strain current 12V systems.
These features include heated seats, wiperless windshield systems, ride control
systems, steer-by-wire, four-wheel steering, voice-activated controls, voice-recognition security systems, and mobile multimedia such as video systems, cellular
phones, navigation systems, audio amplifiers, and high-speed Internet access. New
safety systems also are increasingly popular, such as stability control and shortrange radar and video-camera warning systems.

Table 10.2 2030-35


Projected Hybrid Costs.

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96|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 10

Finally, improved hybrid system controls that integrate the operation of electrical
and hybrid drive components and optimize both engine and hybrid system efficiency will further reduce fuel consumption, increasing the amount mainstream
customers would be willing to pay for a hybrid. MIT3 projected fuel consumption, including a 15% in-use adjustment, for various propulsion technologies on
a mid-size car in 2030, all with the same load reduction. They projected a 2030
mid-size parallel hybrid with an optimized naturally aspirated gasoline engine
would achieve 3.08 L/100 km/L (76.4 mpg), including the 15% in-use adjustment.
For comparison, they projected that the same vehicle without the hybrid system
would achieve 5.50 L/100 km/L (42.8 mpg) and that it would achieve 4.84 L/100
km/L (48.6 mpg) with the addition of a 2030 downsized, turbocharged engine.
Addition of the hybrid system achieved a 79% increase in fuel economy (44%
reduction in fuel consumption). Even compared to the downsized, turbocharged
engine, the hybrid system without a turbocharger increased fuel economy by 57%
(36% reduction in fuel consumption). These modeled benefits are larger than most
estimates of current hybrid efficiency improvement, which supports the potential
for additional optimization of the engine and hybrid system in the future.
Compared to MITs estimate for the 2006 baseline vehicle of 8.85 L/100 km/L
(26.6 mpg), the 2030 hybrid provides a 65% reduction in fuel consumption (187%
increase in fuel economy). Combined with the substantial improvements to the
engine and transmission and large reductions in vehicle load expected by 2030,
hybrid vehicles will approximately triple fuel economy compared to 2006 vehicles.
The future market success of hybrids is virtually assured by the combination of
component cost reduction, use of the less expensive 2-clutch parallel hybrid system, addition of electrical features desired by customers, and increased efficiency.
All of these improvements will occur steadily through at least 2030. Sometime
around 2020 hybrid costs will be low enough to reach a tipping point, after which
some mainstream customers will accept hybrid systems as standard equipment.
An additional consideration is the aggressive standards under consideration by
NHTSA and EPA for the 2017-2025 model years. These standards are likely to
cause manufacturers to internally subsidize hybrid prices a little, as a moderate
number of hybrid sales can significantly help manufacturers achieve the standards.

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 10|97

This likely internal price subsidy might pull mainstream customer acceptance of
hybrids a few years ahead of 2020.
Until mainstream customers start accepting hybrids, hybrid market share will continue to increase slowly, adding only about 0.5% to their market share each year.
Somewhere between 2015 and 2020 there will be a tipping point, when increasing consumer confidence in hybrids, decreasing costs, and increasing benefits
cause mainstream consumers to begin accepting hybrids as standard equipment.
After this point, hybrid sales will increase much more rapidly. The need to build
a substantial supplier base and normal redesign cycles will extend the transition
for another 10 to 15 years, but by 2030 at least 75% of new car and light trucks
will include hybrid systems (Figure 10.3). Only the cheapest vehicles and vehicles
with substantial load carrying or towing capabilities would likely stay with conventional powertrains in the long term. Even these are likely to incorporate less
expensive, lower-power systems for idle-off, improved alternator efficiency, and
limited launch assist and regenerative braking. For example, GM is introducing an

Figure 10.3 Conventional Hybrid Sales Forecast.

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98|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 10

115V BAS system on the 2012 Buick LaCrosse that uses a Li-ion battery pack and
provides 11 kW of acceleration assist and 15 kW of regenerative braking.
Ironically, Toyota faces a dilemma in the future. It is highly unlikely that the input
powersplit system can compete with the 2-clutch parallel system in the long run.
As the dominant producer of hybrids and the company that has shown the most
faith in the future of hybrids, Toyota has made a huge investment in the input
powersplit system. Toyota even invested over $30 million in advertising to try to
establish their brand name for hybrids, Hybrid Synergy Drive. It will be very
difficult for Toyota to admit it has invested in the wrong system and to change to
the 2-clutch parallel system, but the longer it waits to make the change, the more
expensive it will be. Ford is faced with the same dilemma, although to a lesser
degree, as it has not invested as much in the system to date as Toyota.

Other Hybrid Market Influences


There are two indirect factors that could strongly influence conventional hybrid
market success. The first factor is fuel price and availability. The second factor is
market alternatives, such as diesel engines in the short-term and PHEVs, BEVs,
and fuel-cell vehicles in the long-term. The long-term case of PHEVs, BEVS, and
fuel cells is discussed in the next Chapter on PHEVs.
Modest increases in fuel price probably will have little impact on hybrid market
acceptance. The real cost of driving currently is actually lower than historical levels. It will take at least a doubling of fuel prices or the threat of ongoing fuel shortages before consumer concern about fuel prices will return to the level before the
first oil price shock. However, if fuel prices increase to at least $5.00 per gallon in
the near future or if there is a real threat of supply disruption, this will likely drive
a large number of additional customers to embrace hybrid technology. This is
something that is not under the control of manufacturers and cannot be planned
for, but it is a factor to monitor.
If hybrids are to dominate the mass market in the 2025 to 2030 timeframe, it is
not enough to merely solve the cost problem. Hybrids also must be better than
alternatives that offer step-function improvements in efficiency. The primary

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 10|99

c ompetition will come from diesels in the short term and PHEVs, BEVs, and fuelcell vehicles in the long term.
Diesels currently offer much the same efficiency benefits as hybrid gasoline
vehicles. Currently the fuel savings are similar, so the battle comes down to cost
and customer acceptance. In the short term, diesels have a modest cost advantage.
However, the potential for hybrids to reduce cost is much greater than it is for diesels. There are already six million light-duty diesels being sold in Europe each year,
most of them advanced designs, while hybrid vehicles are still in relatively early
stages of development with much lower sales. Diesels are inherently more expensive than gasoline enginesroughly $1,000 more for a four-cylinder engine and
increasing to $2,000 to $2,500 more for a V8 engine. Emissions control technology needed to meet the Tier 2 emissions standards adds another $1,000 to $1,500
to the price increment. The price increment for a hybrid vehicle currently is more
than this, but there is a great deal of potential for hybrid costs to decrease in the
future. In the long run, hybrids are likely to be lower cost than the diesel engine.
In the longer term, diesels also face a challenge from improved efficiency gasoline
vehicles. Many technologies already standard on diesels, such as direct injection,
turbocharging, and cooled EGR systems, will be added to gasoline engines in the
future to meet fuel economy and GHG standards. MIT3 projects that the efficiency
of an improved, downsized, turbocharged gasoline engine in 2030 will almost
match the efficiency of the diesel. Thus, the incremental efficiency gains from
shifting to diesels will be much lower than from moving to a hybrid system in the
future. It is highly unlikely that diesels can overcome their historically poor image
and gain significant market penetration in the United States before hybrid costs
are reduced to competitive levels and improved gasoline engines reduce the efficiency benefit from diesels.
Note that this logic does not apply to Europe. Hybrid vehicles have had a tough
time breaking into the European market because diesel engines are already
accepted and widely available there. European customers are understandably
reluctant to pay for a hybrid when a diesel gets the same fuel economy improvement and costs lessespecially because diesel fuel is subsidized in most European
countries and is substantially cheaper than gasoline. Although hybrid vehicles

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appear to be a better long-term solution, they will take much longer to break into
the mainstream market in Europe.
Of course, diesel hybrids are quite feasible. However, without a huge increase in
fuel costs or supply disruptions, diesel hybrids are not likely to be accepted by the
mass market in the United States. Adoption of either a gasoline hybrid or a conventional diesel engine significantly reduces fuel consumption. This means that
there are less fuel savings available for the next step of adding the hybrid system
to a diesel engine. It will be a challenge to get customers to accept the incremental cost of either technology alone. Asking consumers to accept the costs of both,
especially with diminishing fuel savings, does not seem feasible unless fuel costs
rise dramatically. Note that this applies only to mass-market acceptance of lightduty diesel hybrids. Significant market applications are likely for heavy-duty vehicles, especially for buses, urban delivery trucks, and military applications.

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Chapter Eleven

Future PHEV Markets


Table 11.1 summarizes additional PHEV models that have been announced for
production. Due to the volatile nature of these announcements, Table 11.1 may be
incomplete or inaccurate.
The Chevrolet Volt is the first production PHEV, introduced in late 2010 as a 2011
model (Figure 11.1). It is designed to maximize operation on electricity alone. The
Volt operates only on its electric motors (charge depleting mode) until the battery pack reaches its lower state-of-charge limit. The EPA estimates that the Volt
will travel 35 miles (56.3 km) on electricity alone before turning on the engine. A
16-kWh, 435-lb (197 kg) Li-ion battery pack made by LG-Chem provides electricity, although GM is only using 8-9 kWh of energy from the battery pack to reduce
deterioration and extend battery life. The engine is used only to extend the driving range after the electric-only operation has reached its limit (charge-sustaining
mode). Thus, if an owner regularly drives less than 25-30 miles (40.2-48.3 km) per
day and conscientiously plugs in the vehicle, then the engine will never come on
(although the Volt has an override to ensure that the engine comes on enough to
use up the gasoline in the tank and refill it at least once a year).

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102|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 11

Table 11.1
Projected PHEV Deployment by Make, Model Year.

Although the engine is not used during charge-deleting mode and is used primarily to recharge the battery pack, the Volt is not a series hybrid. Instead, it uses a
sophisticated planetary gear system with two electric motors. For most driving, at
speeds below about 70 mph (112.6 km/h), propulsion is provided solely by a 111kW traction motor connected to a sun gear in the planetary gear set. A smaller
54-kW generator-motor serves two purposes. At high vehicle speeds above
roughly 70 mph (112.6 km/h) during charge-depleting mode, the generator-motor
is used as a motor and the computer splits propulsion power between the traction
motor and the generator-motor through the planetary gear set. When the battery
drops to its lower limit, the engine is turned on to power the generator-motor,
which acts as a generator to continuously recharge the battery pack. At speeds
above roughly 70 mph (112.6 km/h) in charge-sustaining mode with the engine
on, propulsion power is delivered both by the traction motor connected to a sun
gear and by the engine connected to a ring gear in the vehicles planetary gear set.
This arrangement improves overall efficiency, as electric motor efficiency usually
decreases at high speed and the planetary gear arrangement lowers the speed of
the main traction motor and supplements it with the generator-motor.

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 11|103

The Volts design maximizes electricity usage. However, it requires a large battery
pack, two high power motors, and high power electronics. A shorter AER would
reduce the size and cost of the battery pack and a blended-operation strategy,
where the engine is turned on to assist with acceleration when needed, would
reduce the size and cost of the electric motors and power electronics.
Toyotas PHEV based on the Prius provides a good example of a shorter AER with
a blended-operation strategy. About 600 Prius PHEVs with Li-ion batteries were
placed in test fleets for evaluation in late 2009, with production scheduled for the
2012 model year. Toyotas PHEV uses a planetary gear system similar to the Prius,
a 73-kW engine, a generator, and a 60-kW propulsion motor. The 5.2-kWh Li-ion
battery pack is just a third the size of the pack in the Volt and provides an AER of
1213 miles (19.3-21 km), also about a third of the Volt AER. Maximum speed in

Figure 11.1
Chevrolet Volt layout of engine, generator, traction motor
(electric drive unit), and battery pack.
(General Motors Corp. Used with Permission of GM Media Archive.)

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104|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 11

EV driving mode is about 62 mph (100 km/h) and the battery can be recharged in
three hours using a 110V charger.
The Toyota blended operation strategy and GMs longer-range electric-only strategy have very different costs and will likely appeal to different customers. MIT3
estimated that a PHEV with a 3.6-kWh battery pack would cost $1,100 more than
a comparable 2030 hybrid vehicle, a PHEV with a 8.2-kWh battery pack would
cost $2,200 more, and a PHEV with a 16.5-kWh battery pack would cost $4,200
more. Note that these costs do not include any differences in the cost of the charging equipment, with an 110V charger assumed for all PHEVs. The step to a modest amount of AER is much smaller than the step to a long-range AER and may be
more acceptable to mainstream consumers.
Argonne National Laboratory30 conducted a more detailed assessment of PHEV
payback as a function of PHEV type and range. Cost and fuel and electricity consumption were modeled for five cases: an input powersplit HEV; PHEVs with
4-kWh and 8-kWh battery packs using a powersplit system; and 12-kWh and
16-kWh PHEVs using a series system. During charge-depleting operation, the
powersplit systems were run in blended mode, while the series systems operated
primarily in electric-only mode. Fuel and electricity consumption were modeled
over more than 100 real-world daily drive cycles developed by EPA31 and the cost
assumptions were defined to represent short- to medium-term technologies. For
example, battery costs were assumed to be $380/kWh plus $25/kW, which is more
representative of 2020 battery costs than long-term battery costs. Incremental
cost for the hybrid system over a conventional vehicle was estimated to be $2,784,
which is reasonable for the powersplit system assumed by Argonne, but substantially more than the 2-clutch parallel hybrid. The incremental costs for the PHEV
systems over the hybrid were estimated to be $1,852 for the 4-kWh system, $3,680
for 8 kWh, $7,458 for 12 kWh, and $9,309 for 16 kWh. The charging system cost
was assumed to be the same for all PHEV systems. Fuel cost was assumed to be
$4.00/gallon and electricity cost $0.09/kWh.
Using these assumptions, Argonne calculated the payback period needed for the
incremental PHEV fuel savings to offset the incremental cost of the PHEV systems, compared to their hybrid vehicle (Figure 11.2). There are two significant

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 11|105

conclusions from the graph. The first is that the PHEV payback periods are quite
long, much longer than the payback periods normally desired by mainstream customers. Of course, long-term reductions in battery, motor, and power electronics
cost will reduce the payback period, but it is unlikely that the payback period will
be reduced to the three-year level normally desired by mainstream consumers,
especially if fuel prices generally remain below the $4/gallon assumed by Argonne.
The second, and more important, conclusion is that the payback period is a function of the individual daily driving distance. PHEVs with larger battery packs
require longer daily driving to be cost effective. This also makes sense on an intuitive level. The maximum payback occurs when the battery pack is completely discharged each day. If the battery pack is only partially discharged each day, then the
customer has paid for very expensive batteries that are not being used.

Figure 11.2 Payback Versus HEV as a Function of Distance.


(Courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory, managed and operated by UChicago Argonne, LLC, for the U.S.
Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357.)

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106|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 11

PHEV Market Forecast to 2030


The cost and benefits of future PHEVs with lower-cost batteries are often compared to current conventional vehicles. This makes PHEVs look cost effective, but
it is not a valid comparison. Batteries today are three to four times more expensive
than they are projected to be in the 2025 timeframe, so the costs of near-term
PHEVs are far larger than the reductions in fuel consumption. In the long-term,
PHEV market share will be impacted by the improvements coming to the internalcombustion engine and the future market success of hybrids. Future PHEVs will
not compete with current conventional vehicles, but with hybrids achieving three
times higher efficiency than current vehicles. Compared to these future hybrids,
the payback period for PHEVs is much longer. For example, based on MITs projections32 the incremental cost of a PHEV-10 over a HEV, divided by the incremental fuel saved over the vehicle lifetime, is $2.16 per gallon. The cost per gallon saved
versus a HEV is $2.42 for a PHEV-30 and $3.29 for a PHEV-60. Given the severe
discounting of future, uncertain fuel savings, fuel prices would have to be roughly
three times these levels to be acceptable to the mainstream market.
While the economic payback for PHEVs is a significant issue, it is not the primary
barrier to PHEV mainstream market acceptance. More importantly, PHEVs introduce far too many uncertainties for mainstream customers. As discussed in Chapter 8, mainstream customers will be uncertain about much fuel they will save, how
much electricity will cost, how much hassle it will be to plug in, what the tradeoffs
are on performance and reliability, how much it will cost to install recharging
equipment and the impact it has on resale value, and the durability of the battery
and cost to replace it. Just the guidelines issued by Southern California Edison for
installation of recharging equipment are enough to scare off many mainstream
customers (www.sce.com/pev).
Honda and Toyota were well aware of consumer concerns about having to plug-in
hybrid vehicles. Both companies spent millions of dollars in advertising to reassure
early hybrid customers that the vehicles did not need to be recharged. Early PHEVs
will need to directly address these concerns to break into the mainstream market.
Access to charging is another limitation for the PHEV market. While at least half
of new vehicle customers have convenient access to electrical outlets, subsequent

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 11|107

owners are much less likely to have garages and driveways. Maximum market
share for PHEVs will be limited to the number of households that have ready
access to electrical outlets.
A related factor is that the different types of PHEVs offered by manufacturers are
going to confuse mainstream customers. Early adopters who are eager to learn
about the latest technologies will educate themselves and will be able to make
informed decisions. But most customers are not interested in technology details
and will simply want to know which type of advanced technology is best for them.
The different types of hybrid systems on the market are confusing enough without adding considerations of plugging in the vehicle, different AER ranges, and
blended versus electric-only mode operation. Mainstream customers will wait until
the best solution emerges before taking a risk on purchasing a PHEV. Few customers are willing to risk spending $30,000 or more on the Betamax of vehicles.
There will be significant niche markets for PHEVs. Home recharging can be a valuable feature for customers who dislike refilling gasoline at service stations. Some
customers will purchase PHEVs because they hate oil companies, want to make a
statement about petroleum imports, or to show off their green credentials. These
reasons are similar to the reasons behind the sales success of the Prius. Thus, most
early PHEV customers will be people trading up from the Prius. However, not all
Prius customers have ready access to an electrical outlet, so the early market for
PHEVs will be smaller than current Prius sales, perhaps 100,000 per year.
Another potential niche market may be fleet sales. GE recently announced plans
to purchase 25,000 electric vehicles, including PHEVs.33 Most fleets are very cost
conscious and will not be willing to spend the PHEV price premium, but government PHEV incentives may be large enough to influence some fleets to purchase
PHEVsat least until the incentives expire.
While there will be profitable niche markets for PHEVs, it is important to avoid
confusing niche markets with mass markets. For example, muscle cars are a small
part of the overall market, but the Ford Mustang has been profitable for decades
because it dominates this market. Similarly, a limited number of manufacturers
can make money on PHEVs by dominating the niche. Just like Mustang and
Prius owners, PHEV customers will be very enthusiastic about their vehicles. But

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108|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 11

customer enthusiasm and the presence of profitable vehicles are not sufficient to
sell to mainstream consumers. It makes no more sense to expect mainstream customers to replace their vehicles with PHEVs than it does to expect them to replace
their vehicles with muscle cars. The needs and expectations of mainstream customers are very different from the PHEV early adopters. PHEV sales will not exceed 1
or 2% of the market until these needs and expectations have been satisfied.
If fuel remains available and fuel prices do not rise too much, PHEV sales will
rise gradually from about 100,000 in 2012 to about 300,000 in 2020. From 2020
to 2030, increasingly affordable hybrids and rapidly increasing market share for
hybrids will likely stabilize PHEV sales at about 300,000 per year. Of course, if
genuine fuel shortages occur, this would greatly increase PHEV sales.

PHEV Markets After 2030


It is difficult to predict PHEV market share after 2030, as it depends on fuel price,
fuel availability, the level of concern with global warming, and development of
alternatives, such as battery-electric vehicles and fuel-cell vehicles.
In the long term, fuel-cell vehicles are likely to be competitive in cost with hybrids
and PHEVs and have adequate range and rapid refueling. Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles also have the advantages of virtually no emissions and high efficiency. However, fuel-cell vehicles face major challenges with production, distribution, and
storage of hydrogen. Initially, large-scale production of hydrogen probably would
use natural gas, which would reduce our dependence on imported oil but is not
the best solution for global warming. Longer term, hydrogen could be produced
using renewable or non-carbon energy sources, such as solar energy, biomass
fuels, and nuclear energy. Fuel-cell vehicles will face tremendous costs in creating
an entirely new infrastructure. Thus, fuel-cell vehicles are not likely to penetrate
the mass market until the supply of relatively cheap oil ends.
BEVs are another potential long-term solution. The issues with BEVs are the
opposite of fuel-cell vehicles. Electricity is available everywhere, the infrastructure
is well developed, existing utility companies have a vested interest in helping BEVs
succeed, and electricity is cheaper than petroleum. The concerns with BEVs are
primarily on the vehicle side. Current Li-ion batteries are only capable of about a

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 11|109

100-mile (160.9-km) real-world range, plus the battery pack cannot be recharged
in less than about 45 minutes. BEVs can be competitive as 2nd or 3rd cars for relatively wealthy owners or as the only vehicle in highly congested cities where longer
trips are rare, but the range and recharging limitations are completely inadequate
for full-function vehicles. The energy density of Li-ion batteries can likely be doubled by 2020, but this still will not be adequate to replace mainstream vehicles.
An entirely new kind of energy storage is necessary for BEVs to compete with
hybrids, PHEVs, and even fuel-cell vehicles for mainstream customers. Just like
fuel-cell vehicles, BEVs are not likely to penetrate the mass market, at least in the
U.S., until the supply of relatively cheap oil ends.
There is no way of knowing when this will occur. Future oil supply will be influenced by continuing advances in oil recovery technology, economic development
in Third-World countries, efficiency improvements in internal-combustion vehicles, market penetration of hybrid vehicles, Middle East stability, and development
of alternative sources of oil, such as oil shale, oil sands, bitumen deposits, biofuels,
and gas to liquid. The world could be experiencing severe oil supply problems
and price increases by 2020, or oil recovery technology improvements, vehicle
efficiency improvements, and development of oil alternatives could push this back
until the next centuryor anything in between. However, there are two reasons
why this will likely occur later rather than sooner. First, it is in the interest of oilproducing countries, such as Saudi Arabia, and of countries with oil substitutes,
such as Venezuelas oil sands, to keep the price of oil at reasonable levels. The last
thing these countries want is a worldwide stampede to develop hydrogen technologies and infrastructures or to deploy electric vehicles, which would devalue their
oil resources. Second, the track record of the doomsayers is not good; erroneous
predictions of imminent oil supply collapse have been made regularly for decades.
Mass market acceptance of hybrid vehicles will delay the transition to alternative
technologies and fuels, as it will extend the supply of oil and reduce the incremental benefits of switching to alternatives. In fact, the strongest long-term driver to
move to alternatives may be global warming. Hybrid vehicles will yield faster and
deeper reductions in greenhouse gas emissions than any other path, but will not
remove all carbon emissions

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110|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 11

There are three possible scenarios for long-term PHEV and hybrid sales:

1 Rapid improvements to conventional vehicles and rapid increases in hybrid


market share keep fuel available at a reasonable price and provide adequate contributions to carbon reduction. In this case PHEVs will slowly increase market share
after 2030, but will remain a relatively small portion of new vehicle sales.
2 Fuel shortages or global warming requires maximum possible carbon/fuel
reductions, plus either the infrastructure problems with fuel-cell vehicles or the
energy-storage problems with BEVs are solved. In this case PHEVs will be largely
passed over in favor of FCVs or BEVs. PHEV sales might rise to 10 or 20% of the
market during the transition period, but they will never dominate the market.
3 Fuel shortages or global warming requires maximum possible carbon/fuel
reductions, but the infrastructure problems with fuel-cell vehicles and the energystorage problems with BEVs both prove to be difficult to solve. This is the only
scenario that leads to large-scale production of PHEVs.
Government intervention could help boost short-term PHEV sales. However,
government incentive programs to stimulate demand are not likely to affect longterm PHEV sales. The primary justification for targeted incentives is to help an
otherwise competitive technology overcome initial barriers, such as technologies
that need new infrastructure or new sources of fuel. This is sometimes referred
to as the valley of death. However, PHEVs dont really have a valley of death, as
they will primary use home recharging with existing 110V outlets. Thus, PHEVs
sales will return to low levels when the incentives end, although the incentives
could boost sales while they are in effect. A much more effective long-term strategy would be to radically increase fuel prices to European levels or beyond. This
would send a strong signal to customers and would help the PHEV market, as well
as the transition to longer-term solutions such as BEVs and fuel-cell vehicles.
Given the current low price of fuel in the U.S., a modest increase in fuel prices is
not going to significantly help PHEVs and other advanced technologies. The fuel
price increases must be dramatic and must more than offset the tripling of fuel
efficiency coming with future hybrids. Given the historical resistance to fuel taxes

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 11|111

in the U.S., this will be very difficult to accomplish. One possible approach is a
wholesale shift from payroll taxes to fuel taxescall it the Income Tax Reduction
Act. Resources for the Future34 found that while the optimal fuel tax is extremely
sensitive to how the additional revenues are used, much higher fuel taxes benefit
the economy if the revenues are recycled through cuts in income taxes.
A frequently touted benefit from PHEVs is the ability to use the electricity stored
in the battery packs to provide valuable services to the electricity grid. The simplest service form is nighttime charging, which helps to balance daily loads and
reduces the additional peak electricity generation needed during the day. While
nighttime charging is feasible and desirable, there are four reasons why more
advanced ancillary utility services that dynamically manage the grid load, such as
V2G, are unlikely to be cost effective. First, customers will buy PHEVs to reduce
gasoline use and cost, not to make money on electricity services. Grid services
that discharge the battery or recharge it more slowly are likely to be met with
resistance from PHEV customers, especially since the differential electricity savings will be much smaller than the savings from avoiding the use of gasoline.
Second, automotive-grade Li-ion batteries are a premium product. They are far
more expensive than consumer-grade Li-ion batteries, as they must function from
-40 to 150F (-40 to 65.5C), be completely abuse tolerant under all conditions
including crash intrusions, last for at least 10 years, and handle high discharge
and recharging rates (regenerative braking). Batteries for stationary applications
do not need any of this. In fact,AEP has already installedsodium sulfur batteriesfrom NGK Insulators of Japan at a handful of substations, which can provide
1 or 2 megawatts (mW) of power for a few hours.35 Such batteries are far cheaper
than automotive-grade Li-ion batteries. It doesnt make any sense to degrade
expensive automotive-grade batteries instead of implementing solutions using far
cheaper energy-storage solutions. Third, stationary applications avoid the complexities of managing millions of small battery packs to balance the grid load. No
ancillary service market will want to deal with less than about 1mW of resources,
so a middleman would have to aggregate the automotive battery pack services to
bid in competition with existing suppliers of ancillary services. Issues that must
be addressed include how to determine the value of the service; how to split this
value between the vehicle owner, the owner of the charging infrastructure, and
the middleman; and how to give the credit back to the vehicle owner. Fourth, if

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112|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|Chapter 11

distributed ancillary services from households are feasible, existing energy-storage


systems, such as electric water heaters and refrigerators could provide the same
service without deteriorating expensive battery packs. Considering all of these
substantive issues, it is difficult to envision a scenario in which ancillary services
beyond nighttime charging would have economic benefits.

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116|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|References

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Hybrid-Powered Vehicles|117

About the Author


John German is a Senior Fellow and Program Director for the International Council for Clean Transportation (ICCT), with primarily responsibility for
technology innovation and U.S. policy development.
Mr. German has been involved with advanced technology and efficiency since joining Chrysler in 1976,
where he spent eight years in Powertrain Engineering working on fuel economy issues.
He next spent 13 years doing research and writing
regulations for the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA)s Office of Mobile Sources laboratory in Ann Arbor, MI. His rulemaking work included Tier 2 standards, revisions
to the Federal Test Procedure, cold temperature CO standards, and on-board
diagnostics. His research and analytical work included fuel economy technology assessments, fuel economy modeling, computer models of second-by-second
emissions, and nonroad emission inventories.
Prior to joining ICCT in January 2009, Mr. German spent 11 years as Manager
of Environmental and Energy Analyses for American Honda Motor Company.
His responsibilities included anything connected with environmental and energy
matters, with an emphasis on being a liaison between Hondas research & development people in Japan and regulatory affairs.

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118|Hybrid-Powered Vehicles | About the Author

Mr. German is the author of a wide variety of technical papers, including papers
on the future of hybrid vehicles, consumer valuation of fuel savings, feebates,
light-truck trends, factors affecting vehicle emissions, emission modeling, and
energy demand modeling. He has given numerous presentations on hybrid vehicles at conferences and university seminars, including participation in the SAE
Industrial Lectureship Program from 2001 to 2003, as well as wrote the chapter
on hybrid-electric vehicles for the Encyclopedia of Energy. Mr. German is also the
first recipient of the Barry D. McNutt award, which is presented annually by SAE
for Excellence in Automotive Policy Analysis, and is a member of the National
Research Councils Committee on Transitions to Alternative Vehicles and Fuels.
Mr. German has a bachelors degree in physics from the University of Michigan
and got over half way through an MBA before he came to his senses.

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