Eliminating the torque hole: Using a mild hybrid EV architecture to deliver better driveability

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
2016 IEEE Transportation Electrification Conference and Expo, Asia-Pacific, ITEC Asia-Pacific 2016, 2016, pp. 173 - 179
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© 2016 IEEE. Hybrid vehicle engineering has traditionally and dominantly focused on fuel economy benefits and emissions reductions. Although the transient power delivery benefits of hybrid powertrains are well-understood, these are not a primary focus of the majority of research and development efforts, with some exceptions. Our approach to this problem is to deliver a low-cost, low-tech mild-hybrid powertrain, with unique power delivery features designed to appeal to price-sensitive, but aspirational consumers. The powertrain is a simple post-transmission parallel hybrid configuration. It utilizes a low-powered four-cylinder engine coupled to a four-speed manual transmission through a robotically-actuated clutch. A low-voltage BLDC motor is directly connected to the transmission output shaft, before the final drive. Our research focuses on bringing the benefits of HEV architecture to the world's developing cities, where, it can be confidently argued, local emissions reductions are needed the most. Crucial to the success of this research is the understanding that compared to an equivalent ICE-powered vehicle, an HEV competes at a price disadvantage, no matter how cost-effective the solution is. This disadvantage is amplified in regions of low-middle income, where price sensitivity is greatest. It must, therefore, present better value than an equivalent conventional vehicle if it is to be commercially successful in these particularly price-sensitive markets. We discuss the extent to which control can be used to deliver transient power delivery gains in such a setup, and offer an example powertrain for simulation. To validate the concept, simulation of this research is performed in MATLAB and Simulink. The prototype is based on a generic engine and a BLDC motor. The results mainly focus on the electric drive and comparison of the transient response of drivetrains.
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