Energy consumption and cost analysis of hybrid electric powertrain configurations for two wheelers

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Applied Energy, 2015, 146 pp. 279 - 287
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© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. The development of hybrid electric two wheelers in recent years has targeted the reduction of on road emissions produced by these vehicles. However, added cost and complexity have resulted in the failure of these systems to meet consumer expectations. This paper presents a comparative study of the energy economy and essential costs of alternative forms of small two wheelers such as scooters or low capacity motorcycles. This includes conventional, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric variants. Through simulations of vehicle driving range using two popular driving cycles it is demonstrated that there is considerable benefit in fuel economy realised by hybridising such vehicles. However, the added costs associated with electrification, i.e. motor/generator, power electronics, and energy storage provide a significant cost obstacle to the purchase of such vehicles. Only the pure electric configuration is demonstrated to be cost effective over its life in comparison to conventional two wheelers. Both the hybrid electric and plug-in equivalents must overcome significant upfront costs to be cost competitive with conventional vehicles. This is demonstrated to be achieved if the annual driving range of the vehicle is increased substantially from the assumed mean. Given the shorter distances travelled by most two wheeler drivers it can therefore be concluded that the development of similar hybrid electric vehicles are unlikely to achieve the desired acceptance that pure electric or conventional equivalents currently achieve.
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