The purpose of this study was to assess the potential of hybrid vehicles as a replacement of the conventional gasoline or diesel fueled internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle within the next 20 to 30 yr. In particular, the primary purpose of this study was to determine if there are hybrid vehicle designs and applications which are technically and economically viable and offer reductions in petroleum usage large enough to warrant major expenditures of R&D funds. A secondary purpose was to identify critical technical areas where R&D can be most usefully concentrated. The major conclusions reached in the study are: (1) Hybrid vehicles have a maximum potential to replace over 80% of the petroleum used by cars and light trucks with electricity by the year 2010. (2) The minimum estimated cost of a conversion to such hybrid vehicles would be roughly equivalent to paying $3.00/gal for gasoline in 1978 dollars. Considerable improvement in battery and controller costs and vehicle mass production are required to achieve the cost figure. (3) Hybrid vehicle costs and the petroleum displacement they provide are directly proportional. The more fuel they displace, the more it costs to displace it. Hybrid vehicles could conceivably replace 40% of the petroleum used by cars and light trucks with electricity by the year 2010 at a cost roughly equivalent to paying $2.00/gal for gasoline. These vehicles would have smaller battery packs and about half the electric range of the vehicles that would provide 80% as in (1) above. (4) No loss of mobility need be suffered by the American public in this conversion. Hybrid vehicles can offer the same payload capacities, performance, range, style, comfort, and amenities as today's cars and trucks--if properly designed and executed. (5) The ultimate potential of hybrid vehicles as a viable substitute for the conventional ICE vehicle will be limited not by technology but by high initial and life cycle cost. Present hardware is adequate in terms of physical parameters, but considerable cost reductions are required. (6) The critical technical areas where R&D money can be most usefully spent are: (a) System design and development. It remains to be shown that the designs in this study or similar designs can be built in mass producible and driveable forms. (b) Development of low cost long lived batteries--even at the expense of specific power and specific energy. (c) Development of low cost controllers. (Author)

  • Corporate Authors:

    Jet Propulsion Laboratory

    California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive
    Pasadena, CA  United States  91103

    Department of Energy

    1000 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20585
  • Authors:
    • Surber, F T
  • Publication Date: 1979-9-30

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: v.p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00324551
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: CONS-4209-T1(Vol. 1)
  • Contract Numbers: EM-78-1-01-4209
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 12 1981 12:00AM