Using Global Positioning System Travel Data to Assess Real-World Energy Use of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have received considerable recent attention for their potential to reduce petroleum consumption significantly and quickly in the transportation sector. Analysis to aid the design of such vehicles and predict their real-world performance and fuel displacement must consider the driving patterns the vehicles will typically encounter. This paper goes beyond consideration of standardized certification cycless by leveraging state-of-the-art travel survey techniques that use Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to obtain a large set of real-world drive cycles from the surveyed vehicle fleet. This study specifically extracts 24-h, second-by-second driving profiles from a set of 227 GPS-instrumented vehicles in the St. Louis, Missouri, metropolitan area. The performance of midsize conventional, hybrid electric, and PHEV models is then simulated over the 227 full-day driving profiles to assess fuel consumption and operating characteristics of these vehicle technologies over a set of real-world usage patterns. In comparison to standard cycles used for certification procedures, the travel survey duty cycles include significantly more aggressive acceleration and deceleration events across the velocity spectrum, which affect vehicle operation and efficiency. Even under these more aggressive operating conditions, PHEVs using a blended charge-depleting energy management strategy consume less than 50% of the petroleum used by similar conventional vehicles. Although true prediction of the widespread real-world use of these vehicles requires expansion of the vehicle sample size and a refined accounting for the possible interaction of several variables with the sampled driving profiles, this study demonstrates a cutting-edge use of available GPS travel survey data to analyze the (highly drive cycle–dependent) performance of advanced technology PHEVs. This demonstration highlights new opportunities for using innovative GPS travel survey techniques and sophisticated vehicle system simulation tools to guide vehicle design improvements and to maximize the benefits offered by energy efficiency technologies.


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01043481
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309104449
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 8 2007 7:24PM