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EPRI and Argonne National Laboratory to Assess Commercial Viability of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and Argonne National Laboratory have entered into a three-year collaborative agreement to conduct detailed analysis of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) aimed at assessing the commercial feasibility of this technology for the US Department of Energy.

The EPRI and Argonne analysis will evaluate PHEVs, hybrids and conventional vehicles, assessing them from environmental, cost, design, and marketing perspectives. The engineering and technical studies will be conducted at the two organization’s respective research facilities in Palo Alto, California, and Argonne, Illinois, and will involve the participation of some of the world’s leading transportation experts.

The objective of the multi-year research project is to provide a balanced and authoritative study of both the advantages of, and the challenges to, the design and commercial production of PHEVs. An assessment of potential social benefits of PHEVs, including reductions in imported petroleum-based fuels, enhancement of American energy security and air quality improvement will be key components of the study.

The research project, which is funded by the Department of Energy’s Office of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies, is the latest in ongoing formative research that began in 2001 with the EPRI study, Comparing the Benefits and Impacts of Hybrid Electric Vehicle Options, and the Argonne study Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technology Assessment: Methodology, Analytical Issues, and Interim Results. The new project will look carefully at the effect of PHEVs on the US economy, and their viability from industrial and manufacturing perspectives.




3 years! You have to be kidding!



they are paid to do nothing.

Alexander Terrell

This sort of study should take 2-4 months. After 3 years, they'll have to restart the study because all the early work will be out of date.

Hopefully in 3 years Nissan will have made the study completely superfluous.

fyi CO2



unbelievable waist of Government money.
If I am not mistaken at least one of the DOE Freedom Car people were at the CA ZEV conference. And almost all everyone talked about was the problems with HEV's; especially repeated cold starts causing significant emission problems if the catalytic converters had cooled. All anyone would have to do is write up a transcript of the confrence.
No wonder some like Phoenix Motorcars and Telsa and ZAP ... choose to persue a different route .... all EV. I wish them all well as the DOE funds usless research.

David Thomas

EPRI is pro PHEV and Argonne labs has some good technical people. I think we might get something worthwile dispite the Freedom car groups involvement.



HEV are already well established technology. PHEV is logical step forward. While HEV is OK with NiMh (robust, safe, long life, high power), PHEV requires all of these, but plus additional abilities of deep discharge (without deterioration after thousands of cycles), good low-temperature performance, and low self-discharge. Fast charge is additional bonus. Sounds familiar?

Pure EV battery should add high specific energy, and it is critically important.

Both HEV and PHEV do not require additional recharging infrastructure, and are, as such, mainstream vehicles. BEV, on the other hand, could be niche application at best, at least for a decade.

No wonder guys in LA were more concerned with what is at hand, not on the horizon.



I believe the next version of the Prius, which is supposed to have plug in capability, will be available and selling out for the 2008 model year, that's a year an a half before this study is done.

What a waste, just get a reporter to interview the project lead of the Prius redesign.

tom deplume

The cold start emission problem is worth a good look at. The plug-in advantage is there will be fewer cold starts. Just how many fewer in a wide variety of weather conditions and traffic situations needs a good look at. The GM-Allison parallel system did not show any significant emissions improvement over a traditional drive train. When you start looking at all the combinations of variables to study then 3 years may not be long enough.


you guys have got some serious problems over there! you plug it in it works you go to work in it , everybodys happy except may the oil companys!

Jerome Alicki

Does "assessing the commercial feasibility" include the layoffs of another 280,000 factory workers in Michigan? Another 3 years of delays means tens of thousands of auto workers out of work. That means home foreclosures, higher crime rates, people not being able to afford to send their kids to college and neighborhood small businesses near the auto plants going under as well. The DOE should help the Big Three start producing PHEV's now.


If the big 3 can't get off their collective butts they don't deserve to survive. I'd like to see a new auto industry develope in N.A. that has fresh leadership and a fresh attitude. If they would make what we need they would last longer than making what they want and then spending a lot of effort telling us it's what we want. Rant over.


Scott - you write - "I believe the next version of the Prius, which is supposed to have plug in capability, will be available and selling out for the 2008 model year, that's a year an a half before this study is done."

"What a waste, just get a reporter to interview the project lead of the Prius redesign."

Can't. They just accidented him. But dead men can talk. Watch these spaces.


One thing that occured to me is the cold start load. If you can have an HEV that can run EV while the engine is warming up before putting load on it, this might reduce pollution as well. Just put a controlled gradual load from the alternator to batteries on the engine until the ICE is up to proper temperature.

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