Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation (eTec), a wholly owned subsidiary of ECOtality, Inc., will conduct baseline and fleet testing on two 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid vehicles for the Department of Energy’s Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity (AVTA).
The AVTA is part of the Department of Energy’s FreedomCAR & Vehicle Technologies Program and is conducted by the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). Baseline performance testing will utilize specifications developed by eTec in conjunction with vehicle manufacturers and industry stakeholders (such as fleet managers), with the objective of measuring real-world vehicle performance. This project is part of a five-year contract with the Department of Energy that started in October 2005 and is valued at $10.5 million.
eTec, through its sister company Electric Transportation Applications (ETA), has been contracted to conduct this vehicle testing for the AVTA. eTec will test the two-mode hybrid Tahoe’s battery system after an initial break-in period and again at 160,000 miles to establish changes from baseline performance.
Testing will be performed in and around Phoenix, Arizona, and will utilize automotive proving grounds as well as the Advanced Power Train Test Facility of the Argonne National Laboratory outside of Chicago, Illinois. Some of the vehicle data that will be collected includes fuel consumption, acceleration, gradeability, road load coefficients (to support dynamometer testing), and vehicle durability.
eTec has already completed testing on 12 HEV models and is currently testing a number of plug-in HEVs, including conversions of both the Toyota Prius and Ford Escape Hybrid vehicle platforms. eTec will prepare a final report detailing the life cycle costs of the Tahoe Hybrid vehicles that includes fuel costs, operations and maintenance costs and resale values that will be posted on the DOE’s AVTA website.