Shell Begins Ursa/Princess Waterflood Operations in Gulf of Mexico
UK Gallagher Review Calls for Significant Slowdown in Introduction of Biofuels

US DOE and Sweden SEA to Advance Market Integration of PHEVs

Argonne has developed a new tool—ARDAQ—for onboard data collection from and diagnostics of PHEVs. Click to enlarge.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) and the Swedish Energy Agency (SEA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate on accelerating consumer acceptance and commercialization of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The MOU outlines a one year, US$1 million cost-sharing arrangement that will be equally funded by DOE and the Swedish Energy Agency.

DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory will work with Test Site Sweden to demonstrate plug-in technologies, support research and development (R&D), as well as share operational and consumer data and solutions to potential vehicle-to-grid. Over the next year, the following activities will take place under the MOU:

  • Proof of concepts to support PHEV development and introduction, e.g., vehicle instrumentation, vehicle-to-grid/home hardware and smart charging systems;

  • Tracking and evaluating customer behavior in field operational testing;

  • Quantification of national, utility, and customer benefits; and,

  • Planning and deployment of convenient public charging stations.

Argonne, which is the US’ lead lab for the simulation, validation and laboratory evaluation of PHEVs and PHEV technologies, has developed a new tool for the analysis and evaluation of plug-in hybrid vehicle performance: the Argonne Real-Time Data Acquisition (ARDAQ) system. ARDAQ provides onboard data collection and diagnostics of PHEVs.

ARDAQ is based on Controller Area Network (CAN) information collected on two separate CANs. CAN technology lets microcontrollers and other devices communicate without a host computer. ARDAQ then uses the global positioning system and other sensors to simultaneously collect moment-by-moment data on a package of 25 vehicle-performance measures, including driving and engine speed; fuel flow, use and economy; hybrid battery current; frequency of battery charge; hybrid watt-hours per mile; PHEV watt-hours per mile; and length and distance of trip.

Additionally, the standards for every performance measure are derived from physics-based computations, meaning that a range of factors is taken into account to calculate a single performance measure.

ARDAQ’s eight-ounce sensor module package can be quickly installed and can begin collecting information immediately. A month’s worth of data can be stored on a 1-gigabyte USB thumb drive. After a trip is completed, data from the thumb drive are uploaded to a personal computer and displayed using Google Earth. Eventually, wireless data transmission will be added to ARDAQ.

ARDAQ was recently used by judges to determine the winner of the Challenge X student competition. (Earlier post.)

The new MOU builds on a US-Sweden agreement signed in June 2007 that further expanded cooperation on renewable energy and vehicle technologies. (Earlier post.) The 2007 agreement focused cooperation on biomass production, transportation and automotive research, reducing the cost of renewable energy, and improving energy efficiency. It also established a bilateral working group to explore prospective projects.

In June, the governments of Sweden and the US also extended their cooperation with the Volvo Group on R&D on alternative fuels and hybrid solutions with a combined US$18 million grant from the DOE and the SEA. Volvo will provide a matching $18 million, for a combined $36 million investment. (Earlier post.)



At the risk of sounding bitter, all i see is the DOE studying everything to death instead of solving the problem. They're spending money to study "consumer acceptance and commercialization". How about getting a product to market? ...that'll solve the "acceptance" issue (because there won't be any acceptance issue).

The MOU outlines a one year, US$1 million cost-sharing arrangement...

Well hey big spender.... HA.


The neo-con agenda of government is to stay out of the commercial fur ball. They say the less the better.


If government regulations could be written to put blended EV mode on even playing field with pure EV mode, then that by itself would speed up introduction of PHEVs with no cost to tax payers.

But, sure, one million dollar is almost nothing. It can only pay one engineer year of effort.

John Taylor

Accelerating consumer acceptance and commercialization of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

Did they check with reality?
Why stop half way at going Battery Electric?

Try realizing this is another short sneak attempt to stay on oil rather than solve our fossil fuel dependency that is killing our planet.

What did we expect? It is Bush led. Someone else will step up and show how it is done.

John Taylor

Note .. the People of the USA, and of Sweden should be ashamed of the pitiful showing of their governments.

Roger Pham

A million dollars? Oh, just pay me $500k and I'll be able to show the DOE that customers will accept PHEV very well, especially those who plug-in their cell phone to charge it up every nite and those same people who have to pay $4 for gasoline at the pump!


I think some of you are confusing the role of manufacturers and government. It isn't the DOE's job to bring anything "to market". That job belongs to GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Subaru, Volkswagon, Fiat, etc.,etc., etc. The DOE's job is to finance technology developments and encourage certain technologies, in short to study not build. That's it's job. What GM. et al. does with the data and tech developed is up to them.
And while I know that most of you have strong opinions about which technologies are the only possibility and everything else is waste the DOE HAS to research and study all possibilities. It can't afford to overlook incremental possibilities either or some politician will scream bloody murder that the Dept. is trying to "pick winners" and "playing favorites". Face reality, Goverments are POLITICAL entities by definition, they have to play politics, its their first and most important function. They are not engineering firms, they are not godlike dictators of what must happen next, and the US isn't a command dictatorship. Like it or not our job (enthusiasts like you and me) is to do the selling job of convincing Mom & Pop Average that they need to make drastic changes, the DOE works for Mom & Pop Average, not the dreamy radicals like us. Be glad they're studying any kind of change.
Also keep in mind that this one small info sharing contract isn't the sum total of their efforts in any case. This is simply an agreement to exchange data, not develope it or move it forward, but simply share it. This probably won't even pay for engineers, but simply for a fes secretaries and file clerks to cross file and do the data entry of the real research being conducted by the respective labratories with one another. Maybe for one or two translators to do the English-Swedish/Swedish-English translations.
This contract is simply an implementation supplemental to previous aggrements, and is probably only one of several simple housekeeping agreements between the two countries. Honest you guys can whinge about anything.
Again be glad when a government bureaucracy starts heading your way, applaud them, compliment them, encourage such trends. Huge agencies do not turn on dimes! The fact that their going in the right direction should cause you to feel better about life, not whinge that it ain't fast enough or far enough for you. When a baby takes it's first steps, do you also whine about it not running the 100meter in 6 seconds at the get go?


Reality Czech
Did they check with reality? Why stop half way at going Battery Electric?
Because batteries are still expensive and scarce, and a solution which works for 20% of the vehicle's range can eliminate 80% of the vehicle's fuel requirements. We can get the other 20% later.

Reality Czech says "batteries are still expensive and scarce"

The solution is to invest in making the batteries plentiful and cheap. This means investing in mass production.

Henry Gibson

Ten years ago AC propulsion showed that the cost of lead acid batteries was low enough to make them useable in electric vehicles. They also showed at the same time that a plug-in-hybrid could be built by towing a lightweight generator that could keep the car going forever at freeway speeds with stops at gas stations every 300 miles. LiIon batteries has now got their interest. With the TH!NK now in production it can be converted toPlug-in-hybrid by adding AC's charging engine or something similar(OPOC), but put it in the chassis. ..HG..

The comments to this entry are closed.