|PHEVs and demonstration locations. Source: INL. Click to enlarge.|
The US Department of Energy (DOE), through its Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity (AVTA) at Idaho National Laboratory (INL), has completed 1 million miles of plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) testing.
The AVTA’s testing of PHEVs demonstrates PHEV concepts in real-world usage by using fleet and public drivers. The 1 million test miles and more than 26,000 charging events have been accumulated in on-road operations across the United States and Canada. More than 215 PHEVs, representing 12 different PHEV models—mostly conversions—have made up the PHEV test fleet to date.
|PHEV Models Under AVTA Testing|
|Ford E85 Escape||Johnson Controls/Saft|
|EnergyCS Prius||Altair Nano|
|Hybrids Plus Escape||Hybrids Plus|
|Hybrids Plus Escape||K2 Energy Solutions|
|Hybrids Plus Prius||Hybrids Plus|
|Manzanita Prius||Lead acid|
|Hybrids Plus Prius||Thunder Sky|
|Renault Kangoo||Saft NiCad|
|All batteries are Li-ion unless otherwise noted.|
The PHEV testing benchmarks vehicle performance by quantifying energy consumption, both in terms of gasoline and electricity, in a wide variety of operating conditions in 23 states and Canada. The testing also demonstrates how environmental conditions, such as air temperature and human behavior, influence the performance of PHEV technologies. By evaluating how the vehicles are driven and how they are charged, the AVTA is able to demonstrate vehicle energy consumption results and potential electric grid impacts.
In a recent talk on AVTA for Oregon EV planners, Jim Francfort from INL made the following macro observations from the testing results so far:
Driver behavior, charging frequency, and environmental conditions have significant impacts on electric drive vehicles’ 80-85% energy efficiencies and mpg results.
PHEV drive patterns suggest shorter distances per day driving patterns than previously documented.
PHEV operations often occur with minimal pre-trip charge events – “they run even if not plugged in”.
Non-charging energy use (hotel loads) may be significant.
INL is also a principle participant with eTec and Nissan in coming deployment of deployment of 4,700 battery-electric Nissan Leaf vehicles in 5 greater metropolitan statistical areas. (Earlier post.) The eTec/Nissan project will document more than 70 million miles of electric drive vehicle operations and more than 1.8 million charging events.
AVTA shares its testing results with industry and government research and development groups to aid in technology development and target setting. Information is also made publicly available via presentations and the AVTA Web site to help fleet managers and private consumers make knowledgeable decisions when acquiring advanced technology vehicles.
The AVTA’s PHEV testing effort involves more than 75 testing partners, including electric utilities; city, county, state, federal and provincial governments; universities and colleges; clean air agencies; private companies and other organizations.
As part of the AVTA, INL also collaborates with testing partner Argonne National Laboratory, which performs laboratory dynamometer testing of each PHEV model tested on the road. This testing partnership provides an important link between standard laboratory test results and real-world performance. In addition to Argonne, INL also collaborates with other DOE laboratories by sharing PHEV data analysis and reporting.
The AVTA is conducted by Idaho National Laboratory and the Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation (eTec) for DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Program. The AVTA also tests other electric drive vehicles such as hybrid electric vehicles and neighborhood electric vehicles.
AVTA PHEV testing
Jim Francfort, INL. Oregon E.V. Road Map - Electric Drive Vehicle (PHEVs) Testing Activities and Results (Nov 2009)