Electric Vehicle Institute
- Electric Falcon
- Ohio Hybrid Bus Project
- Dynamic Electric Motor Load Simulator Project
- Diesel Electric Hybrid Vehicle Propulsion Project
Electric Falcon - In 1993, utilizing a standardized Formula Lightning chassis, the Electric Vehicle Institute (EVI) developed, tested, and installed the battery-powered drive-train. The result is the open-wheeled racecar, affectionately known as the Electric Falcon. The Electric Falcon is an example of a zero emission vehicle, powered by thirty Optima lead acid batteries. This research platform provided the development and expertise of motor, controller and drive train component.
Ohio Hybrid Bus Project - Beginning in 1997, EVI was awarded a $150,000 research and development contract. The Electric Vehicle Institute, along with the project management team of NASA’s Lewis Research Center, joined a consortium of Ohio businesses and government agencies to build a prototype 40 foot city transit bus that operates using an electric motor, ultra-capacitors and a turbine-driven generator. The goal of the Ohio Hybrid Bus Project was to build a state-of-the-art vehicle which can operate under variety of environmental conditions, while at the same time emitting fewer pollutants and costing less to operate than a traditional diesel-powered bus. EVI’s role in the project was to design, build and install the electric power train, which included the traction motor, the power controller and transmission. These components were derived from experience with the Electric Falcon race competition. This was the first successful heavy hybrid vehicle using ultra- capacitors as the energy storage device. These efforts produced the award of a patent on this system which included the specifications for the Hybrid Booster Drive System (HBD).
Dynamic Electric Motor Load Simulator Project - In 1999 the Electric Vehicle Institute was awarded a $259,989 contract from NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland to design and construction of three liquid cooled motors and power controller resistive load back to be incorporated into the Dynamic Electric Motor Load Simulator Project. This proof of concept system was used to test and evaluate the potential to determine if current electric motor technology has advanced to the point where it could be used to help guide the next generation space shuttle and commercial aircraft.
Diesel Electric Hybrid Vehicle Propulsion Project - In 2002, EVI received $950,000 and in 2003, EVI received a $447,075 continuation of funding to develop a Diesel Electric Hybrid Vehicle Propulsion System applicable to medium sized trucks and buses by incorporating the Hybrid Booster Drive developed at the Electric Vehicle Institute (EVI) at Bowling Green State University (BGSU).
The EVI approach capitalized on the past involvements with NASA. The ultra-capacitor energy storage that was successful on the Ohio Hybrid Bus Project and the motor and drive that were developed for the Dynamic Load Simulator Project have been incorporated into the design. These components have been configured in a parallel hybrid system that will supplement the diesel drive train during acceleration and braking.
The method for development started with a fully operational diesel equipped step van from Workhorse Chassis rated at 16,000 GVWR. The step van has been fitted with an electric motor, drive, ultra-capacitors and instrumented. This chassis continues to be test and modified to improve performance.
The Hybrid-System being developed at BGSU will contribute to domestic energy independence, energy diversity, and environmental quality improvements, and provide the commercial user with a cost-effective solution. The hybrid-drive operates on an efficient combination of diesel fuel and electricity. Future models could operate on biofuel, eliminating petroleum from the equation.
BGSU's technology offers a simple and economically viable solution that can be implemented in the near future. This is because it supplements traditional engine drive trains while reducing fuel requirements and lowering exhaust emissions. As future power sources, such as fuel cells and micro turbines, become cost effective, the BGSU technology can also be applied.
This project has yielded two functioning vehicles, each of which features the Hybrid Booster Drive® (HBD) system. One vehicle is a step van, commonly used by parcel delivery services. The second is a medium size bus commonly used in shuttle service. These two vehicles will provide manufacturers and operators with an opportunity to examine first hand the HBD system.
Although the medium duty truck and bus applications were the focus of this project, the HBD system is scalable to larger and smaller vehicles.
The HBD offers the vehicle designer a straightforward, cost justifiable approach to achieve increased fuel mileage and reduced emissions. It can be expected that the HBD can be implemented in current diesel chassis using existing production processes. HBD technology is a sensible approach which enables vehicle manufacturers to include a hybrid option to their line in the near term. Other hybrid approaches are typically more complex, often more expensive and less likely to spur investment without government financial subsidy.
As a result of this project, there should be little doubt as to whether the ultra-capacitor as an energy storage buffer is feasible in hybrid vehicles of the type presented. Vehicle manufacturers are encouraged to consider ultra-capacitors as an alternative to batteries in hybrid applications with missions requiring numerous starts and stops.
1. Yields 28% increase in fuel economy during drive cycle.
2. Recovers 71% of available regenerative energy.
3. Torque produced is sufficient for regenerative braking (REGEN) and for acceleration.
4. Fixed gearing of electric propulsion system (EPS) stops vehicle in the required distance without service brakes.