11 Apr 2023

Evaluation of plug-in hybrid vehicles in real-world conditions by simulation

Assessing the real-world energy performance and emissions of Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs) is complex: it depends on their usage (trip distance, recharging behavior), and results in different combined uses of their thermal and electric propulsion.

In this study, vehicle simulators were calibrated using experimental data (in-lab and on-road), allowing a comprehensive range of uses spanning vehicle configurations, battery capacity, outside temperature and driving profiles. These results were synthetized through a method weighting each simulated use-case according to their probability, based on statistics of daily distance travelled and temperature. The assessment was made for a wide range of battery capacity and recharging frequency, and provided the real-world share of electric drive, CO2 emissions, fuel and electricity consumptions of PHEVs according to these two key parameters. Finally, in a very likely battery-constrained environment, PHEVs should be fostered to minimize GHG emissions providing that they are recharged at least every-five driving days.

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