This research was funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities, or NITC, a program of TREC at Portland State University.
Hybrid electric cars
Overview: Green Lite Motors is a Portland-based company building a hybrid commuter vehicle targeted for urban and suburban areas. The vehicle is a front/back, two-seat configuration with three wheels (two front and one rear-drive wheel). The vehicle is classed as a motorcycle, giving it all the advantages of a smaller footprint in parking and highway travel; however, the advanced roll-cage design and fairing give the vehicle safety and comfort advantages of a standard passenger car. The unique combination of internal combustion engine and electric motor give the vehicle mileage possibilities greater than 100 mpg as well as the convenience and advantages of a plug-in hybrid. The current vehicle has been developed with a gas-electric hybrid drive system as result of a prior Oregon BEST Commercialization Grant. The coverage of the OTREC grant effort relates to the dynamometer and highway testing for verification of mechanical operation, computer hardware and software integration, and control algorithm operational efficiency as well as implementation of resulting modifications related to initial system issues.
Mechanical System: The mechanical system involves the testing of the hybrid interface system proving seamless utilization and control of the internal combustion engine and electric motor. The configuration will be analyzed and tests will be designed for validation and verification of mechanical system integrity.
Embedded Control System Objective: The embedded control system consists of a real-time computer system tasked with calculation and application throttle control to the internal combustion engine and electric motor. The control system acquires real-time data from the internal combustion engine propulsion system, the electric motor propulsion system, and the vehicle user. From this input, both propulsion systems will be digitally controlled with the goal of optimizing power plant operation to get the most efficient use of the provided energy stores for moving the vehicle at the users desired performance levels. This system must be exhaustively tested for fault conditions and commissioned for optimal operation.
Integrated System: The vehicle will be dynamometer tested as a fully functional system. Different driving scenarios will be tested for vehicle performance, handling, and control system behavior. Mileage factors will be derived with a goal of 100 mpg under normal operation.
Long, J., Currin, H., Wang, X., Commute-Friendly Gas-Electric Hybrid Vehicle Testing. OTREC-RR-13-11. Portland, OR: Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC), 2013. https://dx.doi.org/10.15760/trec.64