Multiobjective component sizing of a hybrid ethanol-electric vehicle propulsion system

Yinglong He, Chongming Wang, Quan Zhou, Ji Li, Michail Makridis, Huw Williams, Guoxiang Lu, Hongming Xu

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    28 Citations (Scopus)
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    Concerns over energy efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are driving research investments into advanced propulsion technologies. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) can provide a bridge that connects transport electrification to renewable bioenergy sources such as ethanol. However, it remains unclear how this pathway can simultaneously address economic, energy and environmental goals. To tackle this challenge, the present study explores, for the first time, the multiobjective optimal sizing of PHEVs powered by low-carbon sources of electricity and ethanol-gasoline blend. The empirical ethanol-gasoline blend model is incorporated into the PHEV simulation whose relevant parameters are validated using laboratory data from the European Commission – Joint Research Centre. We develop a full picture of the use-phase well-to-wheel (WTW) GHG emissions from ethanol, gasoline and grid electricity and their energy consumptions. Consequently, market-oriented PHEV sizing solutions are provided as per the power utility generation portfolio and automobile fuel properties of the target region. The results indicate that better performances of the PHEV, regarding GHG emissions and energy consumption, are associated with larger battery size and smaller engine displacement but result in a higher cost-to-power ratio. Specifically, for E25-fuelled PHEVs in markets with world average electricity carbon intensity, every 1.0 USD/kW increase in cost-to-power ratio leads to savings of 1.6 MJ energy consumption and 1.7 g CO2-eq/km WTW GHG emissions. Moreover, a clear benefit of using E25 in the hybrid propulsion system is identified, where the energy consumption and GHG emissions can be reduced by 5.9% and 12.3%, respectively.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number114843
    JournalApplied Energy
    Early online date20 Mar 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2020

    Bibliographical note

    NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Applied Energy. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Applied Energy, 266, (2020) DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2020.114843

    © 2020, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


    The authors acknowledge the support of the EPSRC funded project (New Control Methodology for the Next Generation of Engine Management Systems, EP/J00930X/1) and the Innovate UK funded project (Hybrid Electric Push-Back Tractor, 102253).
    Research project funded by the State Key Laboratory of Automotive Safety and Energy under Project No. KF2029.


    • Ethanol-gasoline blends
    • Low carbon propulsion
    • Multiobjective optimization
    • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Energy(all)
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
    • Building and Construction


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