Mar 4, 2007 (From the CalCars-News archive)
A year ago, President Bush promoted PHEVs in his Advanced Energy Initiative. Ten months ago the Energy Departments held its first-ever workshop on PHEVs last May, which included automakers, suppliers, utilities and PHEV advocates http://www.calcars.org/calcars-news/431.html. A week ago, Pres. Bush viewed a PHEV at the White House http://www.calcars.org/calcars-news/696.html. (We've just been alerted that you can watch that demonstration and the Bush's remarks in a 4-minute video at <http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/02/20070223-5.wm.v.htmlhttp://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/02/20070223-5.wm.v.html.)
Now the Energy Department has released a draft "PHEV Roadmap." In the draft's cover letter, Program Manager Edward J. Wall says, "In keeping with the growing public and congressional interest, I have targeted an expeditious release of the plan by April 20. Therefore, I ask for your response by e-mail no later than March 28.
Below we're reprinting the announcement, and selections from the Green Car Congress report on the plan. At GCC, you'll also see a few dozen comments, many of which make the same point we would make: we hope that a plan that sketches out research objectives between 2007 and 2015 will be superceded by far more rapid R&D from automakers and suppliers, and by results from rapid deployment of demonstration fleets and early commercialization well before eight years from now.
FreedomCAR & Vehicle Technologies Program: Draft Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle R&D Plan Available for Comment downloadable from http://www1.eere.energy.gov/vehiclesandfuels/features/phev_plan.html (44 pages, PDF-2MB).
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is supporting the development of hybrid vehicles with the ability to operate in both electrical/mechanical and electric-only modes recharging from a standard electric outlet because of the potential national benefits of substantially shifting fuel from petroleum to electricity. The Advanced Energy Initiative (AEI) announced by the President in the 2006 State of the Union describes plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) as a way to dramatically increase energy efficiency and utilize spare electric generating capacity.
The DOE Office of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies (FCVT) conducts research and development targeting more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly highway transportation technologies that enable America to use less petroleum. This research includes work on hybrid and electric propulsion technologies. The long-term aim is to develop "leap frog" technologies that improve vehicle energy efficiency and bolster energy security efforts at lower costs and with lower environmental impacts than currently used vehicles. The program focuses its investments specifically on technologies with uncertain or long-term outcomes that may have significant public benefit, if achieved.
FCVT, in consultation with industry and other appropriate DOE offices, developed the Draft Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle R&D Plan (PDF 2.2 MB) to accelerate the development and deployment of technologies critical for plug-in hybrid vehicles. This plan addresses all aspects of R&D from technology assessment through production readiness. The necessary development of batteries and electric drive components is described, including near- and mid-term R&D activities as well as long-term fundamental research. It also relies on analytical studies to quantify the potential national benefits of PHEVS, and the monitoring of global policy and technological developments to find opportunities for beneficial collaboration and stay aware of the latest advances from around the world.
The Office of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies invites interested parties to review this draft PHEV R&D Plan. In keeping with the growing public and congressional interest, FCVT has targeted an expeditious release of the plan by April 20. Please forward responses by e-mail (addressed to AAT@...) no later than March 28.
DOE Makes Draft Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle R&D Roadmap Available for Comment 28 February 2007 http://www.greencarcongress.com/2007/02/doe_makes_draft.html
The DOE Office of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies (FCVT) has developed a Draft Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle R&D Plan to accelerate the development and deployment of technologies critical for plug-in hybrid vehicles.
This plan addresses all aspects of R&D from technology assessment through production readiness. It describes the necessary development of batteries and electric drive components, including near- and mid-term R&D activities as well as long-term fundamental research.
It also relies on analytical studies to quantify the potential national benefits of PHEVs, and the monitoring of global policy and technological developments to find opportunities for beneficial collaboration and stay aware of the latest advances from around the world.
DOE is proposing two generations of technology development actions in addition to long-term R&D. The agency expects the resulting component developments, when integrated and validated in a vehicle environment, to produce necessary data for technology transfer and production readiness decisions by industry.
FCTV is inviting interested parties to review the draft PHEV R&D Plan and comment. FCVT has targeted a release of the plan by April 20.
Battery performance requirements versus vehicle application. A PHEV battery will experience both deep discharges like an EV (i.e., the large swings in SOC shown in green) and shallow cycling necessary to maintain the battery for power-assist in charge sustaining HEV mode (in yellow). Click to enlarge.
Lithium-ion Batteries. DOE has worked on developing Li-ion battery technology for years in partnership with the auto industry in areas such as technology development, applied research, and focused fundamental research. While this work is directly applicable to the PHEV R&D activity, PHEV requirements are more complex.
Battery requirements are extremely sensitive to vehicle design (i.e., all-electric or charge-depleting range) and a single PHEV design has not been (and likely will never be) agreed upon. This means that battery development must cover a range of requirements from providing essentially the same functionality as in today's hybrids (sharing power demands with the engine) to providing all the vehicle propulsion power as well as accessory loads (that could double the demand).
The requirements for a PHEV battery combine those of an electric vehicle (EV) which only depletes the battery during operation (i.e., "charge depleting only") and a typical HEV in production today that maintains the battery state of charge within bounds (i.e., "charge sustaining"). In addition to the stringent duty cycle, the power-to-energy (P/E) ratio (an influential design parameter) is specific to each vehicle application.
Acknowledging the uncertainties, DOE is developing near-, medium- and long-term goals for battery development.
While Li-ion batteries are making significant progress and offer significant advantages in higher specific energy and power than NiMH batteries, cost remains an challenge and durability with a PHEV duty cycle remains a question.
In approaching Li-ion battery development for PHEVs, DOE is using its approach applied to the development of NiMH batteries in the 1990s: highly interactive fundamental and applied R&D.
The DOE/USABC will release a PHEV battery solicitation in Q2 FY07 and expects to begin benchmarking or proof of concept contracts by early spring 2007. Similarly, the applied and focused fundamental research activities are planning to ramp up work on higher energy battery materials and cells following approval of the 2007 DOE budget.
Power electronics and electric machines. (PEEM) The DOE notes that PHEVs do not present any additional technical barriers for electric drive components since the power requirements fall within the spectrum of previously considered hybrid and electric vehicles.
DOE is also considering other vehicle efficiency technologies in the R&D plan. DOE does not consider vehicle-to-grid (V2G) power flow as a short-term enabler for PHEV technology, although it does acknowledge that V2G could have system-level benefits. With respect to PHEV-grid interaction, therefore, the DOE is focusing on the specific requirements of the interface for vehicle charging and the impact of charging on the grid and utilities.