1Introduction to Vehicle Propulsion and Powertrain Technologies

The advent of the internal combustion engine has significantly influenced human life. As the main propulsion technology used in vehicles, the internal combustion engine has become an integral part of modern life. However, as internal combustion engine vehicles increase in number, they constitute one of the largest sources of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. This chapter introduces currently available propulsion technologies, as well as their advantages and disadvantages. The chapter begins by providing a brief history of internal combustion engine vehicles, then reviews the environmental challenges associated with combustion engine emissions. The rest of the chapter discusses the benefits of emission control technology, alternatively-fueled propulsion, and advanced powertrain technologies.

1.1 History of Vehicle Development

Vehicles have a long and varied history. In this section, we highlight few key events [1–5]. In 1769, Nicolas-Josef Cugnot and M. Brezin designed and built the first self-propelled vehicle, a steam-powered motor carriage capable of a maximum speed of 6 km/hr. However, even when modified for faster speeds, its heavy mass hindered the vehicle's performance. In 1807, the invention of the internal combustion engine (ICE) by François Isaac de Rivaz created new possibilities. This engine generated propulsion energy by using a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen. Several other engineers developed ...

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