2Electric and Hybrid Powertrain Technologies

2.1 Introduction

For the past few decades, internal combustion engine vehicles and conventional powertrain systems have dominated the transportation industry. Growing concerns about the environmental repercussions of vehicle emissions began a global effort to develop next generation transportation solutions with increased efficiency, and reduced greenhouse gas and air pollution emissions.

Electric vehicles (EVs), depending on their source of electric energy, have the potential to be zero emission vehicles and have potential as a future alternative to internal combustion vehicles. However, despite considerable improvements, electric vehicles still have a limited driving range due to the limitations of the current electrical storage technologies.

To address this problem, hybrid vehicles combine the advantages of two different energy sources. The hybridization of energy sources can increase energy security, improve fuel economy, lower fuel costs, and reduce emissions. Moreover, there are many different ways of implementing hybridization such as: hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, hydraulic hybrid vehicles, and pneumatic hybrid vehicles. Implementing all of these can boost internal combustion engine efficiency and recover energy lost during braking.

Electric and hybrid electric vehicles present many new and complex design challenges that are absent in the well-established conventional automotive technologies ...

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