5Plug‐In Hybrid Electric Vehicles

5.1 Introduction to PHEVs

Plug‐in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have the potential to displace transportation fuel consumption by using grid electricity to drive the car. PHEVs can be driven initially using electric energy stored in the onboard battery, and an onboard gasoline engine can then extend the driving range. In the 1990s and early 2000s, pure electric cars were not successful, and one of the major reasons was the limited driving range available at that time. For example, the GM electric vehicle (EV) had a range of about 100 miles (160 km) and the Ford Ranger electric truck had a range of approximately 60 miles (96 km).

5.1.1 PHEVs and EREVs

PHEVs are sometimes called range‐extended electric vehicles (ReEVs) or extended range electric vehicles (EREVs) in the sense that these vehicles always have onboard gasoline or diesel that can be used to drive the vehicle for an extended distance when the onboard battery energy is depleted. Furthermore, these vehicles can provide high fuel economy during the extended driving range due to the large battery pack that can accept more regenerative braking energy and provide more flexibility for engine optimization during the extended driving range.

However, EREVs, such as the GM Chevy Volt, must be equipped with a full‐sized electric motor so that pure electric driving can be realized for all kinds of driving conditions. It is shown that, for some driving conditions, all‐electric drive sometimes does ...

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