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Project at a Glance

Project Status: complete

Title: Development and evaluation of a plug-in HEV with vehicle-to-grid power flow. Final report

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Gage, Thomas B

Contractor: AC Propulsion, Inc.

Contract Number: ICAT 01-2

Research Program Area: Emissions Monitoring & Control

Topic Areas: ICAT Grants / Technology, Mobile Sources & Fuels


Plug-in hybrid vehicles connect to the power grid while parked so they can operate on electricity from the grid as well as on petroleum-based fuel. This distinguishes them in a fundamental way from the plugless hybrid vehicles currently produced or planned by automakers which rely 100% on petroleum-based fuel. A plug-in hybrid can reduce emissions three ways, zero-emission driving, elimination of cold starts, and clean generation of electricity. The contractor designed, built, and tested an innovative plug-in-hybrid power system and installed it in a vehicle to demonstrate these capabilities.
The project vehicle provides 35 miles of battery-only range with highway performance capability so operation on grid electricity can eliminate operating emissions and one or more cold engine starts per day. The project vehicle can re-charge its traction battery from the grid in less than one hour. The hybrid power unit in the project vehicle can sustain battery charge at highway speeds providing long distance travel unconstrained by battery range. The hybrid power unit in the project vehicle can also generate electricity while the vehicle is parked. In this stationary mode, the hybrid power unit can operate on gasoline stored on the vehicle or on low-pressure natural gas piped to the vehicle from the gas main. While parked, the power generated can be exported as alternating current electricity either to the grid or to stand-alone loads. Interactions between the vehicle and the grid, including power export, can be controlled from remote locations via wireless internet connection. These capabilities are demonstrated in stationary testing and 6000 miles of on-road use.


For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Research Division staff at (916) 445-0753

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