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Integrated Modular Electric Propulsion System for Parallel Hybrid Vehicles


Numerous European cities are considering mandating the use of electric vehicles to reduce vehicle related pollution, whilst legislation is already in place in the USA requiring manufacturers to sell specified percentages of zero and ultra low emission vehicles (ZEV's & ULEV's) from 1998. This has stimulated many electrical vehicle research programs world wide. However, all these vehicles suffer in inadequate power to safely manoeuvres, insufficient range for daily practical use, high weight caused by the batteries, long recharching times and most important are prohibitively expensive.

In the near to mid term, hybrid electric vehicles represent the most practical solution, the parallel format being preferred since the internal combustion engine (ICE) power is transmitted directly to the wheels without incurring additional electrical losses. For short distance cruising in critical areas it can be driven purely electric without any pollution whereas driving on ICE mode long distances are no problem. A parallel hybrid system is more efficient as any combustion engine because the ICE can be smaller and adverse driving situations can be mastered in electric mode. Power for acceleration can be increased by combined mode. However, to date, fleet tests in Europe with existing hybrid vehicle concepts have shown that they have insuffficient power capability and are to costly.

The aim of the project INMOVE is to research a suitable parallel hybrid drive system with low overcosts and a market introduction in 2001.

To avoid modifications of the drive train and enabling further use of existing investments of the car manufacturers, the electric engine should be located in the clutch housing between the ICE and the transmission.

A high power electric engine (up to 50 kW) shall be designed together with optimised power to energy ratio batteries and an integrated control strategy optimal multi mode operation with regard to energy effficiency and emissions should be implemented. This should be reached by redevelopment of a brushless permanent energized
synchronous motor which was developed primary for military application and proved its function as tandem motor already in a serial hybrid car. This style of construction enables best weight to power ratio (25 kW with 9 kg), compactness and effect.

Batteries for the special requirements of parallel hybrid systems as high input/output capability should be diverted of batteries as used in air space applications by the battery manufacturer.

Realisation of low cost / high efficiency and fail safe function power electronic converter topology, using 1200V / 100 A semiconductor switching devises, is part of the smart power electronic manufacturer.
By using an evolutionary technology a fast market introduction with well calculable risks should be enabled.

The research will lead to: (i) low manufacturing and nunning costs, for example by eliminating the existing starter motor and alternator; (ii) to reduced weight and fuel consumption, for example by reducing the ICE power without compromising system performance; and
incorporating high specific power batteries to facilite highly effficient regenerative braking and a low battery weight; and (iii) to reduced energy consumption and emissions by some 20 30%, through the intelligent operation of the ICE and the electric propulsion system. As a result low overcosts and high efficiency will be reached.
To consider the objectives of car manufacturers, EUCAR, represented by two European car manufacturers, is involved in the project.

Since acceptance of the system by vehicle manufacturers will be obtained only by embodying it in demonstrator vehicles, the developed technology will be evaluated in two cars of different classes.
The most important impact of the research will be the emergence of a new, more cost effective and technically superior hybrid electric vehicle system in Europe which will give it a lead over both the USA and Japan, the universality of the system being ensured by
consultations with independent car manufacturers.
The market for electric hybrid vehicles will especially be infiuenced by the Califomian legislation. 10% of all released cars in 2003 will have to be zero emission vehicles (>120.000 vehicles only in California), whereas hybrid vehicles will be accepted with special ZEV credits. A significant market share will be reached by hybrid vehicles, since range and performance of pure electric vehicles is insufficient for daily cruising.
The consortium comprises EUCAR as representative of the European car manufacturers, a manufacturer of drive train equipment for the automotive industry, a manufacturer of low cost smart power electronics, a manufacturer of high power battery systems, a research institute for power eleclronics, a research institute for electric machines and drives, and a research institute for automotive engineering.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts



Participants (6)

10,Steinbachstrasse 10
52074 Aachen
Imt Technopole De Chateau-gombert
13451 Marseille
GIE PSA Peugeot Citroën
Route De Gizy
78140 Vélizy-villacoublay
Rover Group Ltd.
United Kingdom
Fletchamstead Highway Canley
CV4 7AL Coventry
ST Microelectronics Srl
Stradale Primosole 30
95121 Catania
United Kingdom
Mappin Street
S1 3JD Sheffield