Hybrid & electric vehicles

Brookings Institution Panel DiscussionFebruary 8, 2011

Argonne director Eric Isaacs and Energy Storage Initiative head Jeff Chamberlain spoke at a panel hosted by the Brookings Institution on February 8, 2011.

Argonne battery technology helps power Chevy VoltJanuary 1, 2011

This month, thousands of new Chevy Volt owners will begin the real road tests of the first mass-produced plug-in hybrid electric car. While much of the car's engineering is unique, consumers may be unaware that some of its most extraordinary technology is inside the nearly 400-lb. battery that powers the vehicle in electric mode.

Different energy mixes will fuel plug-in hybrid carsAugust 17, 2010

Led by engineers Michael Wang and Amgad Elgowainy, the Argonne team expanded and used the laboratory’s GREET model to assess which types of power plants are likely to satisfy the additional electrical demand that PHEVs will represent in different regions of the United States.

Kentucky surges ahead in efforts to help build domestic battery industryJuly 19, 2010

Governor Steve Beshear announced today that respected battery industry veteran Dr. Ralph Brodd has been selected to lead the Kentucky-Argonne National Battery Manufacturing Research and Development Center. The center is a partnership among Argonne National Laboratory, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky.

Mileage markers: Argonne researchers recharge plug-in vehicle standardsJune 29, 2010

Mike Duoba and his colleagues are celebrating the recent approval of SAE J1711, the revised recommended practice for figuring out the fuel economy and exhaust emissions test procedures of hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs). The Argonne engineers primarily revised the test procedures to better evaluate PHEV technologies.

High-dielectric-constant capacitors for hybrid electric vehiclesJune 1, 2010

The DC bus capacitors are currently the largest component of inverters in hybrid electric vehicles. They comprise a significant fraction of the inverter’s volume (≈35%), weight (≈23%), and cost (≈23%), and present a significant barrier to meeting DOE’s targets for advanced high-temperature inverters that can be cooled by engine coolant at 105°C.

By improving the volumetric efficiency, ceramic-film capacitors with high dielectric constant (k) can substantially reduce the weight, size, and cost of inverters and thereby bridge a significant technology gap.

Plug-in hybrid engine thermal state and resulting efficiencyMay 1, 2010

Testing plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) over standardized and real world drive cycles has shown relatively large fuel consumption differences between ambient cold starts and hot starts.  Losses on the order of 25-40% have been observed from ambient 20°Celsius cold starts to optimal hot temperature urban drive cycle operation. This is especially critical for PHEVs, when long durations between engine operating points result in reduced engine temperature. The resulting fuel efficiency loss was not well characterized, nor was the total impact on fuel consumption quantified.