Postgraduate Dissertation

Technology Options for Hybrid-Electric Vehicle Range Extenders


It’s a fact that air pollution is becoming a global health issue which is leading to multiple fatalities where transportation industry is considered to be one of the major contributor of air pollution. Thus governments across globe are forcing automotive industry to develop newer sustainable technologies. One of the major advancements automotive industry has seen in last couple of decades is the development of fully electric vehicle propulsion technologies. Although fully electric vehicles do not produce major pollutants while operation, the limitation of EVs is the dependency of vehicle on amount of electric charge that can be stored in battery and amount of time it takes for recharging, this limits the electric vehicle’s travel range on a single charge leading to range anxiety among potential users electric vehicles. This issue can easily solved by making use of hybrid vehicle architecture where integration of an auxiliary power source for on-board recharging of the vehicle battery, can lower the dependency of fully electric vehicles on city power grids. Hence work done in this report aims for investigation and comparative evaluation of potential range extender technology solutions that can be used for on-board recharging of the vehicle battery in order to extend the vehicle travel range while also minimizing the emissions through the vehicle. In order to meet the target, the presented work includes a literature review about identification of various powertrains, range extender options, powertrain modelling software and industrial relevance of the project. Further in this work, a numerical model of 2nd generation Toyota Prius power-split hybrid vehicle has been developed using GT-Suite software and its performance has been validated based on the similarity of CO2 emissions and fuel economy identified from the literature. Here a Microsoft Excel based tool for battery capacity improvement has also developed. Further based on well-to-wheel analysis and considering research gap, microturbine range extender has been numerically modelled using GT-Suite and validated based on its coherence of the model with power generation capacity and exhaust mass flow rate of ‘C30’ microturbine model by ‘Capstone Turbine Corp.’. In later stages, various methods for NOX and CO emission reduction and integration of developed hybrid Prius and microturbine model have been explored and a proof of concept for microturbine range extended hybrid vehicle has been demonstrated. Critical analysis performed in this project evaluated emissions of the developed hybrid Toyota Prius model on various legislative and real-world drive cycles and when compared against emissions of conventional vehicle, hybrid vehicle achieved 32.9g/km of CO2 emission reduction. In final stage critical analysis of emissions through microturbine range extender using various renewable and non-renewable fuels including hydrogen gas for the operation was conducted where with Ethanol as fuel, NOx, CO and CO2 emissions were reduced by 3.3g/l, 9.0392g/l and 2846.61g/l respectively in comparison with emission results obtained from hybrid Prius model. Hence, on basis of obtained results in this report, it has been proved that vehicle with equipped with microturbine as range extender can be an optimum solution for range extension of hybrid-vehicles.

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Bukkapattana Vasudeva, Aniruddha


Rights Holders: Bukkapattana Vasudeva, Aniruddha
Supervisors: Samuel Stephen

Oxford Brookes departments

School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

Degree programme

MSc Automotive Engineering with Electric Vehicles



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