Design and Implementation of a Series Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle for the EcoCAR 2 Competition

Chris D. Monaco, Chris Golecki, Benjamin Sattler, Daniel C. Haworth, Jeffrey S. Mayer, Gary Neal

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


As one of the fifteen universities in North America taking part in the EcoCAR 2: Plugging into the Future competition, The Pennsylvania State University Advanced Vehicle Team (PSUAVT) designed and implemented a series plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) that reduces fuel consumption and emissions while maintaining high consumer acceptability and safety standards. This architecture allows the vehicle to operate as a pure electric vehicle until the Energy Storage System (ESS) State of Charge (SOC) is depleted. The Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) then supplements the battery to extend range beyond that of a purely electric vehicle. General Motors (GM) donated a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu for PSUAVT to use as the platform to implement the PSUAVT-selected series PHEV design. A 90 kW electric traction motor, a 16.2 kW-hr high capacity lithium-ion battery pack, and Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) are now integrated into the vehicle. The APU is a 750cc, two-cylinder engine running on an 85% ethanol/15% gasoline (E85) mixture coupled to an electric generator. Along with the challenges of properly mounting and integrating powertrain components, considerable effort was required to develop a proper hybrid control algorithm that maximizes overall system efficiency, minimizes harmful emissions, provides superior performance, and ensures safe, reliable operation. The PSUAVT has successfully integrated these multiple subsystems into a fully functioning refined series plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that has achieved many of the PSUAVT and EcoCAR 2 Year 3 goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSAE Technical Papers
StatePublished - Oct 13 2014
EventSAE 2014 International Powertrains, Fuels and Lubricants Meeting, FFL 2014 - Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: Oct 20 2014Oct 22 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Pollution
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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