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Case study of the hybrid vehicle

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Engineering
Wordcount: 3782 words Published: 10th May 2017

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Alternative fuels are fuel that other than conventional fuel (fossil fuels or nuclear materials) used in energy-generated combustion such as biodiesel, hydrogen fuel, chemically stored electricity (hybrid), biomass and so on. Now there are many type of alternative transportation fuel in market. One of it is found out to be the hydrogen; however it is too expensive. So, instead, the automobile industry is embracing the idea of hybrid concept which switches between petrol and electricity.

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A hybrid vehicle is a vehicle that uses two or more distinct power sources to move the vehicle. Normally, such vehicles are powered by a combination of 2 energy sources: electricity and conventional fuel which mean combine a conventional ground propulsion system with an on-board rechargeable energy storage system (RESS) to achieve better fuel economy in automobiles. However, conventional vehicle like a battery electric vehicle without being hampered by range from a charging unit uses batteries charged by an external source. The different propulsion power systems may have common subsystems or components.

The major advantage of hybrid car over electric car is that the battery is recharge not from an external socket but from the vehicle’s gas-powered generator and from kinetic energy generated when the brakes are applied. The hybrid vehicle able to achieve greater fuel efficiency and lower emission than conventional internal combustion engine vehicle (ICEV) resulting in less emission being generated. So, it contributes a lot to the environmental concern, as it reduces green house gasses, carbon emission. Besides, this high-tech low-emission vehicle can get over 60 miles/gallon (mpg), offering significant saving on fuel cost. In short, it is a better transportation choice for the sustainable development in future.

Type of hybrid vehicle

The electrical machine is designed to handle transient power variations and helps the engine to operate more constantly such that higher efficiency and lower tailpipe emissions can achieve. Many type of hybrid system exist in the engineering conceptual framework. Now many of them applied in the vehicle engine system. The following listed down few types of hybrid vehicle:

1. Series hybrid vehicles

In a series hybrid vehicle, the internal combustion engine is not directly connected to the drive train at all; rather it powers an electrical generator instead. The advantage of this type of hybrid is the flexibility afforded by the lack of a mechanical link between the internal combustion engine and the wheels. Whilst, weakness of this system is that it require separate motor and generator portions which can be combined in some parallel hybrid engines; the combined efficiency of the motor and generator will be lower than that of a conventional transmission thereby offsetting the efficiency gains that might otherwise be realized.

2. Parallel Hybrid

In a parallel hybrid the electric motor and the internal combustion engine are installed so that they can both individually or together power the vehicle (Wikipedia, 2010). They can be sub – classified on the bases of the ratio of contribution to the motive power of the different component or portion. Most designs combine a large electrical generator and a motor into one unit often situated between the internal combustion engine and the transmission replacing both the conventional starter motor and the alternator (Michael).

3. Hybrid electric-petroleum vehicles

A petroleum-electric hybrid normally uses internal combustion engines (gasoline or Diesel engines, powered by a variety of fuels) and electric batteries to power electric motors. Most designs combine a large electrical generator and a motor into one unit often situated between the internal combustion engine and the transmission replacing both the conventional starter motor and the alternator. Toyota Prius, Toyota Camry Hybrid and Honda civic hybrid has this type of engines system.

4. Continuously outboard recharged electric vehicle (COREV)

This is a system that enables the battery of vehicle to recharge while the user drives. When the Battery Electric vehicle (BEV) establishes contact with an electrified rail, plate or overhead wires on the highway via an attached conducting wheel, it will trigger recharging mechanism. The BEV’s batteries are recharged by this process on the highway and can then be used normally on other roads until the battery is discharged.

5. Hybrid fuel (dual mode)

Hybrid fuel vehicle is known as dual mode hybrid system which uses 2 or more different devices for propulsion, meaning the engine had the ability to use another fuel source to power the system except the electricity. This system contains not only 1 fuel and electricity but also another 1 or 2 back-up fuel in the system. There are many types of hybrid fuel used in different vehicle including dual mode bus, flexible-fuel vehicles, bi-fuel vehicle, modified fuel vehicle and motorized bicycle. The fuel used in this system range from hydrocarbon chained diesel (petroleum, ethanol, natural gas, gasoline and biobutanol) to vegetable oil.

6. Fluid power hybrid

Hydraulic and pneumatic hybrid vehicles use an engine to charge a pressure accumulator to drive the wheels via hydraulic or pneumatic (i.e. compressed air) drive units. The energy recovery rate is higher and therefore the system is more efficient than battery charged hybrids, demonstrating a 60% to 70% increase in energy economy in EPA testing (Bruno, 2006). Under tests done by the EPA, a hydraulic hybrid Ford Expedition returned 32 miles per US gallon (7.4 L/100 km; 38 mpg-imp) City, and 22 miles per US gallon (11 L/100 km; 26 mpg-imp) highway. UPS currently has two trucks in service with this technology. (Alex, L, 2006).

The system has faster and more efficient charge/discharge cycling and is cheaper than gas-electric hybrids, the accumulator size dictates total energy storage capacity and requires more space than a battery. (wikipedia, 2009)

Degree of Hybridization

A. Full Hybrid Electric Vehicles

A full hybrid vehicle is the one that can run on just the engine, just the batteries or a combination of both. The Prius and Escape Hybrids are examples of this because both cars can be moved forward on battery alone. A large, high – capacity battery pack is needed for battery – only operation. These vehicles have a split power path that allows more flexibility in the drive train. To balance the forces from each portion, the vehicles use a differential – style linkage between the engine and the motor connected to the head end of the transmission.

B. Assist Hybrid Electric Vehicles

This type of hybrids use the engine for primary power, with a torque – boosting electric motor connected to the conventional power train. The electric motor is essentially a very large motor which operates not only when the engine needs to be turned over, but also when the driver steps throttle pedal and require extra power. Assist hybrids differ fundamentally from full hybrids in that they cannot run on electric power alone. However since the amount of power needed is very small, the size of the battery system is relatively small.

C. Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicles

These are conventional vehicles with oversized starter motors; allowing the engine to be turned off whenever the car is coasting, braking or stopped, yet restart quickly and cleanly. Accessories can continue to run on electrical power while the engine is off, and the motor is used for regenerative braking to recapture energy. The motor is used to run up the engine to operating speed before injecting any fuel. Many people do not consider these to be hybrids at all, and they do not achieve the fuel economy of full hybrid models.

Case study on the Proton EMAS

The first concept car, Proton EMAS, which is planned to be in production line soon (might be in 2011) makes Proton leading in front of others with the most high tech compact concept car design. This superb Electric Hybrid Car from Proton which has been designed by Italdesign and Engine Technology by Lotus and soon will be produced by Proton, local car manufacturer. The name, Emas, meaning “gold” in Malay, is the acronym for Eco Mobility Advanced Solutions.

At the eightieth edition of the Geneva International Motor show (4-14 March 2010), Italdesign Giugiaro is introducing Emas, a family of low environmental impact cars that is set to revolutionize traditional segmentation in the car market. The design, created with the Malaysian manufacturer PROTON is based on a plug-in hybrid drive system designed with Lotus Engineering and was developed with the aim of optimizing the available on-board space and car access ergonomics. The prototype of Proton EMAS engine have different configuration that it might be conventional, hybrid with petrol engine, hybrid with natural gas engine or fully electric.

Problem Statement:

Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles emit carbon dioxide, hydrocarbon, sulphur oxides, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon through their tailpipes. These gases result in global warming through green house gas effects and pollution which are harmful to both environment and lives. By the way, the prices of fossil fuels keep rising from time to time. There is a growing scientific consensus that increasing levels of greenhouse gas emissions are changing the earth’s climate. Oil prices continue to sky rocket while tougher regulations and policies on permitted exhaust gases are being instituted in major cities of the world. These and some other related issues are compelling vehicle manufacturers to come up with fuel efficient vehicles. These types of vehicles are known as hybrid electric vehicles.

Nowadays, the prices of petrol are continuously increased and this non-renewable energy is in critical level of shortages. The American petroleum institute estimated in 1999, the world will be completely run out of petroleum by 2062 to 2094. So, now more and more automobile industries are introduced many type of environmental friendly and petrol efficient car to reduced the usage of petrol and diesel. The significant of hybrid vehicle are increasingly important to the environmental sustainability. The trend of owning hybrid vehicle is very popular in western country since 1800s. However, the awareness of the green house effect to the climate change is still low among the Malaysian. Therefore, the hybrid vehicles until now still can not manage to gain attention of public and high market demand in Malaysia.

Hybrid concept car had been introduced many years ago by Toyota Prius in Malaysia. But due to various factors, might be the expensive prices and technological problems cause the demand for this type of car is still low. Now, Proton launched a new series of Proton EMAS that follow hybrid concept. Will it be the next new generation wave that changes the Malaysian mindset in owning hybrid car? Since, Proton is the Malaysian owned local car manufacture, the prices of the hybrid car may lower compare to the Toyota Prius. The import tax and excise tax that applied on the stakeholder will considerably low compare to the Toyota Prius. So, will it be a better choice for Malaysian to have an environmental friendly car?

Research question:

1, Is the introduction of the hybrid concept car to Malaysian bring a success.

2. How the hybrid concept in vehicle impact the environment and sustainable development in future.

2. What are the competitive advantages of the hybrid vehicle that difference from the other alternative fuels?

Research Objective:

1. To investigate the respondents of society/public to the hybrid vehicle that had introduced.

2. To survey the effectiveness of the hybrid vehicle to the environmental concern.

3. To find out the way hybrid vehicle function correspondent to the sustainable development by comparing to other alternative fuels.

Chapter 2: Literature Review

1) Market analysis on Hybrid vehicle

1. Assessing current vehicle performance and simulating the performance of hydrogen and hybrid cars

Bent Sorensen, Roskilde University, Institute for Nature, Systems and Models; Energy, Environment and Climate group, Universitetsvej 1, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark

This journal basically presented simulation study of the efficiency in transforming the energy input into transport works. The insight obtained in measure is compare with the result applying performance of fuel cell, electric vehicles and hybrid between the two. The author stated that:” Some people are willing to spend more money on an inefficient car than on the most efficient ones offered in the marketplace, for reasons of biased advertising and the archaic notion that less efficient cars rank higher as status symbols.” (Ben Sorensen, 2006). So, it means that the author’s viewpoint is clear to panelize the market demand on the hybrid vehicle in future.


In the research of heather and Lester, 2002, they compare the 2nd generation of the 1st commercial hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) the Toyota Prius, to the conventional internal combustion engine (ICE), the Toyota Corolla. They found out that the more expensive and complicated Prius has lower pollution and CO2 gas emission and better fuel economy than the Corolla. Besides, the Prius is not cost-effective in improving fuel economy or lowering emission. For the Prius to be more attractive, they suggest that the price of gasoline should be lower about 3 times than the present and the social value of abating tailpipe emission would have to be 14 times greater than conventional value. So, they concluded that the hybrid will not have significant sales unless fuel price raise several-ford or regulation mandated.


3. Evaluation of electric motor and gasoline engine hybrid car using solar cells

K. Sasaki*, M. Yokota, H. Nagayoshi, K. Kamisako

In this paper, the utility of a hybrid car equipped with a gasoline engine, an electric motor and solar cells was evaluated. Though the capacities of the electric motor and batteries are half the size compared with conventional electric vehicles, it was confirmed that this car is sufficient for practical use. The total electric energy consumed in a day can be supplied by a 1.6 kW solar array which can be easily set on the roofs of common houses or parking lots. So, they concluded as such a hybrid car must contribute to depression of the air pollution in urban areas. (K. Sasaki, 1997)

4. Does the hybrid Toyota Prius lead to rebound effects? Analysis of size and number of cars previously owned by Swiss Prius buyers Peter de Haan *, Michel G. Mueller, Anja Peters

Peter D.H et al (2006) in his analysis on the hybrid rebound effect found that the Toyota Prius 2 is indeed a product that effectively combines fuel efficiency and the satisfaction of consumer needs, and is successful in replacing daily-use vehicles and becoming the most used car in a household. Besides, they also confirm that hybrid vehicles like the Toyota Prius indeed have a positive effect on total CO2 emissions from road transport, and that rebound effects are not yet in sight. Then, they think that financial support for the purchase of hybrid vehicles seems to be a possible and valid environmental policy. Further progress in fuel-efficiency gains using hybrid powertrains is to be expected also.

2) Hybrid function in lowering emission

1. An Overview of Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technology, Michael O. Omoigui

In the article, an overview of hybrid electric vehicle technology, Michael listed down variety of weakness and benefits of the hybrid vehicle to sustainable future. He also explained in details how the hybrid functions to lower emission and fuel economy. The article encapsulates factors that necessitate the development of hybrid electric vehicles, classifications of hybrid electric vehicles based on the arrangement of the internal combustion engine and the electric motor for traction. The types of batteries required and the use of power electronic converters for effective power processing and utilization in hybrid electric vehicle drive is covered.

2. Solutions reducing green house emission from US transportation David L. Greene, OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY, Andreas Schafer, MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

In this book, authors make the comparison between difference types of alternative fuel in term of reducing green house gases (GHG). The findings clearly showed that only hydrogen and electricity is a better alternative fuel to replaced fossil fuel in the next 15 years beyond. Although other alternative fuels could play a transition role, it is questionable whether the associated high investments and limited GHG emission reduction potential would justify large-scale shifts to any of these fuels.

3. Environmental Assessment of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Volume 1: Nationwide Greenhouse Gas Emissions, report, July 2007

In the report, the EPRI team aims to examine the greenhouse gas emissions and air quality impacts of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). The purpose of the program is to evaluate the nationwide environmental impacts of potentially large numbers of PHEVs over a time period of 2010 to 2050. The analysis showed the PHEVs adoption results in significant reduction in the consumption of petroleum fuels. They stated that in the Medium PHEV case, fuel savings were equivalent to 3.7 million barrels per day by 2050.


Government legislations on hybrid transportation

5. Malaysia Master Tax Guide 2009, 26th ed,, Veerinderjeet, S. & Teoh B.K.

6. Policy instruments for environmental and natural resource management. Thomas Sterner

Malaysian tax guide information stated that for application received by the ministry of finance from 30 August 2008 to 31 December 2010, franchise holder of hybrid car are given 100% exemption of import duty and 50% of exemption of excise duty for the new completely build-up (CBU) hybrid car subjected to certain criteria and condition. (Veerinderjeet, S. & Teoh B.K., 2009). In condition, country like United State tightening standard of emission rate by Clean Air Act. By the way, in 1990, California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted a visionary scheme to progressively reduce emission requirement. This government reinforcement had successfully forced manufactures to sell vehicle that fulfill environmental criteria. (Thomas S.)

Chapter 3: Methodology

This research will conduct by using secondary sources collection, questionnaires and direct interviews to public and suppliers.

3.1 Secondary sources collection

The main method of gathering information for this research is by collecting and analyzing secondary sources. Library searching is one of the ways to look for the books, journals, articles, media and press released, and so on. Besides, website (official website of Proton) and online databases (science world, science direct) also will be use to search for updated data.

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3.2 Questionnaires

Another way to find information for this research will be by surveying on the public viewpoint on the hybrid vehicle in various terms includes the performance, eco-friendly characteristics, cost effectiveness, petrol saving and so on. This will be done by giving questionnaires to the 100 selected people in UM includes students, lecturers, and staff. Then, the answer will be the quantitative data after analyzed and computed into figures and data.

3.3 Interview

Interview will be done in 2 alternative ways to gather public opinions on the hybrid vehicle that had introduced. 1 is done to the selected society/public that play role to impact the car ownership decision. By interviewing, the factors that influent drivers to own a car will be found. So, the market demand for the hybrid car and the viewpoint of the public to the hybrid car will also revise.

Then, another way of interview will be done with the Proton manufacturer, Proton Holding Sdn Bhd to get 1st hand information on the Proton EMAS car. However, this can only carry out with approval from the Proton behalf and act as a supportive way to the other research methods. By comparing both the viewpoints of the supplier and public may lead to different decision making on choice of car to be own in future.

Research Limitation

The limitation of the research will be focus mostly on the Malaysian viewpoint about the new concept car, Proton EMAS.

A lot of problem will be face along the time doing a research. One of the obstacles for me to do this research is difficulty in finding materials about the hybrid vehicle in Malaysia. Since the concept are still new and strange to Malaysian society. So, not much of the information I got regarding this 1st concept car in Malaysia. The way I do is I try to substrate some news from the press or website.

Moreover, the new Proton EMAS now still in stage of prototype and not yet can be found in the market in Malaysia. Society are also no much awareness to this type of car will be launched soon locally. So it is quite problematic to do research on this topic. Besides, the knowledge of how the vehicles’ hybrid system to function in reducing emission is rare and unknown for the Malaysian. That is why the question should be set according to the society common known without using heavy word or scientific term in questionnaires.

Due to the difficulty in transportation problem, the survey will only conduct in University of Malaya. The population includes student, lecturers, and staffs which act as a sample of actual society in Malaysia. However, the result will only show a population size of around 100 people in UM which may be bias toward the actual condition.

1. http://green.autoblog.com/2006/06/15/capturing-the-power-of-hydraulics, Bruno V, 15 June 2006

2. http://www.autoblog.com/2006/06/26/epa-unveils-hydraulic-hybrid-ups-delivery-truck , Alex, L., 26 June 2006

Colour file location

Red hybrid technology

Purple wikipedia

Yellow toyota vs corolla

Brown hybrid performance

Pink solar hybrid cell


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