Hybrid Electric Vehicles: Always Second Best
There is art accelerating effort to develop alternative-fueled vehicles (AFVs) to reduce the emissions brought about by our current road vehicles, which are propelled by petroleum-energized internal combustion engines (ICEs). The reduction of petroleum use is an added incentive. Electric vehicles (EVs) are being developed worldwide as one of the alternatives. Advanced batteries are being developed to improve the performance of EVs. Another approach being considered is the use of hybrid vehicles (HVs). HV designs vary, but generally they use two sources of energy to escape the limitations of other propulsion systems. The resultant improvements include reduced emissions, improved fuel economy and better vehicle performance. The HV most often considered consists of a combination of electric- and gasoline-operated propulsion systems. The advantages of such a system are examined here. Evidence suggests that HV development is languishing because it is a middling technology without unique appeal, and that it is unlikely to find a strong niche in the marketplace.
Published by the Electric Power Research Institute. EPRI TR-104156 Project 2664, Final Report.