Publication Detail

Integrating Renewable Energy with the Long Range Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Fleet


Presentation Series

Plug-In Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center

Suggested Citation:
Frank, Andrew A. and Catherine J. DeMauro (2016) Integrating Renewable Energy with the Long Range Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Fleet. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Presentation Series UCD-ITS-PS-16-01

We have found over the last 100 years that correct automobile driving experience, requires an energy storage reserve to alleviate range anxiety. The data also shows that the average driver only goes 30 to 35 miles a day but that he carries around 250 to 300 miles of reserve fuel. Electric cars can do this but a better solution is the "long range plug-in hybrid electric vehicle" (L/R - PHEV) with an electric range that is double the average daily distance travelled.

The physical differences between electric and liquid fuel drives are as follows:

  • Electric energy storage is about 1/100th that of liquid fuel.
  • Electric energy storage is bidirectional.
  • Vehicles performance and properties must not change regardless of energy type.
  • Battery storage is 10 times that of liquid fuel. 
  • All solar and wind systems need energy storage.
  • Transportation vehicles are used on the average less than 3 hours per day and parked somewhere the rest of the ti me. Thus they could be either absorbing or distributing energy if grid connected.
  • Both transportation and domestic needs can be satisfied by such PHEVs.
  • PHEVs, can also be used to balance the grid and absorb and redistribute the energy from local solar and wind generators, across the nation.
  • The PHEV is a dual fuel vehicle without range anxiety.
  • Thus a 60 mile All Electric Range, AER, PHEV can be used for energy storage for both transportation and domestic home use.

These long range PHEVs use over 90 % electric energy and less than 10% liquid fuel annually. ZERO CO2 can be achieved using only solar and wind electricity and biofuel. The concept requires incentives and distribution policies as well as low cost and low power hardware to allow bidirectional flow of energy. The initial calculations show that a 1 to 2 kW bidirectional charging system managed by the electric utility companies will be adequate to balance the local grid, average solar and wind energy, and supply travel energy needs for the average daily household.