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What were the key technological challenges in HEVs and PHEVs?

Well, we all know about the non-technical, political, or other such issues becoming a challenge for HEVs or PHEVs. But what about the technical challenges faced in HEVs and PHEVs.

  1. Power electronics and electric machines used in a vehicle have been considered significantly challenging. It is disturbing to environmental conditions such as extremely high and low temperatures, vibration, shock, and transient behavior affecting electric motors and power electronics converters.
  2. Power electronics challenges such as packaging, size, cost, and thermal management.
  3. Electromagnetic interference due to high-frequency switching and high-power operation that interferes with the rest of the vehicle systems.
  4. Energy storage systems are also seen as a major challenge for HEVs and PHEVs. To rectify the problem with the pulsed power behavior and energy content, nickel metal hydride batteries are mostly used for HEVs. Lithium-ion batteries are used for PHEVs. Ultracapacitors are also considered for application with power demand being a major concern.
  5. Flywheels are also making rounds. The energy storage systems often lead to unsatisfactory power density and energy density, limited life cycle, high cost, and potential safety issues.
  6. The recovering of the kinetic energy during a brake in HEVs and PHEVs has been a major concern. The coordinated regenerative braking with the hydraulic/frictional braking systems is a challenge for safety and brake performance.
  7. Power management is a critical aspect of HEVs. The involvement of the use of multiple propulsion components requires harmonious coordination. The vehicle controllers that are optimized can achieve better fuel efficiency in HEVs.
  8. The need for low operating temperature for the use of power electronics, electric machines, and batteries is important in thermal management. The cooling loop system is needed separately in an HEV.
  9. In an HEV, the increased components numbers, same space packaging of the components are a major challenge. Even associated vehicle dynamics, vehicle design, and modeling and simulation are major challenges.

Even though, the technical aspects are major with handling the heat and addressing the kinetic power. Over the period, advanced technology and rearranging the complete inner mechanics of the traditional vehicle into HEVs or PHEVs proved its worth.

Source:- Hybrid Electric Vehicles by Chris Mi.

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