Objective functions for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle battery range optimization and possible effects on the vehicle fleet
Journal article, 2018
While a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) mainly runs on the same fuel as a conventional combustion engine, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) has the potential to replace most of that fuel with electricity from the grid. Further, the driving-range limitations associated with a pure battery electric vehicle (BEV) do not apply to the PHEV. This makes the PHEV an interesting option for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and local air pollutants as well as energy dependence, without sacrificing performance. However, how large fuel reduction that could be expected from PHEVs strongly depends on the battery range and driving and charging patterns (Björnsson and Karlsson, 2015). To maximize fuel reduction, battery capacity should be designed to reach a high share of electric driving. However, maximizing fuel reduction might not be the main objective for all stakeholders when optimizing battery range. Car owners could be more interested in reaching a low total cost of ownership (TCO), while manufacturers might focus on a battery range that suits as many potential buyers as possible. In this study, we analyze how the optimal battery range for the PHEV and the resulting vehicle fleet properties vary with the choice of objective function under various techno-economic conditions and policy options.