Since made; reaching an all time saturation

Since the 1920s
the IC engine was established as the dominant design in automotive industry.

With incremental innovation over the past 100 years, tremendous improvements in
standardization, convenience, design, efficiency, energy consumption, emissions
and safety have been made; reaching an all time saturation over the past 20
years with almost all manufacturers being able to deliver a new car with almost
no functional mistakes even in completely new platform and engine technology conditions.

This fortifies the expertise in product building capacity of the generation
with a very low rate of failure in terms of technology.

 

The Californian
Air resource board began the inception of the zero emission vehicles in 1990
25. It can be considered as the starting point that brought in the awareness towards
stronger requirements for the development of more sustainable vehicles to the
governments. The governments started implementing stringent emission norms that
drove the manufacturer and the suppliers to continuously pursue innovation in IC
engine technology to reduce the emission of the cars through making more
efficient engines, which also lead to vehicles with better fuel economy. With
emission norms reaching 70g/km by 2025 25 the makers are developing alternate
power trains to satisfy the emission norm using their overall portfolio. The
technical hurdles to reach 70g/km in a normal IC engine car make it quite
impractical. The Battery electric vehicle (BEV), Hybrid electric vehicle (HEV),
and Fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) technologies are mandatory alternatives for
IC engine cars to be held in portfolio to satisfy the emission targets. To identify
which of the above alternatives is most effective for the future we need to
understand each type in detail.

4.2.1 Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)

 

Figure 4: Electric vehicle layout 37

BEVs is
categorized as zero-emissions vehicles as it completely runs from electric
energy stored in the battery. Nearly after 60 years of Internal combustion
cars, General motors developed an electric car EV1 in 1996 that was the first
mass-produced electric vehicle. The main inspiration for this car was from the
California Air Resources Board that passed a mandate for the mass production
and sales of zero emission vehicles. The EV1 product was discontinued in 2002,
due to low profit reasons and all the cars sold were repossessed from the
customers and eventually crushed 26. The poor performance of electric cars in
the market, along with high cost and unsatisfying product for both makers and
customers led the fall of first generation of electric vehicles.

 

With improvement
in battery technology in the automotive industry in the past 2 decades a new
generation of electric vehicles that provides greater performance emerged
starting from the company Tesla with its model roadster that used of Lithium
ion battery. We are now in a situation with high performance product satisfying
both the maker and the consumer that can be scaled with the development of
infrastructure and supplier base to solve the constraints of cost and massive
adoption.

 

The Battery is
the most important component of the BEV as its operation completely depends on
the electric power delivered from battery. The battery is charged from the grid
or from regenerative braking where kinetic energy of the wheels are converted
to battery charge. The battery initially was nickel-based battery technology.

The technology proved to be less efficient compared to the recent lithium-ion type
in terms of capacity and delivery. A Majority of carmakers are now moving
towards lithium-ion type battery technology in their electric car portfolio.

Tesla roadster was first displayed to the public in 2006 that led the company
to reach a profit margin of 5% by 2009 27. The Tesla model S is a descendent
of the Tesla roadster has a driving range of 435 kms on the 85D variant that
runs on lithium ion battery pack. The car is equipped to accelerate to 97 km/h
in 3.2s with a battery that weighs 520 kgs 28. This shows the dominance in
performance of electric vehicles upon comparison to traditional cars and
engineering magnificence of Tesla. The car battery is delicate and dangerous
hence a high level of redundancy through multiple layers of battery protection
is applied to make the car safe. The car has a cooling system to constantly
keep the lithium battery at optimum temperature. In 2011, the Tesla received a
US government loan guarantees in collaborations with the German auto giant
Daimler to produce a pure electric Sedan. 29

 

4.2.2 Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV)

Figure 5: Hybrid Vehicle Layout 38

HEVs combine the internal
combustion engine with one or several electric engines. In this configuration
besides the conventional fuel powering the IC engine, the car is powered by
electric energy stored in the battery that is used as an alternate power
source. The car still produces emission due to the utilization of fuel in the
car. The main problems with electric cars are the range and time taken to
recharge the batteries. This problem is completely absent in hybrid vehicles,
however the equipment cost makes the car very expensive. The emission is still
present in the car even though reduced with the hybrid system.

 

Toyota is the
pioneer of the hybrid technology with its Prius C having 1.5L engine mated with
hybrid e-CVT, the most successful hybrid car. Toyota has successfully adopted the
technology into other cars in its product portfolio, as in the case of Yaris
Hybrid having 1.5 L engine mated with hybrid e-CVT, Auris hybrid having 1.8 L
engine with e-CVT. The hybrid technology is also introduced in SUVs such as
RAV4Hybrid having 2.5 L engine with hybrid e-CVT. The Toyota hybrid technology
fits across engine sizes and works with good efficiency crediting the efforts
from the research and development for incrementally innovating the battery
efficiency and hybrid technology. Nonetheless the performance of the Prius is
famously criticized for in the media. 31

 

General Motors realized
the innovation of kinetic energy restoration from braking or regenerative
braking, a design to absorb energy while braking to recharge the batteries. The
energy gained from regenerative braking is transferred to the battery that in return
powers the electric motor. In relation to regenerative braking, Hydraulic
hybrid vehicles technology was developed for busses in china, the hydraulic
device can absorb and deposit energy in the process of braking and releasing
the energy when the vehicles restart or speed up. Effectively can save more
than 30% of fuel consumption and reduce 20-27% of emission. They are able to
function as city buses with frequent braking and restarting. 32

 

Hybrid electric
vehicles are categorized into three types Mild e-HEV, Full e-HEV, Plug-in
e-HEV. A mild hybrid has an oversized starter motor that turns off the engine
when the car is idling, braking or stopped. It also restarts the motor
synchronously when car is set on to motion.             A
full hybrid has an electric motor that also comes with a rechargeable battery.

The electric motors can operate together with IC engine to drive the vehicle giving
a greater fuel economy of up to 30% 33. The main disadvantage in this system
is the electric motor cannot function as a standalone entity as it shares the same
shaft with IC engine. The third type of HEV is the plug-in HEV. This gives the
option of external charging of the battery used in the vehicle. Apart from the
power of combustion engine, the battery is also charged from the grid power.

This design assists the vehicle to use larger power output from the batteries
thus increasing the range of the vehicle.