Characteristics and Capabilities of Electric Vehicles
Electric propulsion in light duty vehicle is seeing a renaissance driven by the desire to reduce petroleum imports and emission of greenhouse gases. It has been made possible by battery developments initially NiMH and later by lithium ion chemistries. It comes in several flavors that will be discussed in the presentation ranging from simple stop start to full battery electric vehicles. Improvements in fuel economy, miles per gallon, range from perhaps 5% for stop start to about 50% for full hybrids like the Prius or the Ford Fusion to total elimination of petroleum in a battery electric vehicle like the Nissan Leaf. An interesting flavor is the plug-in hybrid like the GM Volt where the improvement in fuel economy depends on driving patterns. Balanced against the benefits is the fact that electric propulsion adds to the cost from a few hundred dollars for stop start to several thousand for full electric vehicles.
For engineers this is an exciting new world involving power electronics both for propulsion and charging the battery as well as new configurations of electrical machines. However we need to keep in mind that few people buy cars for their technology – they need to be cost effective and with gasoline in the US around 4 $/gallon competition with conventional internal combustion engines is stiff.
Linos Jacovides is President of Paphos Consulting and an adjunct professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan State University. He retired as director of Delphi Research Labs, a position he held from 1998 to 2007. Dr. Jacovides joined General Motors Research and Development in 1967 and became department head of electrical engineering in 1985. His areas of research were the interactions between power electronics and electrical machines in electric vehicles and locomotives. He later transitioned to Delphi with a group of researchers from GM to set up the Delphi Research Laboratories. His contributions either personal or as a manager cover almost all key developments in transportation electrification in the past 45 years.
He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and has served on numerous National Research Council committees. Dr. Jacovides is a Fellow of IEEE and SAE and served as President on the Industry Applications Society of IEEE in 1990. He received a B.S. in electrical engineering, and an M.S. in machine theory from the University of Glasgow, Scotland. He received his Ph.D. in generator control systems from the Imperial College, University of London.
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