Abstract

Byproducts of fossil fuel combustion contribute to negative changes in the global climate. Specifically, emissions from automobiles are a major source of greenhouse gas pollution. Efforts to minimize these harmful emissions have led to the development and sustained improvement of hybrid drivetrains in automobiles. Despite many advancements, however, hybrid systems still face substantial challenges which bear on their practicality, performance, and competitive disadvantage in view of the low cost of today’s traditional internal combustion engines. These imperfections notwithstanding, hybrid electric vehicles have the potential to play significant roles in the future as cleaner transportation solutions. Actualization of this potential will depend on the ability of hybrid-electric vehicles to minimize their disadvantages while increasing their positive features relative to traditional combustion engines. This research investigates current hybrid electric architectures in automobiles with the aim of suggesting an alternative, more efficient hybrid configuration that utilizes current technology. This is completed by utilizing an iterative design process to compare how various components of existing hybrids can be combined and/or improved to develop a single, efficient and cohesive system that performs comparably to or surpasses existing ones in fuel efficiency and low emissions in all driving conditions. A critical and comparative analysis is provided based on current hybrid-electric vehicle architectures as well as a plausible alternative.

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