Argonne Focuses on Test Procedures for All-Electric Vehicles

The U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory is celebrating the recent approval of SAE J1711, the revised recommended practice for figuring out the fuel economy and exhaust emissions test procedures of hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs).

For the past three years Mike Duoba, a principal mechanical engineer at Argonne, has led the SAE International (Society of Automotive Engineers) task force charged with updating uniform chassis dynamometer test procedures for PHEVs and HEVs. SAE J1711 was recently approved by SAE members during a two-phase voting process. This important accomplishment will encourage and support the nation's move to electrified vehicles for petroleum savings.

"Until now, the fuel economy claims for plug-in hybrids were not calculated according to similar procedures, making car-to-car comparisons virtually impossible," Duoba says. "What makes this procedure – and other SAE-developed recommended practices – significant is that EPA typically considers them as the basis for the automotive regulations it promulgates."

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expected to issue later this year a new regulation that will define PHEV fuel economy reporting protocol. Much of the new EPA regulation is likely to be based on SAE J1711.

With the completion of SAE J1711, Duoba and his colleagues are now focused on supporting the development of testing standards for all-electric vehicles, known as SAE J1634. The development of this standard may be finished by year's end, with voting by SAE members to take place shortly thereafter, he says.

To help in that task, Argonne automotive researchers are in the process of testing many electric vehicles to generate a test procedure that is unbiased from the technology approach.

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