Doe Completes 1 Million Miles Of Hybrid Electric Vehicle Testing
If the purchase of a new hybrid electric vehicle is in your plans, you may be interested in the results of recent testing by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
The Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity (AVTA), managed by the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL), recently completed 1 million miles of hybrid electric vehicle fleet testing.The testing includes the miles-per-gallon fuel use, vehicle maintenance and repair data for 18 vehicles, including Honda Civics and Insights, and the Toyota Prius. The cars’ fuel efficiencies range from 38 miles per gallon to 46 miles per gallon.
Through AVTA, the DOE testing included collecting the energy efficiency (miles-per-gallon fuel use), and vehicle maintenance and repairs data, as well as defining the types of missions the hybrid electric vehicles are driven in. At testing completion, the vehicles are sold and the total life-cycle costs–including depreciation, fuel, operating, maintenance and repair costs–are calculated and reported.
The number of each type of hybrid electric vehicle tested, the total miles accumulated, and average fuel economy to date include:
–4 Honda Civics, 284,000 miles and 38.0 mpg
–6 Honda Insights, 347,000 miles and 46.0 mpg
–6 Toyota Prius (model years 2002 and 2003) 380,000 miles and 41.1 mpg,
–2 Toyota Prius (model year 2004) 16,000 miles and 44.6 mpg.
Each hybrid electric vehicle model is also dynamometer and track tested. Hybrid electric vehicle testing benchmarks and validates the performance of light-duty vehicles that feature advanced hybrid electric systems. Testing supports the development of industry and DOE technology targets. The AVTA produces information resources so fleet managers and the public can make knowledgeable decisions when acquiring advanced technology vehicles. The AVTA’s hybrid electric vehicle testing partners include:
–Electric Transportation Applications
–Arizona Public Service
–Bank One, and
–Red Cross of Arizona.
In addition to testing hybrid electric vehicles, INEEL manages AVTA activities such as the testing of internal combustion engines operating on 100 percent hydrogen, and various blends of hydrogen and compressed natural gas (CNG). The use of hybrid electric vehicles and hydrogen and hydrogen/CNG fuels reduces the use of petroleum, and offers emissions benefits.
DOE, through its Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity, conducts baseline performance, accelerated reliability and fleet testing on advanced technology vehicles. The AVTA is a component of DOE’s Office of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies Program.
Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity light-duty vehicle evaluations are managed for the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy from the INEEL in Idaho Falls, Idaho.