What makes cities in India and China so frustrating to drive inheavy traffic, aggressive driving style, few freewaysmakes them ideal for saving fuel with hybrid vehicles, according to new research by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). In a pair of studies using real-world driving conditions, they found that hybrid cars are significantly more fuel-efficient in India and China than they are in the United States.
These findings could have an important impact in countries that are on the brink of experiencing an explosion in the sales of personal vehicles; the government of India has already taken note of the findings. "Currently greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector in India and China are a smaller piece of the pie compared with other sectors," said lead researcher Anand Gopal. "But vehicle ownership is going to skyrocket in these countries. That is why we decided to focus on this area. Hybrid and electric vehicles can significantly reduce carbon emissions and other pollutants."
What's more, hybrids in India are also more fuel-efficient than they are officially rated for. "With the official fuel economy test procedure currently used in India, fuel savings for hybrids are fairly grossly underestimated, showing only a 29 percent savings over conventional vehicles," Gopal said. "The test cycle is not representative of driving conditions in India, so that's sending the wrong signal to the consumer."
Their results were reported in two papers, "Understanding the fuel savings potential from deploying hybrid cars in China," published in Applied Energy, and "Understanding fuel savings mechanisms from hybrid vehicles to guide optimal battery sizing for India," accepted for publication in the International Journal of Powertrains, also co-authored by Berkeley Lab battery scientist Venkat Srinivasan. The studies are believed to be the first of their kind
|Contact: Julie Chao|
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory