Before all-electric vehicles make sense for all types of applications and markets, hybrids solutions will still act as stepping stones to reduce CO2 emissions and ramp-up the production of EV components like batteries, electric motors and power electronics.
All public transit authorities in the province of Québec, Canada, have declared their intention to fully electrify their fleet by 2025, but currently, the electric infrastructure for public transportation is either inexistent or limited. In order to offer a more flexible solution to the transit authorities, a new consortium formed by TM4 Inc., Cummins and the Société de Transport de Laval (STL) will develop, assemble and demonstrate a new and more efficient plug-in hybrid drivetrain for heavy vehicles. This new plug-in solution is an intermediate step between existing hybrid and EV technologies. The proposed solution will allow transit authorities progressive electrification of their bus fleet according to their recharging infrastructure and routes.
Hydro-Québec, TM4’s shareholder, recently made public a report comparing the complete life-cycle of an electric vehicle vs a gas-powered vehicle in the province of Québec. It makes quite clear that an electric vehicle powered by Québec’s electricity is more environmentally friendly than a conventional vehicle over their respective life cycles (including the manufacturing of components and batteries, transportation from the plant to the user, usage of the vehicle and end of life).
Ultimately, one of the key to being able to optimize the hardware design and the control software of inverters acting as motor controllers is having an in depth knowledge of the design of electric motors. It is one thing to ensure that electric motors and inverters not only have the highest possible efficiency as standalone products, but to design a truly efficient powertrain system, the challenge is keeping the combined efficiency of these components at the highest level possible.