Hybrid vehicles more fuel efficient in India, China than in US

Washington, April 1: Researchers have found out that hybrid cars will be significantly more fuel-efficient in India and China than they are in the United States.

Lead researcher Anand Gopal at U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory said currently greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector in India and China are a smaller piece of the pie compared with other sectors.

Gopal said 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.

He said that the test cycle is not representative of driving conditions in India, so that’s sending the wrong signal to the consumer.

Gopal, working with Berkeley Lab scientists Samveg Saxena and Amol Phadke, used a powertrain simulation model called Autonomie to create a hypothetical hybridized version of the top-selling conventional car in each country-in China it was the Buick Excelle and in India the Maruti Alto.

For the India analysis the researchers simulated drive cycles in two Indian cities (New Delhi and Pune) taken from published studies and also used the Modified Indian Drive Cycle, the test for the official fuel economy rating. In China they simulated drive cycles in 11 cities and with three types of hybrid powertrains (start-stop, parallel and power-split). In both cases they compared it to drive cycles used for U.S. fuel efficiency ratings, which include about 55 percent city driving and 45 percent highway driving.

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. (ANI)