Catalog Home Page

Efficiency and performance testing of electric vehicles and the potential energy recovery of their electrical regenerative braking systems

Wager, Guido (2012) Efficiency and performance testing of electric vehicles and the potential energy recovery of their electrical regenerative braking systems. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

PDF - Whole Thesis
Download (1MB)


Fossil fuels are the main energy source used in the transport sector and as such significantly contribute to pollution and health issues, particularly in large cities. Furthermore, relying on a single energy source can lead to supply issues and problems with energy security. Electric vehicles (EVs) are a viable alternative to address these issues. EVs have the potential to be operated using a clean, renewable energy source. However, one of the main disadvantages of EVs is their short vehicle driving range. To address this issue an efficient design and operation of EVs are important. The aim of this project was to investigate the efficiency of two EV-converted Ford Focus 1F, a Lotus Elise and one factory-built Mitsubishi MiEV. The efficiencies of these 4 cars were compared by driving them on a chassis dynamometer in a controlled test environment according to international standards. The first sets of experiments were carried out using the Ford Focus under different gearing to investigate the effect of gearing on energy consumption and driving range. The second part of the project investigated the efficiency improvement by regenerative braking systems (RBS) from the Lotus and MiEV driving the cars under different RBS settings and different speed profiles. The results have shown that the energy consumptions and drivable range between identical cars driven under different gearing varied significantly. This finding showed than an appropriate gearing of EVs is an important factor for their efficient operation.

The efficiency improvement and RBS performance of the two different EVs with RBS varied considerably. Under certain conditions, an appropriate gearing can operate an EV more efficiently than the support of an RBS. The results showed that for an efficient operation an RBS must be optimized, finetuned and calibrated to match the load. To maximise the RBS performance it should be interfaced with an antilock braking system (ABS).

In summary, the investigations of this project have shown that the design and configuration of EVs are very important factors for their efficient operation. Further investigations on EV efficiency and RBS performance might include real road testing and taking topographical and traffic conditions into account.

Publication Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Energy
Supervisor: Whale, Jonathan
Item Control Page Item Control Page


Downloads per month over past year