Article | 1995

Vehicle Design Strategies to Meet and Exceed PNGV Goals

By Amory Lovins

A host of important and interactive factors contribute to the successful design of any production vehicle. However, the combination of hybrid-electric drive and low-drag platform design, with emphasis on vehicle mass and drag coefficient reductions, appears prerequisite to the simultaneous optimization of efficiency, emissions, performance, and cost. This paper examines the fundamental relationships between these and other design elements, such as series vs. parallel hybrid configurations, energy-storage mass, and safety. The intent is to present an approach to vehicle design that can yield marketable, production-worthy, high-performance automobiles while meeting or exceeding goals set by the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV). Rather than attempting to push the envelope of maximum efficiency, this paper explores technologies and design strategies for baseline and further optimized design scenarios within the PNGV time frame and design criteria.