Agency Has $2.7 Million, Would Like to See Matched,
Says NGHEVs Could Combine the Best of Both Worlds
The California Energy Commission wants to help accelerate R&D into natural gas-fueled engine-hybrid electric concepts for vehicles – NGHEVS – for California fleets, and has floated a new solicitation via the Transportation Research Area of its Energy Research and Development Division.
“This solicitation will target research and development opportunities for hybrid systems and power management strategies that are optimal for a given application or duty cycle, and target modes where the vehicle is least efficient,” states a February 26 notice.
CEC has $2.7 million available and says no award will exceed $900,000. Match money is not required, but it will help – “proposals with a greater percentage of total project costs in match funding will be scored higher.”
“While hybridization is not a new concept, hybridization combined with the use of natural gas has not been fully explored, and the hybridization technologies and strategies being used do not offer a competitive option for fleets that could benefit from hybridization,” CEC says.
NGHEVs Could Resolve ‘Market Barriers’
“Additional research is needed to develop natural gas hybrid-electric systems that provide performance, emissions, and efficiency improvements over the medium and heavy-duty vehicles available in commercial markets.
“While current natural gas vehicles (NGVs) experience reduced driving range over conventionally-fueled vehicles, natural gas hybrid electric vehicles (NGHEVs) require less fuel storage to achieve an acceptable driving range per fill-up,” the agency summary continues. “NGHEVs are vehicles that use a natural gas engine and one or more electric drive motors to move and/or operate the vehicle.
“This combination helps resolve two of the market barriers to NGVs: reduced range and loss of load space. Also, using battery power to minimize idle and low-load engine operation can contribute to the cost-effectiveness of heavy-duty NGVs in stop-and-go urban service.”
CEC staff will hold a pre-application workshop in connection with the hybrid NGV program opportunity notice PON-13-506 on Friday, March 14, at agency headquarters in Sacramento.
The application deadline is April 18.
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Source: California Energy Commission with Fleets & Fuels follow-up