Commute Friendly Gas-Electric Hybrid Vehicle

James Long, Oregon Institute of Technology



Green Lite Motors has developed a small, three-wheeled, gas-electric hybrid vehicle based on a platform of a Suzuki Bergman scooter. The target market for this vehicle is urban commute zones where large numbers of individuals migrate from suburban homes to city-based professions. Under normal commute circumstances, traffic and parking congestion contribute to loss of worker productivity, increase in air pollutants and unnecessary waste of gasoline. The introduction of the Green Lite Motors vehicle into this market could have a large impact due to the vehicle’s high mileage and small footprint. The manufacturing plan is to modify an existing scooter platform to create an enhanced platform with better mileage and more commuter appeal. The use of existing technology decreases engineering overhead while leveraging the design expertise of a large vehicle engineering team. The first prototype was developed based on a Suzuki Bergman 450 as the platform vehicle. This vehicle proved the engineering concept and pushed the creation of a second vehicle. The second prototype was based on a larger platform, the Suzuki Bergman 650. This work was done under an Oregon BEST Commercialization Grant (Long, Currin & Wang, 2012). The hybridization of the 650 required a completely new engineering solution, thus newer battery technology was adapted as well a complete re-engineering of the hybrid drive system. The project outcome detailed in this report encompasses the testing and troubleshooting of this second prototype. To perform the tests, a small dynamometer was funded and purchased through the grant. The dynamometer was used to provide laboratory-based road loads for the vehicle while also gathering some basic information on the performance of the internal combustion (IC) engine. A fuel-flow meter was also adapted to the IC drive system to get an independent measure of fuel consumption. The electric system was instrumented as an independent drive system for measurement of coulomb consumption in an attempt to measure miles per watt/hour.

Project Details

Project Type:
Project Status:
End Date:
June 01,2013
UTC Grant Cycle:
OTREC 2012
UTC Funding:

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