Experimental study on the performance of a ZEBRA battery based propulsion system for urban commercial vehicles
Fleets of commercial vehicles for delivery services in urban areas constitute road transportation means which are required to run relatively short distances and to respect anti-pollution laws commonly imposed by many municipalities. For this kind of commercial applications, high efficiency and eco-friendly electric propulsion systems offer an interesting alternative to thermal engines. This paper is focused on the analysis of such solution, by presenting experimental results obtained with a ZEBRA battery based propulsion system, designed to power a specific urban unit within the category of electric commercial vehicles. A novel contribution is added to the relevant literature concerning battery based electric powertrains for road vehicles. The main novelty consists in a wide range of experimental results and performance analysis carried out with reference to the real behavior of both the whole propulsion system and each main component, when powering the commercial vehic le, on the urban part of the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) standard driving cycle, at different slopes. The experimental results, expressed through electrical and mechanical parameters, are initially evaluated by means of a quasi-static numerical model of the electric powertrain and then experimentally verified with the support of a 1:1 scale laboratory dynamic test bench. The procedure followed and presented in this paper definitely demonstrates the good design and performance, obtained for the evaluated propulsion system, in satisfying the real energy and power requirements, specific of an urban use for delivery commercial vehicles, in terms of daily autonomy and slopes. The collections of experimental results, analyzed in the paper, represent in addition a useful set of data for simulation in order to build, verify and improve models in their outputs.