Potential of series hybrid drive systems to reduce fuel use and emissions in domestic vehicles : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Technology in Energy Development at Massey University
For the last 100 years the reciprocating internal combustion engine (ICE) powered vehicle and the fossil oil that it is reliant upon has dominated our transport culture. In terms of land-based domestic and commercial transport, we would be completely lost without it. Most goods and services are transported by it. We use it to get to work, pick up the children, do the shopping and for some of us the domestic vehicle is an extension of our personalities. It has become an indispensable business and recreational tool of modern contemporary society. The conventional ICE powered vehicle initially gave us freedom, the ability to go wherever and whenever we wanted and to do it relatively cheaply. Now, however, our ever-increasing search for more mobility and the transport of goods and services has imprisoned modern society into high levels of emissions, pollution, increasing oil dependence, oil depletion concerns and the creation of resource wars in search of more energy (oil) to pursue our need for travel, transportation and the proper running of a modern society. This is because transport in general registers the most rapid increases in energy consumption and remains almost entirely dependent on oil because of few substitution possibilities to less carbon intensive fuels (IEA, 2000b). In most affluent countries the ICE powered vehicle meets 75 to 80 percent of personal travel (Sperling, 1996a).