Quebec PHEV initiave underway

June 25 2017


All public transit authorities in the province of Québec, Canada, have declared their intention to fully electrify their fleet by 2025, but currently, the electric infrastructure for public transportation is either inexistent or limited. In order to offer a more flexible solution to the transit authorities, a new consortium formed by Dana TM4 Inc., Cummins and the Société de Transport de Laval (STL) will develop, assemble and demonstrate a new and more efficient plug-in hybrid drivetrain for heavy vehicles. This new plug-in solution is an intermediate step between existing hybrid and EV technologies. The proposed solution will allow transit authorities progressive electrification of their bus fleet according to their recharging infrastructure and routes.

Electrification of a fleet usually implicates carefully planning routes of electric buses around a certain number of charging station. Since charging stations are costly, EV bus projects are slow to implement. This limits the use of electric vehicles to densely populated areas and is not a model easily adapted to suburb areas where the average speed and distance between stops is higher.

A consortium formed by TM4 Inc., Cummins and the Société de Transport de Laval (STL), has developed and will demonstrate a new and more efficient plug-in hybrid drivetrain for heavy vehicles. The project aims to provide transit authorities with a flexible, more efficient drivetrain and a long-range zero-emission capability for inner-city routes.

This innovative project is financed by the Green Fund, under the Technoclimat program resulting from the 2013-2020 Action Plan on Climate Change. The group has received a total of 4.25 M$ grant from the Government of Quebec to carry the project.


The components

This new plug-in hybrid propulsion system for heavy vehicle is the result of the combination of different optimized sub-components and control algorithms that allows the system to be operated at its maximum efficiency. An important subcomponent of the system is the auxiliary power system (“gen-set”) which consists of Cummins’ Euro 2019 B4.5 internal combustion engine coupled with TM4’s SUMO HP HV900 electric generator sized to deliver over 190 kW continuous.

The system’s architecture also proposes an external ultrafast charging infrastructure, a power collector, a 111 kW-h onboard Li-ion battery, a TM4 SUMO HD electric drive system directly connected to the axle’s differential, a small fuel tank and all power electronics and controls that allow the system to work.


The program

Above: one of the two buses equipped with the plug-in hybrid powertrain.


The project has two main objectives: to increase the proportion of electricity used as a source of energy for the hybrid vehicle and to develop an optimised auxiliary power system (“gen-set”) capable of operating the vehicle continuously.

Two 12m buses will be equipped with the plug-in hybrid powertrain and will be tested by the Société de Transport de Laval (STL) starting this year. The buses will have a range of 35 km in electric mode could be charged in 10 minutes (estimated) from 0% to 100% using a fast charging station of 450 kW. With two or more charging events on a specific route, a fuel reduction of more than 50% can be attained compared to a conventional diesel vehicle. This project provides outstanding features of flexible fleet operation with the advantage of reducing fuel consumption thanks to fast recharging capabilities.

To sum up, it is estimated that over the course of five years, the project would result in a GHG reduction of 20,730 tons of CO2 eq, equivalent to the annual removal of 1400 light vehicles from our roads.

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Maggie Parisé
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