California's Cooperative PHEV Research Center
UC Davis is the new hub of collaboration and research on plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in California. The university’s new Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) Research Center, administered by ITS-Davis, is funded by a three-year, $3 million grant from the California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program.
The center will serve as a magnet for innovative research on consumer response, environmental impacts, and vehicle technology. Its goals are to provide technology and policy guidance to the state, and to help solve research questions and address commercialization issues for PHEVs. The Center will achieve these goals in two ways: by administering research funding for UC Davis and outside research organizations, and by coordinating an external Advisory Council that will oversee the development of a PHEV Research Roadmap for the Energy Commission. The Advisory Council will be comprised of academics, government and non-governmental organizations, PHEV advocates and industry representatives from the electric utility, fuel provider and automotive manufacturing sectors.
The Center will coordinate with existing research organizations including:
- South Coast Air Quality Management District
- Electric Power Research Institute
- Southern California Edison, PG&E, and other California utilities
- United States Department of Energy
The PHEV Center will conduct or administer funding for research in five distinct areas:
- Modeling alternative PHEV designs and battery performance testing
- Impacts of PHEVs on the electrical grid
- Consumers and PHEVs
- Environmental impacts of PHEVs
- Lifecycle costs of PHEVs
The PHEV Center will conduct this research through a coordinated statewide demonstration of PHEVs. The Center plans to begin with hybrid passenger vehicles that have been converted to plug-in hybrids. It will expand its program to include medium-duty trucks, and will encourage the conversion of other passenger vehicle hybrids to broaden scope of study, eventually evolving to dedicated PHEVs made by original equipment manufacturers.