Comparison of different vehicle power trains

Peter Mizsey, Esmond Newson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)


Four different alternatives of mobile power train developments (hybrid diesel, fuel cell operating with hydrogen produced on a petrochemical basis, methanol reformer-fuel cell system, gasoline reformer-fuel cell system), are compared with the gasoline internal combustion engine (ICE), for well-to-wheel efficiencies, CO2 emissions, and investment costs. Although the ICE requires the lowest investment cost, it is not competitive in well-to-wheel efficiencies and less favourable than the above alternatives for CO2 emissions. The hybrid diesel power train has the highest well-to-wheel efficiency (30%), but its well-to-wheel carbon dioxide emission is similar to that of the fuel cell power train operated with compressed hydrogen produced on a centralised petrochemical basis. This latter case, however, has the advantage over the hybrid diesel power train that the carbon dioxide emission is concentrated and easier to control than the several point-like sources of emissions. Among the five cases studied only the on-board reforming of methanol offers the possibility of using a renewable energy source (biomass).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-209
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2001


  • Fuel cell
  • Fuel reformer
  • Hybrid diesel
  • Power train
  • Systems analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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