Sustainable non-automotive vehicles: The simulation challenges

Ian Briggs, Martin Murtagh, Robert Kee, Geoffrey McCullough, Roy Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Simulation is a well-established and effective approach to the development of fuel-efficient and low-emissions vehicles in both on-highway and off-highway applications.

The simulation of on-highway automotive vehicles is widely reported in literature, whereas research relating to non-automotive and off-highway vehicles is relatively sparse. This review paper focuses on the challenges of simulating such vehicles and discusses the differences in the approach to drive cycle testing and experimental validation of vehicle simulations. In particular, an inner-city diesel-electric hybrid bus and an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) powered forklift truck will be used as case studies.

Computer prediction of fuel consumption and emissions of automotive vehicles on standardised drive cycles is well-established and commercial software packages such as AVL CRUISE have been specifically developed for this purpose. The vehicles considered in this review paper present new challenges from both the simulation and drive-cycle testing perspectives. For example, in the case of the forklift truck, the drive cycles involve reversing elements, variable mass, lifting operations, and do not specify a precise velocity-time profile. In particular, the difficulties associated with the prediction of productivity, i.e. the maximum rate of completing a series of defined operations, are discussed. In the case of the hybrid bus, the standardised drive cycles are unrepresentative of real-life use and alternative approaches are required in the development of efficient and low-emission vehicles.

Two simulation approaches are reviewed: the adaptation of a standard automotive vehicle simulation package, and the development of bespoke models using packages such as MATLAB/Simulink.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Publication statusEarly online date - 10 Mar 2016

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