Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

W. Scott Wayne

Committee Co-Chair

Christopher M. Atkinson

Committee Member

James E. Smith


The goal of this research was to develop a unique powertrain control algorithm for a diesel-powered compound-split hybrid crossover utility vehicle (CUV) and evaluate the fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions benefits that can be realized compared to existing non-hybrid, gasoline-powered CUVs. This was achieved through the implementation of engine on/off functionality, regenerative braking, and electric-only drive. The research was conducted in conjunction with the university's participation in EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge, an inter-collegiate advanced vehicle engineering competition focused on developing alternatively powered vehicles in the interest of providing improved fuel efficiency and reduced tailpipe emissions while maintaining useful vehicle functionality. Prior to construction, the proposed vehicle was simulated for fuel efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions using the Powertrain System Analysis Toolkit. Initial simulation results indicated that the proposed compound-split hybrid vehicle would achieve 35 mpgge combined fuel economy and produce carbon dioxide at a rate of 242 g/mi. A 2009 Saturn Vue was modified to accept the proposed hybrid powertrain consisting of a 1.3 liter diesel engine, 2-mode compound-split transaxle, and lithium-ion high-voltage battery system. This vehicle served as the platform for the development and validation of the powertrain control algorithm. Using the vehicle's CAN communication capabilities, auxiliary control units were integrated to manage the new powertrain components and implement the control strategy. The project vehicle and control algorithm were validated and tested on-road for fuel efficiency and performance. The final powertrain control algorithm developed through this research included automatic engine start/stop, regenerative braking, and full-electric driving capability at speeds up to 25 mph. In its final configuration, the WVU 2-mode hybrid-electric vehicle achieved city/highway fuel economy of 24.5/31.5 mpgge. Compared to the base vehicle, the project vehicle achieved a 28.9% improvement in city fuel economy, a 21.2% improvement in highway fuel economy, and a 20% reduction of in-use CO2 emissions.