Optimal Control of an Electric Vehicle for Competitions in Energy Efficiency

Fabrizio Leonardi, Marko Ackermann, Renato B. Sanchez, Luiz V. Puglia, and Fabio Delatore

Keywords

Electric vehicles, Optimal control, Energy efficiency

Abstract

This work proposes a methodology in open loop for driving a vehicle with electric traction in energy efficiency competitions. The optimal voltage is obtained by solving an optimal control problem that includes physical constraints and requirements of the competition. The vehicle model is related to the longitudinal dynamics and allow variable slope along the track. The influence of cornering is considered by means of a constraint on the maximum centripetal acceleration tolerated by the tire. The methodology transforms the optimal control problem in a nonlinear optimization problem. The methodology was applied to basic tracks and reveals solutions such as allowing velocity reduction during positive slopes and acceleration through the action of the weight force during negative slopes. The methodology was also applied to the conditions of an energy efficiency competition. The results suggest that both the design and driving strategy are very relevant to the energy consumption, but the procedure may not be easily converted into a set of driving rules, i.e., to ensure maximum energy efficiency, it is important to formulate and solve an optimal control problem.

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