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Research Partnerships & Innovation

RRC Completes PHEV Cold-Weather Adaptation and Testing

November 8, 2011

Red River College (RRC) recently completed three-year testing of plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) technology at its Advanced Transportation and Energy Centre.

The demonstration project, one of the largest of its kind in Canada, involved participation of instructors from the RRC automotive program and Applied Research & Commercialization (AR&C) staff.  Instructors from the RRC automotive program converted 10 Toyota Prius cars to operate as PHEV using Hymotion Plug-in Conversion Modules (PCMs) from A123Systems Inc.
RRC used one of the vehicles, while the Vehicle and Equipment Management Agency (VEMA) of the Province of Manitoba, Manitoba Hydro, Manitoba Public Insurance, and the City of Winnipeg used the others. The vehicles operated in the vicinity of Winnipeg for three years while undergoing monitoring.
One of the purposes for the demonstration was to test the effectiveness of PHEVs in a cold-weather environment, such as Manitoba’s, and to make cold-weather adaptations as necessary. AR&C staff performed cold-weather monitoring and upgrades to the vehicles.
“The cold-weather improvements undertaken at Red River College turned out to be a critical success factor for the Manitoba PHEV Demonstration,” said Robert Parsons, who acted as the Project Manager for the demonstration and is the Secretary/Treasurer of the non-profit Centre for Emerging Renewable Energy Inc., which acted as administrator.
“Without these modifications, vehicle failures and reduced performance would have resulted.”
Parsons reported the cold-weather findings of the project at the IEEE 2011 Electrical Power and Energy Conference in Winnipeg during October. For more information about cold-weather modification of PHEVs please visit the following link:
The Province of Manitoba provided funding for the Manitoba PHEV Demonstration.