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Onboard energy managers optimize fuel consumption

January 2015

In the world of research, the use of benchmarks is common practice to compare and rate methodologies or practices between laboratories but less so for testing technical elements or products. 

Their use by IFPEN to compare control systems for hybrid vehicles is an original approach, timed to coincide with a scientific congress. It led to a publication of an article in the"Control Engineering Practice" journal, ranked 4th in its Top 25 Hottest Articles in 2014.

To coincide with the IFAC Workshop on Engine and Powertrain Control, Simulation and Modeling (E-COSM 12)1, the IFP School's "Hybrid vehicles and energy control" chair organized an original competition offering participants the chance to develop an energy management strategy for a plug-in hybrid vehicle.

The "Hybrid vehicles and energy control" chair was created by IFP School in 2009 with the support of the Tuck Foundation, and awarded to Antonio Sciarretta, IFPEN Expert from the Mechatronics, Computer Science and Applied Mathematics research division.

In the context of this competition, a simulator provided by the organizers offered equivalent conditions to all participants: same system, same operating conditions, same disturbances, etc. However, the contestants had no prior knowledge of the driving cycles on which their strategies would be assessed.

The international jury included judges from the worlds of academia and industry, notably, Professor Chris Manzie (University of Melbourne) and Dr. Urs Christen (Ford Aachen).

From left to right: Andreas Ehinger (Tuck Foundation), Antonio Sciarretta (IFPEN), Lars Eriksson (Professor at the University of Linköping - Sweden), Martin Sivertsson (University of Linköping, from the benchmark competition winning team) and Paolino Tona (IFPEN, chairman of the conference

The entries were assessed on the basis of several criteria:

  • energy consumption (electricity and fuel) over two real driving cycles: Ford test circuit and journey in the Italian Alps
  • dynamic performance (acceleration and braking)
  • computational performance.

The solution proposed by the Swedish University of Linköping, which obtained the highest overall score for all the criteria, won the Tuck Foundation prize.

The winning solution was compared with an optimum solution, calculated thanks to prior knowledge of the driving cycle via "HOT" software developed at IFPEN

The published analysis of this benchmark demonstrated that onboard energy managers can achieve quasi-optimal fuel consumption.

The benchmark files
(simulator, driving cycles, self-assessment script)
are available on request from

1 hosted by IFPEN, in October 2012, at its Rueil-Malmaison site


A control benchmark on the energy management of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle -  A. Sciarretta, L. Serrao, P.C. Dewangan, P. Tona, E.N.D. Bergshoeff, C. Bordons, L. Charmpa, Ph. Elbert, L. Eriksson, T. Hofman, M. Hubacher, P. Isenegger, F. Lacandia, A. Laveau, H. Li, D. Marcos, T. Nüesch, S. Onori, P. Pisu, J. Rios, E. Silvas, M. Sivertsson, L. Tribioli, A.-J. van der Hoeven, M. Wu
>> DOI: 10.1016/j.conengprac.2013.11.020

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