The sheer complexity of engineering propulsion systems for hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) demands the use of model-based development processes supported by comprehensive, robust vehicle system models. A Vehicle System Modeling (VSM) process has been developed to provide high-quality, application-appropriate vehicle system models in time to support critical HEV engineering activities. The process seeks to manage the complexity of the large number of model variants that are required to support a vehicle program. Additionally, it drives model development and aligns modeling activities with program timing. This paper describes the key elements of the VSM process and presents an application example. The application example illustrates the process by which a highly detailed HEV system model is created from an initial, base conventional vehicle system model via integration of high fidelity component models into a re-usable vehicle system modeling framework. The component models come from a variety of modeling tools and environments, which introduces additional complexity that must be managed. Results generated from the model show the complex system interactions that must be addressed by the vehicle control strategy. This re-enforces the notion that such modeling is required to achieve robust system designs.

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