Due to sharply increasing oil price, tremendous efforts are being made to reduce the dependencies on the petroleum based fuels in the field of automotive power trains. As one of the promising alternatives, fuel cell hybrid system has been studied for many different vehicle types from SUV to low speed vehicle. To establish systematic ways to achieve the optimized system configuration, in this paper, we introduce a methodology which combines energy analysis over typical drive cycles with a parametric sizing study for the various powertrain components as well as supervisory energy management parameters. For a practical and demonstrative implementation of the suggested methodology with a limited resource available at hand, a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) for urban transportation is considered for a detailed analysis, design and optimization. Two major supervisory control strategies, namely, charge-sustaining and charge-depleting are carefully investigated to illustrate the versatility of our proposed methodology. Our study shows that the systems could be modeled and optimized either in a charge sustaining case or in a charge depleting case (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) to meet vehicle purposes and usages, respectively. Not only because of the usage of the FC power system as a range extender for an EV, but also the possibility of using the plug-in configuration with renewable energy generation systems, as a personal eco-system, the proposed plug-in FC-NEV may be a solution for a local urban transportation system in this demanding era of sustainable mobility.

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