A system is provided to instruct a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle how optimally to use electric propulsion from a rechargeable energy storage device to reach an electric recharging station, while maintaining as high a state of charge (SOC) as desired along the route prior to arriving at the recharging station at a minimum SOC. The system can include the step of calculating a straight-line distance and/or actual distance between an orientation point and the determined instant present location to determine when to initiate optimally a charge depleting phase. The system can limit extended driving on a deeply discharged rechargeable energy storage device and reduce the number of deep discharge cycles for the rechargeable energy storage device, thereby improving the effective lifetime of the rechargeable energy storage device. This "Just-in-Time strategy can be initiated automatically without operator input to accommodate the unsophisticated operator and without needing a navigation system/GPS input.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
This invention was made with United States Government support under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The United States Government has certain rights in the invention.