In recent years the increasing demand for fuel efficient and less pollutant vehicles has stimulated the development of hybrid and electric vehicles. These vehicle platforms often incorporate drivetrains which utilize multiple power sources for vehicle propulsion in an effort to increase fuel mileage and reduce emissions. Coupling multiple power sources, such as an internal combustion engine and electric motor(s), has new challenges in drivetrain design. Understanding the torque and rpm relationships within the power transmission device used to combine power sources is fundamental to overcoming the design challenges associated with hybrid and electric vehicle platforms. Results from this research include the fundamental torque and rpm relationships that exist in a multiple-input, single-output power transmission device. These results were deduced from a test that incorporated two separate power inputs into a differential which combined to produce a single output. Testing displayed that a differential has the ability to function as an infinitely variable transmission (IVT). Additionally, the challenges associated with using a differential as a multiple-input, single-output device were identified. Recommendations for overcoming these challenges are also presented herein. This work provides the basis for future work in powertrain optimization for multiple-input, single-output transmission devices.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





Dax Wells, PECVT, PEIVT, continuously variable transmission, positively engaged continuously variable transmission, infinitely variable transmission, positively engaged infinitely variable transmission, differential