An energy management strategy (EMS) is important for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) since it plays a decisive role on the performance of the vehicle. However, the variation of future driving conditions deeply influences the effectiveness of the EMS. Most existing EMS methods simply follow predefined rules that are not adaptive to different driving conditions online. Therefore, it is useful that the EMS can learn from the environment or driving cycle. In this paper, a deep reinforcement learning (DRL)-based EMS is designed such that it can learn to select actions directly from the states without any prediction or predefined rules. Furthermore, a DRL-based online learning architecture is presented. It is significant for applying the DRL algorithm in HEV energy management under different driving conditions. Simulation experiments have been conducted using MATLAB and Advanced Vehicle Simulator (ADVISOR) co-simulation. Experimental results validate the effectiveness of the DRL-based EMS compared with the rule-based EMS in terms of fuel economy. The online learning architecture is also proved to be effective. The proposed method ensures the optimality, as well as real-time applicability, in HEVs.
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