Recent improvements in vehicle propulsion systems, such as hybrid electric and fuel cells, demand new configuration solutions that may be totally different from conventional designs. Packaging of vehicle components is still a new area of research. This paper describes a configuration optimization method based on a multiple objective genetic algorithm. The method is applied to configuration optimization of a mid-size truck, in which two objectives are considered: ground clearance and dynamic behavior. A vehicle packaging model was developed using the commercial CAD software, ACIS, to analyze interference among vehicle components. An eight-degree of freedom model was used to analyze the dynamic behavior of a given configuration for the J-turn maneuver. Parallel computation technology was also incorporated to accelerate the optimization process. The applicability of this method is discussed and exemplified with the design of a mid-size truck for two propulsion systems: conventional diesel and hybrid diesel electric. A set of Pareto solutions is generated in which tradeoff decisions can be made to select a final design.

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