Ricardo has previewed the objectives and full lineup of Project FEVER, a two year Innovate UK supported collaborative R&D project for which it will design through-the-road hybrid demonstrator vehicles integrating Control Power Technologies electric motors within the rear axle, for similar efficiency gains as for full electric hybrids but offering significantly cheaper manufacturing costs.
Project FEVER (Forty Eight Volt Electrified Rear Axle) will be led by Control Power Technologies (CPT) in partnership with Ricardo, Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC) and Provector, and hopes to deliver a CO2 reduction of up to 15%, or 25g/km of CO2, in two through-the-road, 48V electrified rear axle demonstration vehicles.
The consortium secured funding of £1.8 million from Innovate UK, out of the total £3.4 million investment in Project FEVER, as a result of the recently announced Government awards totalling £38.2 million to 44 projects to develop innovative ideas for reducing CO2 emissions of road vehicles under it’s Integrated Delivery Programme 12: Seeding tomorrow’s vehicle technologies today competition and the Developing advanced lightweight vehicles competition.
Both Ricardo and Tata Motors European Technical Centre submitted elevator pitch presentations at IDP 12 and Developing Advanced Lightweight Vehicles briefing and network day, held in September
According to Ricardo, the investment will help to further introduce advanced mild hybrid functionality to mainstream vehicles at significantly reduced cost to that of high voltage plug-in hybrid or pure electric vehicles (EVs).
The FEVER collaborators
Controlled Power Technologies (CPT) - an independent, clean-tech, company, based at Laindon in Essex - will lead the project and will be responsible for developing the electric motor and control system, and will support their integration into the rear axle module.
Provector specialises in power-electronics, control and battery systems for hybrid and electric vehicles. Based in Hatley St George to the west of Cambridge. It has extensive experience in the control and management of advanced lead-carbon battery chemistry through projects such as the IDP 9 ADEPT project(also working with CPT, Ricardo and others) and its involvement with the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium.
Ricardo's key responsibilities within the project will be the design and analysis of the integrated 48V rear axle module, development of the supervisory vehicle control system, sub-system testing and project management support, building on its previous work on the ADEPT and ULTRAN projects (Both supported under IDP 9).
Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC), based in Coventry, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Motors Ltd. Created in 2005, as a UK-based centre of excellence for automotive design and engineering, TMETC provides research and development principally for Tata Motors but also for selected partners in the automotive industry. Te company will supply the base vehicles, develop the suspension solution, and provide support for the application of the technology and overall vehicle integration and testing.
CPT Oil-cooled switched reluctance motor packaged into a rear axle - suited to urban transportation
“This programme will require a high level of project management and engineering cooperation,” said project director Peter Scanes, senior manager responsible for vehicle OEM mild hybrid programmes at CPT, “not least in the unique application of a low voltage high temperature tolerant switched reluctance motor, which has to be oil-cooled and packaged as efficiently as possible into a rear axle and suspension module complete with advanced lead-carbon battery.”
Stephen Doyle, Ricardo hybrid and electronic systems product group head, added: “The mass roll-out of electrification within the urban transportation fleet will require new and innovative power architectures that provide a performance, value and emissions trade-off that will be attractive to potential customers. Ricardo believes that a 48V electrified rear axle offering through-the-road hybrid performance – including significant ‘engine-off’ operation – will be highly attractive for many market segments but particularly for those that predominate in urban transportation.”
The FEVER project will run for two years and will culminate in the development of two through-the-road, 48V electrified rear axle demonstration vehicles.
Forthcoming government support
Innovate UK’s 12 month delivery plan, published last month, promises an OLEV supported Integrated Delivery Programme 13 (IDP13) competition, expected to be opened in the third quarter of 2016.
In addition, Innovate UK has this week announced the opening of its Manufacturing and materials competition, offering support totalling up to £15 million for manufacturing and materials projects that could lead to increased productivity, competitiveness and growth, especially for SMEs. The type of projects Innovate UK seeks to support are those that focus on technical feasibility, industrial research or experimental development.