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23 million funding for 16 UK low carbon vehicle development projects

Low carbon vehicle

The UK government’s Technology Strategy Board has announced funding of £23 million for 16 innovative low carbon vehicle development projects. Including partner contributions these projects collectively represent a total value of £52 million. Jaguar Land Rover and Ricardo will be involved in a number of the projects through partnerships with suppliers, government agencies, and universities.

Building on the work of the 2/4SIGHT engine concept, the Ricardo’s 2/4CAR project aims to deliver a global premium vehicle demonstrating a 25-30 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions with no loss of performance using an innovative, highly-downsized petrol engine with two-stroke/four-stroke switching technology. Laboratory work has shown that torque output more typical of an engine of twice the capacity is achievable. The engine design incorporates a cycle-switching valvetrain, an advanced boosting and control system, and will demonstrate powertrain integration and driveable control strategies. Ricardo will lead this project which will be carried out by a consortium also including the University of Brighton, DENSO Sales UK Ltd and Jaguar Cars Ltd.

Reflecting the emerging importance of vehicle electrification, Ricardo will also participate in the Range Extended Electric Vehicle project which will be led by Land Rover. This project aims to develop a modular electric & electric/diesel powertrain, suitable for several different vehicle types, which will be tested on a large premium sport utility platform delivering 120 to 130 g/km and zero emissions range of at least 12 miles. The project will also investigate range extension and plug-in charging and installation/commissioning of local recharging facilities for vehicle trials within the vehicle fleet of E-ON, who along with Ameriac Projects Ltd are also consortium members.

Kinetic energy recovery will be the theme of the Flywheel Hybrid System for Premium Vehicles project. This project will involve the design development of a mechanical hybrid (flywheel and variable drive system) kinetic energy recovery system for use in a premium segment passenger vehicle as an alternative, cost competitive solution to other hybrid systems. The project will demonstrate this within an existing vehicle platform to prove its effectiveness and viability for production and suitability for modular application. Jaguar Cars will lead this project which will be carried out by a consortium also including Flybrid Systems, Ford Motor Company Limited, Prodrive, Ricardo UK Ltd, Torotrak plc, and Xtrac Ltd.

Jaguar’s Limo-Green project involves developing class leading lightweight aluminium body structures as a basis for testing the concept of a large luxury vehicle with an advanced hybrid electric driveline, consisting of an advanced drive motor, small battery pack and a small auxiliary power generator for sustained cruising. The project aim is to demonstrate a vehicle with sub-120g/km CO2 whilst maintaining the premium quality of the vehicle.

Another project will involve lower cost, lightweight vehicles by increasing the use of aluminium scrap. This will demonstrate, within five years, the feasibility of a mass producible, lightweight car based on a body structure built using sustainable aluminium sheet derived in part from low cost energy efficient recycled, post consumer scrap. This will be a key enabler for the mass production in the UK of low CO2 premium cars.