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Ricardo Launches New Engineering Service to Help Automakers with CAFE

Ricardo, Inc., a leading independent engineering firm, has introduced a new engineering service designed to help automakers address the new 35 mpg CAFE standard. TVFE (Total Vehicle Fuel Economy) employs a systems approach that quickly identifies, validates and implements the most cost-effective strategies to achieve light-vehicle fuel economy and CO2 goals. TVFE also can be applied to commercial vehicle and military sectors.

TVFE brings [manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers] a unique systems approach that optimizes the cost-benefit-ratio to deliver fuel economy improvements. It addresses and resolves the difficult challenges created when individual fuel-saving technologies can actually work against each other if fuel economy is not approached from a total vehicle perspective.

—Dean Harlow, president, Ricardo, Inc.

Ricardo says that it developed TVFE to provide the industry with an independent, unbiased approach to maximize efficiencies, minimize energy losses and decrease loads on the vehicle. The TVFE process integrates vehicle systems so they work together in a complementary manner to achieve the highest possible efficiency.

Achieving maximum fuel efficiency is not necessarily a matter of developing more advanced technologies. To a large extent the technologies to meet the demand for higher fuel economy without compromising the performance and comfort that consumers demand are available to automakers right now. It’s really a question of cost and the relative commercial viability of these technologies, because consumers have not yet shown their willingness to pay the full price for them.

—Sandy Stojkovski, Ricardo Inc. Director of Vehicle Engineering



Ricardo have hit upon something here. Perhaps newer fuel-saving technologies should be partitioned into different groups, so compatible technologies are grouped for a particular model. This way the refined group-sets of components can be applied to vehicle, directly compared with each other and the most economical and affordable vehicle options can chosen.

Completely separate technologies such as Electric In-wheel drive technology, need no transmission and isolate many of the power losses that exist in conventional ICE vehicles. These technologies need their own improvements to be competitive but are not compatible with most hybrid vehicles except for the choice of energy storage cells. Hi-pa drives again need another category because they assist convention ICE vehicle engines but are not series hybrids. It horses for courses.

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