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UK Consortium Developing ZEV Retrofit for Commercial Vans

A UK consortium of specialists in hybrid vehicles is receiving funding from the Department for Transport, through the Energy Saving Trust’s Low Carbon R&D Programme, to support development of a retrofit solution for Zero Emissions driving. The new system will allow existing vans to operate as zero emissions vehicles, making them ideal for urban duty cycles.

Built around a Vauxhall Combo, the ADDZEV (Affordable Add-on Zero Emissions Vehicle) project will demonstrate a low-cost electric drive system using an advanced lead-acid battery enabling the vehicle to switch between a hybrid drive mode and electric only operation. Using advanced lead acid batteries significantly reduces the potential production costs of a hybrid vehicle.

The consortium is also developing the drive control strategies and battery management system required to ensure optimum performance in a city delivery driving operation. The system controller will deliver the required demands to the electric drive system while concurrently maintaining acceptable charge in the valve regulated lead acid battery (VRLAB).

The ADDZEV Project, led by Cranfield University and the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium, draws on expertise from Provector, Oxford University and Millbrook Proving Ground, to build a demonstration vehicle capable of city driving in electric only mode.

Another key benefit is the support of a key group of end users who will be providing real data on operating cycles and environments designed to inform the product design and optimize the demonstrator for real applications.

Further optimization of the system, compatible with ever more sophisticated hybrid vehicle solutions, will be developed through the simulation tools available to the team.


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