Bombardier Recreational Products and Government of Canada funding C$11.3M project to develop plug-in hybrid Can-Am Spyder roadster with target of 50% reduction in fuel consumption
|Maquette of the Can-Am plug-in Hybrid Spyder. Click to enlarge.|
The Centre de technologies avancées BRP at the Université de Sherbrooke (CTA) is receiving C$11.3 million (US$11.3 million) in financial support to develop a plug-in hybrid version of BRP’s (Bombardier Recreational Products) Can-Am Spyder roadster. The government’s Automotive Partnership Canada program is contributing $6.2 million and BRP is contributing $5.1 million over a four-year period.
Target features for the hybrid roadster include a 600 cc internal combustion engine and 20 kW continuous power electric motor powered by a Li-ion battery pack that delivers similar acceleration to the Spyder 990 RS roadster. Target range in electric mode is 30 km (20 mi), and total range is targeted to be 600 km (375 mi).
Launched in 2007, the Can-Am Spyder roadster features a distinctive Y-architecture and is he only mass-production, on-road vehicle that is entirely designed and manufactured in Canada.
Our goal is to develop completely new electric hybrid technology for a three-wheel vehicle that uses 50% less fuel and reduces CO2 emissions by 50% while maintaining its speed, power and performance.—Mihai Rasidescu, president and general manager of the CTA
The project’s research team is led by Professor Alain Desrochers from the Université de Sherbrooke’s Mechanical Engineering Department and includes about 30 people from the University and BRP. The roadster’s compact size poses major challenges, they note; rather than modifying existing hybrid technology, the researchers will design an entirely new propulsion system.
Creating a three-wheel vehicle as opposed to a hybrid car poses significant design challenges that require a very high degree of innovation. These challenges include the lack of space to accommodate hybrid motorization, cooling problems, aerodynamics, vehicle weight, and noise. Everything must be studied and modified.—Professor Desrochers
Over the next four years the CTA will produce three generations of prototypes and their components. The final product must pass the test in terms of performance, reliability, durability, and economic mass production. Any technological innovations will be potentially transferable to other types of vehicles and products.
The Centre de technologies avancées BRP – Université de Sherbrooke (CTA) is the result of a partnership between BRP and the Université de Sherbrooke. Its mandate is to develop advanced technologies in the field of motorized recreational vehicles. Since it opened in 2006, the CTA has developed two technologies that have been integrated into BRP products: a technology used in manufacturing the hulls of the new generation of Sea-Doo watercraft; and the five-speed semi-automatic transmission available on Can-Am Spyder roadsters. The CTA currently employs more than 70 researchers and students, and expects to become self-financing as of 2011.
The project is supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).
Announced by Minister Clement in April 2009, APC is a five-year, $145-million initiative to support collaborative R&D to drive the Canadian automotive industry to greater levels of innovation.
Industrial partners provide both financial support and essential in-kind contributions to ensure the success of the research projects. Other recently funded APC research projects focus on addressing the widespread adoption of electric vehicles, developing natural gas and diesel engine technologies, and creating on-board storage and reusing waste thermal energy.