Ricardo has been formally granted approval for the company’s advanced new low carbon and low emissions vehicle research center. The project to create this £10-million (US$15.7 million) facility at Ricardo’s Shoreham Technical Centre benefits from financial support provided under the UK Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF).
With planning approval now granted, RGF funding is confirmed and the project is entering the construction phase on a 2,000 square meter footprint within the Ricardo site. To this end Ricardo placed a contract with HORIBA UK covering the detailed design, construction and completion of the center using HORIBA’s next generation of vehicle testing equipment.
The new Ricardo VERC will include two vehicle test cells incorporating four-wheel drive chassis dynamometers and advanced emissions testing equipment. The vehicle test cells will be capable of testing passenger cars and light trucks of up to 3 tonnes, including advanced technology hybrid electric vehicles and their associated energy regeneration systems.
The facility will be climatically controlled with a temperature range of -35 to +55 ° Celsius. This will help Ricardo test new vehicles for a global market to far more extreme limits than would previously have been possible, replicating the conditions of many aspects of hot and cold climate testing that would otherwise be necessary and thus allowing clean and fuel efficient vehicles to reach market much faster and at lower development cost. The Ricardo VERC is scheduled to be completed and open for business in the second half of 2014.