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Renault previews new production-bound EV motor and dual-fuel gasoline/LPG engine

Renault’s new, more compact electric motor with integrated Power Electronic Controller. Click to enlarge.

Renault has previewed a new electric vehicle motor, designed by its engineers and manufactured at its Cléon plant in France, as well as a new dual-fuel gasoline/LPG combustion engine. Both are slated to enter production in 2015. Rémi Bastien, Renault’s Director of Innovation Engineering, noted that “The future of mobility calls for the same command of electric motor technology as it does of internal combustion engines. We are consequently active on every front, from internal combustion engines to electric motors and alternative energies.

New Renault electric motor. The synchronous electric motor with wound rotor develops 65 kW and peak torque of 220 N·m (162 lb-ft), and features an integrated Chameleon charger (earlier post). Integration, miniaturization and simplification were the three objectives that guided the design of this motor.

  • Integration: switching from macro-module stacking to fully integrated modules.

  • Miniaturization: the design of smaller modules, assembled closely (i.e., minimization of space between the modules, doing away with external power supply cables). The junction box, power electronics and Chameleon charger are all contained within a single system entitled Power Electronic Controller, enabling a 25% reduction in the size of this group of functions. Overall, Volumes have been reduced by 10% for the same level of performance, opening up new opportunities to use it for smaller vehicles.

  • Simplification: switching to air cooling for the electric motor (removal of inter-module ducting). Only the Power Electronic Controller continues to be cooled by water, adapted to its specific needs.

The designers have improved the electronic management of the charging process in order to reduce charging times using low-power infrastructure (flexi-charger cable for domestic networks, 3kW and 11kW electric charging points). With this comprehensive redesign of the inverter system, the designers have been able to improve efficiency, thereby reducing the consumption of electric energy.

Turbocharged dual-fuel gasoline/LPG engine. The new engine is a current-generation three-cylinder gasoline unit with LPG dual-fuel capability. It integrates turbocharging, Stop&Start, energy recovery under braking, and eco-mode is compliant with Euro 6b emissions legislation. The gains achieved in terms of fuel consumption in comparison with an LPG engine of the previous generation are around 20%.

Renault said that the technical challenge in development of the dual-fuel engine was striking the right balance between turbo boost and LPG pressure and in optimizing the engine management strategy to permit maximum use of the LPG mode with no need for input for the driver.

The entire powertrain will be factory-fitted.

Turbocharged dual-fuel gasoline/LPG engine. Click to enlarge.



"Integration, Miniaturisation and Simplification were the objectives which guided its design.." they say. Looking at this unit I have to say I would hate to see what they might have produced otherwise. But the little dual-fuel 3-cylinder ICE makes sense, at least while we await the batteries etc which will make all combustible fuels history.

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