Controlled Power Technologies, a developer of vehicle driveline electrification based on state-of-the-art switched-reluctance machines (SRMs), has partnered with Ricardo, Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC) and Provector to develop a 48V through-the-road hybrid vehicle system and demonstrate it in a B-segment city car.
The Forty-Eight Volt Electrified Rear-axle (FEVER) project will apply CPT’s SpeedTorq technology to an ultra-lightweight rear axle module to significantly improve the fuel economy of the target car. The objective of the two-year project is to achieve a CO2 reduction of up to 15% over the regulatory cycle while offering significant savings (around $1,400) in manufacturing cost compared to a full HEV.
The consortium has secured a funding award from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, which will contribute £1.8 million (US$2.6 million) of the total £3.4 million (US$4.9 million) investment.
Integrating the electric motor within the rear axle will enable features such as low-speed electric driving or e-creep, as well as electrically assisted all-wheel drive, which will deliver additional significant savings over a typical representative city drive cycle. The technology will allow a carmaker to reduce the in-use carbon dioxide emissions of such vehicles by approximately 25g/km.
|CPT SpeedTorq ‘four quadrant’ switched-reluctance machine. Click to enlarge.||Ricardo will develop a lightweight 48V rear axle module building on its work on the ULTRAN project. Click to enlarge.|
CPT will lead the project and will be responsible for developing the electric motor and control system, and will support their integration into the rear axle module.
Provector has extensive experience in the control and management of advanced lead-carbon battery chemistry through projects such as ADEPT and its involvement with the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium.
Ricardo’s key responsibilities within the project will be the design and analysis of the integrated 48V rear axle module, development of the supervisory vehicle control system, sub-system testing and project management support, building on its previous work on the ADEPT and ULTRAN projects.
TMETC will supply the base vehicles, develop the suspension solution, and provide support for the application of the technology and overall vehicle integration and testing.
This program will require a high level of project management and engineering cooperation, not least in the unique application of a low-voltage high-temperature-tolerant SRM, which has to be oil-cooled and packaged as efficiently as possible into a rear axle and suspension module complete with advanced lead-carbon battery.—project director Peter Scanes, senior manager responsible for vehicle OEM mild hybrid programs at CPT
The mass roll-out of electrification within the urban transportation fleet will require new and innovative power architectures that provide a performance, value and emissions trade-off that will be attractive to potential customers. Ricardo believes that a 48V electrified rear axle offering through-the-road hybrid performance – including significant ‘engine-off’ operation – will be highly attractive for many market segments but particularly for those that predominate in urban transportation.—Stephen Doyle, Ricardo hybrid and electronic systems product group head
The FEVER project will run for two years and will culminate in the development of two through-the-road, 48V electrified rear axle demonstration vehicles.