1 March 2004

UK-based Ricardo launched its £1.2 million “HyTrans” project, which aims to demonstrate technologies for an affordable and production-feasible micro-hybrid diesel delivery vehicle based on the existing Ford Transit. Ricardo and its partners—Ford Motor Company, Valeo SA and the Gates Corporation—expect to achieve a 15-25% improvement in fuel consumption over typical door-to-door, real world local delivery cycles.

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The HyTrans project is expected to take approximately one year to complete and to lead to a demonstrator vehicle based on a Ford Transit which will:

  • Have fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of around 15-25% better than current production vehicles based on an urban delivery cycle featuring frequent stop/starts. An overall improvement of approximately 5% is also expected over the New European Drive Cycle.
  • Be of comparable performance and driveability to current products.
  • Represent an “affordable” engineering solution which has the potential for implementation in products.
  • Have an uncompromised package with no reduction in payload capacity or space.

Ricardo is the HyTrans project leader and has responsibilities for vehicle modelling, control system design and integration of the micro-hybrid system. The bulk of the research and development work will be undertaken at Ricardo’s technology center at Shoreham, UK. Ford will supply and test the baseline vehicle, which has been built at the company’s Southampton plant. Valeo’s role in the program is to supply the starter-alternator system including the electrical machine and the power electronics. Gates will design and supply a belt-drive system, based on the company’s Electro-Mechanical Drive (EMD) technology which employs new, high load capacity belts and a tensioner design able to deal with the unique demands of these systems.

The HyTrans project is jointly funded by the project partners who between them are meeting half of the costs in the form of materials and engineering resources, with matching funds provided by the UK Department for Transport. The Energy Saving Trust will administer this funding by providing grants through its TransportEnergy New Vehicle Technology Fund.

Source: Ricardo