Low Carbon Vehicle 2011 newsbriefs

September 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

Here’s the news from the LCV2011 conference at Rockingham. First up, the latest prototype from the government-funded Low Carbon Vehicle Technology Project is on display. The Ricardo-developed demonstrator vehicle (pictured) addresses the need to increase range in EVs and improve energy efficiency in all aspects of a vehicle’s operation and features a next-generation 108kW motor, advanced control electronics and ‘intelligent’ heating and air con systems. Ongoing work on this project will see the vehicle incorporate a range-extending two-cylinder petrol engine and generator.

  • The flywheel hybrid-drive system developed by Prodrive in partnership with Torotrak, Ricardo and Xtrac is delivering fuel economy improvements of up to 22.4% in real-life driving, says the Flybrid consortium, and a 11.9% improvement on the NEDC cycle. This mechanically-driven flywheel energy storage system delivers up to 80bhp of recovered energy from its easily-installed hybrid module, and is combined with stop-start and a CVT gearbox.¬† It’s cheap, lightweight, efficient and needs no heavy, costly batteries.
  • Warwick’s CPT (Controlled Power Technologies) is showcasing its SpeedStart system, and says that microhybrid solutions offer big CO2 reductions at low cost. The production-ready SpeedStart’s a powerful belt-integrated starter-generator stop-start system which works at just 12 volts, combined with exhaust energy regeneration and electric supercharging; next comes the LC Super Hybrid ‘micro mild’ hybrid system, with added brake energy recuperation.
  • Transmission firm Antonov, partipating in the Jaguar LimoGreen projects, is talking about its three-speed transmission for EVs and says that just two ratios can improve energy efficiency by 10% and that “three or more ratios are better, delivering additional improvements in performance and refinement as well as efficiency, with each additional ratio providing small incremental gains in cycle efficiency.” More at Green Car Congress.
  • The Flybus consortium has installed Ricardo’s Kinergy (kinetic energy recovery, or KERS) flywheel plus a Torotrak continously-variable transmission into an Optare Solo Midibus. The system should be cheaper than current hybrid systems, and promises fuel savings of well over 10%. More at Green Car Congress.
  • Vocis is showing its two-speed EV transmission, fitted in an electric minibus developed in partnership with Zytek; this twin-shaft system promises uninterrupted torque, thanks to high-precision electromechanical actuators. Again, more detail at Green Car Congress.
  • Other highlights of LC2011 include the Racing Green Endurance EV which completed a 26,000km journey down the Pan-American Highway last year; the range-extended Jaguar C-X75; the Kingston University ‘Ion Horse’ electric superbike (third in the TTXGP on the Isle of Man) and the Bluebird Electric land speed record challenger. Lola and Drayson Racing are also to unveil their all-electric Le Mans Prototype. a contender for the proposed 2013 FIA EV championship.

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