Ricardo has formed the Ricardo Global Hybrid Product Group, a strategic business that will focus its resources on technology, facilities and engineering skills for hybrid and electric vehicle development.
Ricardo has so far been responsible for over 100 hybrid powertrain and vehicle programmes, which include simulation and strategy studies and concept developments.
The hybrid team will encompass its skills and expertise in all aspects of hybrid vehicle engineering, from system architecture definition, power electronics design and advanced energy management and control technologies, to the implementation of the hybrid vehicle sub-systems and electrical ancillaries. It will also be able to exploit the company's expertise in intelligent by-wire technologies for systems such as steering, braking and chassis control.
Dr Roger Thornton, director of the Ricardo Global Hybrid Product Group, said: ‘With the increasing focus on fuel economy and CO2 emissions reduction, automakers in all parts of the world aspire to include hybrid vehicles as a significant part of their future mainstream product portfolios.'
He added: ‘In order to maximise the potential benefits of hybridisation we need to draw upon a much wider range of skills and technologies than for conventionally powered vehicles.
'We also need to focus these skills and technologies at a system level, ensuring that the new products fulfil their fuel economy and performance objectives while also delivering a robust, fun-to-drive product that can be manufactured efficiently and sold profitably. If we do this, the business case for hybridisation can be extremely compelling.’