Micro-hybrid in transit

In a £1.2 million project, UK automotive specialist Ricardo is to demonstrate technologies for a micro-hybrid diesel delivery vehicle based on the existing Ford Transit. The ‘HyTrans’ project will be carried out in partnership with Ford Motor Company, Valeo and the Gates Corporation.

In what will be Europe’s first micro-hybrid delivery van, the partners expect to achieve a 15-25% improvement in fuel consumption over typical door-to-door, local delivery cycles.

The HyTrans vehicle will include an automatic engine stop/start capability together with a regenerative braking system which will capture the energy that would otherwise be lost during braking. An energy management supervisory control system will ensure the optimum use of Ford’s latest 2.0-litre common rail 92kW (125PS) diesel engine and Valeo belt-driven combined starter-alternator system which Ford refers to as an Integrated Starter Generator System (ISG).

Ricardo is the HyTrans project leader and has responsibilities for vehicle modelling, control system design and integration of the micro-hybrid system.

Ford’s role is to supply the baseline vehicle, which has been built at the company’s Southampton plant.

Valeo’s role in the programme is to supply the belt-driven, combined starter-alternator system including the electrical machine and the power electronics, as well as DC-DC converter and Battery Management and Disconnect Unit (BMDU).

Gates’ role is the design and supply of 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 the funding by providing grants through its TransportEnergy New Vehicle Technology Fund.

The bulk of the research and development work will be undertaken at Ricardo’s technology centre at Shoreham, UK.