Ricardo develops range-extended electric vehicle

Ricardo, in partnership with the Low Carbon Vehicle Technology Project (LCVTP), is developing a range-extended electric vehicle (RE-EV) for the C-D vehicle segment of the automotive market.

So far, most EV products and research demonstrators have focused on urban ’city’ car segment applications.

For larger C-D segment vehicles, issues of cost, range anxiety and real-world duty cycles requiring, for example, intermittently fast operation with frequent stopping present some potentially significant and fundamental challenges.

Through its work with the LCVTP, Ricardo aims to develop technologies offering solutions to the challenges of EV applications across all vehicle segments.

Ricardo will lead in the development of a technology demonstration platform based on a Freelander 2 SUV that has been loaned to the LCVTP team by project participant Jaguar Land Rover.

Development work

The EV technology demonstration platform will be developed through three key stages of work within the LCVTP.

The first will see the vehicle converted from its respective conventional power train into a simple battery EV (BEV) incorporating efficiency-optimised control strategies within the framework of a simple architecture based on a conventional 3kW recharging rate.

This basic BEV implementation is planned for completion in spring 2011.

The stage-two implementation will incorporate location awareness and adaptive route control, along with vehicle-level improvements and the optimisation of weight, parasitic losses and aerodynamics.

The final stage of work will see the vehicle developed into an RE-EV architecture incorporating an advanced auxiliary power unit (a gasoline engine integrated with a generator), developed within the project, for onboard battery recharging.

Scheduled for completion in late 2011, this revised architecture will provide the basis for the development of enhanced control strategies for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and other systems to further optimise comfort and energy efficiency.

Neville Jackson, Ricardo’s chief technology and innovation officer, said: ‘This work will help move the development of EV architectures beyond the city car, quantifying the benefits of a range of new approaches to energy storage, energy management, “smart” control processes and energy-efficient ancillaries, while addressing range-anxiety issues.’