A systems approach to electrification with Ricardo technologies can help customers drive costs out

A systems approach to electrification with Ricardo technologies can help customers drive costs out
08 October 2019

How a systems approach to electrification comprising Ricardo’s future vehicle architecture, high voltage battery systems and efficient electrified drive units can help customers drive the cost out of electrification

A blog by Richard Gordon, Head of Research and Development

How can OEMs drive the cost out of electrification? At the 20th Aachen Colloquium 2019 (7-9 October 2019), we are showcasing our recommended systems approach to electrification which will drive the cost out of our customers’ vehicles, helping grow sales and so achieve the objective of defossilising mobility. Here, we consider how future vehicle architecture, high voltage battery systems and electrified drive units can improve efficiency, thus supporting sustainability and reducing costs as a virtuous circle.

The challenge for OEMs

Responding to climate change, legislative strategy, end-customer expectations and OEM product plans, Ricardo is focused on the de-fossilisation of powertrain across mobility and industrial sectors.

To enable the deployment and market growth of our solutions, we have prioritised approaches that drive costs out of electrification and maximise efficiency, where we see strong pull from our global customers.

Our capability

We are showcasing a number of core building blocks within our systems approach to electrification.

Case study: Multi-speed Electrified Drive Unit (EDU)

Electrified drive units for hybrid and full electric vehicles are gaining significant development attention. Ricardo is at the forefront of this charge, and our multi-speed EDU is focused on maximising overall system efficiency, offering systems weight reduction and package space optimisation with improved oil cooling.

Our three-speed power shifting concept demonstrates how a systems approach can yield significant advantages:

  • We deliver a 4 to 7% improvement in EV range by using the available three speeds to ensure the motor operating point is focused more often in the highest efficiency regions
  • We demonstrate significant vehicle launch and top speed improvement. The shifts are imperceptible and the package volume of the motor is reduced by over 50%
  • Clearly the multi-speed system on its own adds cost and weight, but this is more than off-set by the motor size reduction and the possible reduction in battery cells for the same range or the ability to sell the vehicle in a higher class with greater range and so sales price. For example, we can halve the motor weight and offer an overall vehicle weight reduction in the order of tens of kilograms. This is beneficial for platform optimisation and further improves real world range

We have developed a complete EDU concept design and optimisation toolchain that rapidly and robustly optimises the inverter and motor type, including its key design features, gear number and ratios and how the system is integrated in to the vehicle platform. This is supported by an advanced thermal systems approach to ensure energy efficient and robust oil cooling of electric motor and power electronics, maximisng motor power output.

We have a well-developed, scalable EDU design (focused around 150kW peak power) available for application to an OEM requirement, so kickstarting your development plans.

Case study: Ricardo 800V automotive battery pack


The Ricardo 800V automotive battery pack has been built to exemplify some of the design features and thought leadership Ricardo is busy delivering into the high voltage battery space.

800V is an enabler for higher efficiency, lighter weight on-board power networks, ultra-fast charging and high systems power output.

Some of the solutions we are featuring include advanced thermal systems embodying immersion cooling, rapid charging cooling system noise reduction and maximising the efficiency and packaging of the battery heating and cooling systems and control as a complete vehicle thermal system. This then delivers significantly improved EV range and the opportunity to reduce battery ageing.

Please come and speak to our experts, who will be very happy to discuss our cell selection, latest developments in our advanced module and pack design toolchain and processes, which include the effects of battery ageing, hardware design requirements and pragmatic test and validation approaches to get cost effective battery packs in to production.

Case study: The Ricardo Future Vehicle Architecture (FuVA)

The Ricardo Future Vehicle Architecture is an integrated product development process.

It is a fully scalable, multi-energy platform architecture design, minimising total investment and bringing significant benefits to our customers.

FuVA offers a nine-month reduction in time to market and, in parallel, up to 10% reduction in overall vehicle cost, but maintains vehicle attributes. It delivers thought leadership bringing together Ricardo’s experience in thermal systems, battery, EDU, chassis, and primary architecture with a focus on vehicle integration leading to mass and energy optimisation.

FuVA spans from A to F segments and presents a range of technology options from low cost ‘back to basics’ and ‘premium’ vehicle offerings. The best way to learn about this game-changing approach and our ready-to-deploy assets is via our FuVA virtual reality experience. It will take you through an ‘attribute walk’ allowing you to specify your own vehicle and give you an understanding of the benefits.

We increasingly exploit VR in our customer programmes and welcome you to experience the FuVA concept via our VR tools on our stand at booth 23 or in this video.

Find out more about how our systems approach is driving the cost out of electrification:


Meet us at Achen booth 23 – for appointments: [email protected] | Engage with us on Linkedin | Download our content at www.ricardo.com/automotive