How a systems approach to electrification can help customers drive the cost out of electrification

How a systems approach to electrification can help customers drive the cost out of electrification
09 October 2019

How a systems approach to electrification comprising a dedicated hybrid engine, Magma xEV combustion system and defossilised fuel can help customers drive the cost out of electrification

Blogged by Roscoe Sellers, Chief Engineer

How can OEMs drive the cost out of electrification? At the 28th Aachen Colloquium 2019 (7-9 October 2019), we are showcasing our recommended systems approach to electrification which drives the cost out of vehicles for our customers, to support the objective of defossilising mobility. Here, we consider how a dedicated hybrid engine and advanced combustion systems can improve efficiency, reduce weight and minimise costs, thus supporting sustainability.

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: Magma xEV Combustion System

The Ricardo Magma xEV combustion system achieves 45% Brake Thermal Efficiency in a hybridised passenger car or a light commercial vehicle powertrain.

We presented our paper ‘Designing and Testing the Next Generation of High Efficiency Gasoline Engine Achieving 45% Brake Thermal Efficiency’, written by Ricardo and Geely colleagues, at Aachen on 9 October 2019.

The combustion system embodies a long stroke with bore/stroke ratio of 0.7, a high compression ratio of 17:1, ultra-lean combustion around lambda 2, supported by high energy ignition and operates on the turbocharged Miller cycle. A limited operating profile is enabled by the flexibilities provided by hybridisation and allows a focus on the fuel efficiency.

This was developed using our advanced combustion simulation tools and validated through careful single cylinder engine testing.

This engine concept is particularly attractive for series-hybrid and range-extender powertrain applications, where the driver experiences an EV style of driving with tractive effort provided through an electric motor. As the combustion engine acts as an electrical generator, it can be optimized to run predominately in the highest efficiency zone.

We’ve achieved 45% brake thermal efficiency without the need for water injection, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) or variable valve timing systems, maximising the synergies with hybridised powertrains and minimising costs. Combined with a lower fossil content fuel such as bio, synthetic and e-fuels, this combustion concept further supports our drive towards de-fossilisation.
View the Magma xEV webinar here

Please visit us at booth 23 to see a model of the combustion system, or get in touch with us to discuss how we can apply our approach to your engine family.

Case study: Dedicated Hybrid Engine for hybrid, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and range extender applications.

The Ricardo dedicated hybrid engine has been developed and fully optimised to maximise synergies with high levels of electrification within the powertrain system with a strong focus on cost, weight and friction reduction.

It implements novel engine structures and materials and features low friction technologies, advanced split cooling and design approaches and is compatible with exisiting manufacturing infrastructure.

The dedicated hybrid engine embodies a range of options for combustion system depending on cost targets, application and power requirements, including the Magma xEV combustion system for 45% brake thermal efficiency and beyond. In addition, the design has been supported by our advanced thermal systems approach (on cooling and lubricating circuit, including engine encapsulation) and is compatible with mult-input waste heat recovery systems targeting up to 50 percent BTE.

We encourage customers to view our scale model of the engine and discuss with our experts how our thought leadership in future hybridised engines can be applied to your engine family for rapid deployment on the road to cost effective electrification.

Case study: Defossilised fuel

As engineers, we believe that if the global society is to achieve net zero transport greenhouse gas emissions, a systems approach is required to achieve total efficiency optimisation to make the most of any energy used. In addition, careful attention needs to be paid to life cycle CO2 emissions and a strong drive to defossilisation via a multi-vector integrated energy system. The challenges of rapid EV infrastructure deployment, battery manufacture at vast scale and realistic EV adoption will require a balanced powertrain mix. Therefore, as many powertrain mix forecasts show, the internal combustion engine operating on defossilised fuels will remain a key element of automotive and industrial propulsion systems for at least the next two decades.

One example of how the internal combustion engine can support significant CO2 reduction in the near term is through the use of increasing bio-fuel content. Currently in the UK, diesel and gasoline fuel contains 5 to 7% bio-fuel (ie non-fossil sources). The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership has calculated that if the bio-fuel percentage could be increased to 9.75% on average as a drop in fuel modification by 2020, for most road vehicles, then two million tonnes of CO2 will be saved in the UK transport sector.

This far outstrips all other measures in the short term such as increasing EV and higher efficiency hybridised vehicle sales because it positively affects the entire vehicle park at the point of introduction, rather than a slow displacement of traditional vehicles over 10 to 15 years.

Other countries in the EU have achieved 10% bio-fuel content with positive outcomes. Ricardo is supporting such initiatives through our Energy and Environment division for policy, fuel options and environmental scenario planning and via our technical engineering teams for future fuels testing, combustion system development and systems focused efficiency optimisation.

Please come and talk to us about our passion for de-fossilisation and the solutions we are developing and deploying now to help our customers commercialise products that can make a difference now.

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

View Richard Gordon’s video about our system approach to electrification

Meet us at Achen booth 23 – for appointments: [email protected] | Engage with us on Linkedin | Download our content at