Leading the world in clean efficient propulsion solutions

Leading the world in clean efficient propulsion solutions

Leading the world in clean efficient propulsion solutions

A blog by Adrian Greaney, Director of Technology and Products

Mitigating climate change is a significant challenge. Particular emphasis is being placed on decarbonising the transport sector as it contributes approximately a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions and demand for transport continues to grow in most regions globally.

We believe that net zero greenhouse gas emissions will require a more holistic view of total lifecycle impacts and sustainability, and a more risk-mitigated approach to meet transport greenhouse gas goals will require a systems approach. This must address efficiency improvement, utilisation, de-fossilisation and an integrated multi-energy vector energy system. Future air quality emissions regulations and utility limitations for battery electric systems will ensure that the combustion engine operating on de-fossilised fuels will remain a key element of automotive and industrial propulsion systems for many decades, as forecast by many sources.

OEMs operating in the global transport sector are facing unprecedented accelerated technological and regulatory change. These OEMs are being challenged to respond to climate change, legislative strategy, consumer expectations and deliver their product plans on time and on budget. The economic disruption caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic adds further complexity to this challenge.

Ricardo has prioritised approaches that drive costs out of electrification and maximise efficiency, where we see strong pull from our global customers. Above all, however, we are committed to striving to reduce the environmental impact across all sectors with clean, efficient, and integrated propulsion systems, working in collaboration with our customers to share technological advancements and holistic, long-term solutions.

While we are currently unable to meet and engage with our customers in person, our digital first strategy means that we are offering a virtual Vienna Symposium experience in which we are showcasing our true end-to-end service - from concept to design to validation and manufacture – creating clean, efficient propulsion systems for the future, based around a systems approach which comprises a number of core technologies and world-leading Research and Development (R&D).

The road to zero carbon lifecycle

Hear our latest thought leadership from Ricardo’s Chief Innovation Officer Mike Bell

Air quality: from Euro 7/VII to beyond

With implementation of Euro 7/VII expected as early as 2025, OEMs are beginning product planning, advanced R&D and process development but may want more visibility of what they are preparing for. Ricardo is actively helping to shape the developing Euro 7/VII legislation through collaborative R&D projects, such as Horizon 2020 DownToTen, backed up by its own targeted research. Ricardo can increase readiness for Euro 7/VII via advanced engineering studies on focused topics like sensitivity studies for controlling new pollutants, and early activities within model year application projects like independent hardware selection testing.

Sign up for our webinar for Automotive World on Euro 7/VII future emissions challenges and solutions, broadcasting on 30th April 2020 15:00BST/16:00CET and then available on-demand: https://www.automotiveworld.com/webinars/euro-7-vii-future-emissions-challenges-and-solutions/

Visit the Air Quality hub for more Euro 7/VII information and resources

Ricardo future car propulsion technology

Propulsion systems of the future must be clean and efficient over the whole product life cycle and highly cost effective. Digital engineering and virtual product development are important for reducing the time to market and development cost. Ricardo has developed concepts for dedicated hybrid propulsion systems including dedicated hybrid engine, transmission and multi-speed electric drive unit (EDU):

  • Dedicated hybrid engine

    Ricardo’s dedicated hybrid engine family is suitable for a range of passenger car and commercial vehicle applications and is capable of meeting future Euro 7 and China 7 emissions standards with peak brake thermal efficiency above 40%. The engine family extends to lower cost and higher performance derivatives with a common architecture for lower overall investment and unit price to help offset the cost of hybridisation. With a high efficiency combustion system, its performance characteristics are optimised to target the peak thermal efficiency at a lower speed and load for low friction - which reduces fuel consumption across a wide range of real-world drive cycles spanning different hybrid architectures. Watch a video about our new dedicated hybrid engine.

  • Multi-speed EDU

    The Ricardo multi-speed EDU integrates the e-machine, power electronics and transmission into a single modular system. Ricardo is developing EDU concept designs for high efficiency and low cost, operating at 800V using e-machines with non-permanent magnets and aluminium windings and power electronics using silicon carbide or gallium nitride technologies. Ricardo is focusing battery development on system design using an efficient virtual development process and technology to support 800 to 1,400V systems including ultra-fast changing enabled via immersion cooling.

  • Integrated thermal management

    Operating powertrain components and passenger cabin at the right temperature requires complex cooling systems and advanced control methods to minimise energy consumption for cooling and heating. Ricardo’s Integrated Thermal Management approach optimises the development of cost/benefit solutions in compressed timing using Model Based Development. Watch a video about Ricardo’s Integrated Thermal Management approach.

Software and controls

Delivering the full potential of future powertrains requires sophisticated control software. Combined with a diversity of powertrain solutions, stringent emissions limits, and increasingly demanding robustness requirements creates the need for efficient, reliable solutions for control software. Applying efficient methodologies through the development, calibration and validation phases is key – the Ricardo approach is to maximise the use of virtual development and pull-forward all three phases to sign-off functionality early and minimise the test and development required during expensive hardware phases. Such methods have been employed in the creation of our modular Vehicle Integrated Control & Simulation (VICS) control software platform, allowing Ricardo to rapidly develop multiple driver assistance features to improve xEV efficiency on our ConnectHEV vehicle demonstrator. Find out more about our Vehicle Integrated Control & Simulation control software platform (VICS) on our ConnectHEV vehicle.

Renewable fuels

Ricardo offers guidance and the selection of the right low carbon fuels for the right application for products and the accompanying technical solutions. A particular area of focus is hydrogen for trucks in the heavy duty commercial vehicles sector.

Find out more about our thought leadership around future fuels:


41st Vienna Motor Symposium Panel Discussion and Q&A

I will be discussing all these technologies with Ricardo Chief Innovation Officer, Mike Bell and other key Ricardo subject matter experts at our FREE 60 minute virtual Vienna Symposium panel discussion and Q&A on 12 May at 09:00hrs BST please register to attend live or listen on-demand – insert link With over 100 years of expertise in integrated propulsion systems, Ricardo is uniquely placed to understand the unique and complex challenges that our customers face, and solve them through creativity, technical expertise, delivery excellence and world-class innovation. Our world-class research and development team defines future technologies to ensure a safe, sustainable mobile world as we deliver successful clean, efficient propulsion systems for the future.

Sign up for the session here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4702152042532037391

Visit our virtual Vienna Motor Sympossium exhibition here.

To find out how we can support clean efficient propulsion solutions for your product development, please contact us: [email protected]