Engine efficiency for hybrid vehicles

Engine efficiency for hybrid vehicles

With huge pressure on powertrains to support a reduction in vehicle CO2, it is critical to leverage the most cost-effective benefits from the ongoing shift towards electrification. 

Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) are a cost vs. benefit challenge as they integrate potentially expensive powertrain options for a usually cost-conscious and competitive market. However, with good technology selection and optimisation, a highly compelling vehicle can be configured to offer low total cost of ownership, excellent lifecycle emissions and strong performance. 

Critical elements of hybrid electric vehicles include a highly efficient engine as well as dedicated hybrid transmission, robust and cost-effective battery, efficient and compact motor and inverter, and optimised thermal management systems. 

Ricardo are longstanding experts in engine research, design, development and manufacturing, incorporating the very latest in technological innovations towards competitive and cost-effective fuel economy improvements and emission reductions.


Ricardo has developed the Magma xEV engine concept to deliver a significant improvement in efficiency for hybrid powertrains, providing 45% Brake Thermal Efficiency (BTE). Combining ultra-lean, high compression ratio combustion, turbocharging and Miller cycle plus options for high energy ignition, we have developed and proven a robust combustion system particularly suited to series HEV, PHEV and range extender applications. Engine-out NOx emissions are controlled by operating up to and beyond lambda 2, and through a tightly controlled engine operating region thanks to the high-power electric motor in the HEV system. 

                       
This approach has been developed using Ricardo’s 1-D simulation tool WAVE to define the key specification around the target architecture and 3-D CFD tool VECTIS which enables the critical features of the combustion system to be defined, along with pre-calibration of the system ahead of testing.

Ricardo’s use of virtual development toolchains across the powertrain and vehicle landscape ensures we deliver optimum technical solutions in all domains touched by electrification so providing our customers with the most compelling HEV offering that meets their challenging requirements.