Project FEVER to develop 48V through-the-road hybrid vehicle technology

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Controlled Power Technologies, a developer of vehicle driveline electrification based on switched-reluctance machines (SRMs), has partnered with Ricardo, Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC) and Provector, to apply its low voltage electric motor technology to the rear driveline of a B-segment city car.

Known as Project FEVER (Forty Eight Volt Electrified Rear-axle), the consortium will help to further introduce advanced mild hybrid functionality to mainstream vehicles at reduced cost to that of high voltage plug-in hybrid or pure electric vehicles (EVs).The electrified rear axle technology will be a step toward enabling OEMs to further improve both regulated and real world fuel economy in city driving conditions.

The objective of the two-year project is to achieve a CO2 reduction of up to 15% through the development of two through-the-road hybrid demonstrator vehicles.Integrating the electric motor within the rear axle will enable features such as low speed electric driving or e-creep, as well as electrically assisted all-wheel drive, which will deliver additional savings over a typical representative city drive cycle.The technology will allow a carmaker to reduce the in-use CO2 emissions of such vehicles by approximately 25g/km.

CPT will lead the project and will be responsible for developing the electric motor and control system, and will support their integration into the rear axle module.Provector has experience in the control and management of advanced lead-carbon battery chemistry through projects such as ADEPT and its involvement with the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium.Ricardo's key responsibilities within the project will be the design and analysis of the integrated 48V rear axle module, development of the supervisory vehicle control system, sub-system testing and project management support, building on its previous work on the ADEPT and ULTRAN projects. TMETC will supply the base vehicles, develop the suspension solution, and provide support for the application of the technology and overall vehicle integration and testing.

Stephen Doyle, Ricardo hybrid and electronic systems product group head, said: “The mass roll-out of electrification within the urban transportation fleet will require new and innovative power architectures that provide a performance, value and emissions trade-off that will be attractive to potential customers. Ricardo believes that a 48V electrified rear axle offering through-the-road hybrid performance will be highly attractive for many market segments but particularly for those that predominate in urban transportation.”

The FEVER project will run for two years and will culminate in the development of two through-the-road, 48V electrified rear axle demonstration vehicles.