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As part of the Technology Strategy Board's (TSB) ongoing efforts of promoting and supporting research into environmentally friendly automotive technology, the group has given funding to Ricardo, Jaguar and Land Rover for quite a few separate projects. Five of the projects are outlined here:
  • Ricardo, along with the University of Brighton, DENSO Sales UK Ltd and Jaguar, has received funds to continue work on its innovative 2/4SIGHT engine, which is capable of running on either the 2 stroke cycle or the 4 stroke cycle.
  • The Range Extended Electric Vehicle is led by Land Rover. A large SUV chassis will be used with the goal of delivering 120 to 130 g/km CO2 and a zero emissions range of at least 12 miles.
  • A flywheel-based hybrid drive system will be tested, led by Jaguar and including Flybrid Systems, Ford Motor Company, Prodrive, Ricardo UK Ltd, Torotrak plc, and Xtrac Ltd. Formula 1 racing is also testing these flywheel-based hybrid systems.
  • The Limo-Green project is the fourth bit of technology and looks to incorporate the aluminum structure of the current Jaguar sedan range along with an electric motor, battery pack and generator.
  • Recycled aluminum will be looked at to see if it is feasible to use post-consumer scrap to form the basis of a lightweight, mass-producible vehicle.

These five projects are part of a group of sixteen total investments which will receive a total of £90 million in funding from the TSB. We've pasted two complete press releases after the break detailing each of the proposed projects that are mentioned above.

Press Releases:

Ricardo consortia win funding for three major low carbon vehicle development programmes

The UK government's Technology Strategy Board today announced funding of £23 million for 16 innovative low carbon vehicle development projects. Including partner contributions these projects collectively represent a total value of £52 million. As a technology leader in high fuel economy/low carbon vehicle technologies, Ricardo will be an active participant in three of the winning project consortia

Building on the work of the 2/4SIGHT engine concept, the 2/4CAR project aims to deliver a global premium vehicle demonstrating a 25-30 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions with no loss of performance using an innovative, highly-downsized gasoline engine with two-stroke/four-stroke switching technology. Laboratory work has shown that torque output more typical of an engine of twice the capacity is achievable. The engine design incorporates a cycle-switching valvetrain, an advanced boosting and control system, and will demonstrate powertrain integration and driveable control strategies. Ricardo will lead this project which will be carried out by a consortium also including the University of Brighton, DENSO Sales UK Ltd and Jaguar Cars Ltd.

Reflecting the emerging importance of vehicle electrification, Ricardo will also participate in the Range Extended Electric Vehicle project which will be led by Land Rover. This project aims to develop a modular electric & electric/diesel powertrain, suitable for several different vehicle types, which will be tested on a large premium sport utility platform delivering 120 to 130 g/km and zero emissions range of at least 12 miles. The project will also investigate range extension and plug-in charging and installation/ commissioning of local recharging facilities for vehicle trials within the vehicle fleet of E-ON, who along with Ameriac Projects Ltd are also consortium members.

Kinetic energy recovery will be the theme of the Flywheel Hybrid System for Premium Vehicles project. This project will involve the design development of a mechanical hybrid (flywheel and variable drive system) kinetic energy recovery system for use in a premium segment passenger vehicle as an alternative, cost competitive solution to other hybrid systems. The project will demonstrate this within an existing vehicle platform to prove its effectiveness and viability for production and suitability for modular application. Jaguar Cars will lead this project which will be carried out by a consortium also including Flybrid Systems, Ford Motor Company Limited, Prodrive, Ricardo UK Ltd, Torotrak plc, and Xtrac Ltd.

"We welcome the investment decision announced today by the Technology Strategy Board and look forward to participating in three of the major UK low carbon vehicle programmes that have successfully secured funding", said Neville Jackson, Ricardo technology director. "Improving fuel economy and reducing carbon emissions is a major imperative globally for both the automotive industry and society in general. We are proud that the consortia in which we are participating have secured funding for these three very important projects, which aim to provide some of the crucial enabling technologies for future low carbon road transport applications."
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Jaguar Land Rover warmly welcomed the announcement of government funding to help speed up the development of technologies that will significantly reduce CO2 emissions.

The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and the Department for Transport, through the Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform, have announced that 16 innovative development projects, worth over £52 million, will receive £23 million government investment through the Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform.

Jaguar Land Rover is involved in a number of the projects through partnerships with suppliers, government agencies, and universities.

The projects identified today are:

Range Extended Electric Vehicle REHEV

To develop a modular electric and electric/diesel powertrain, suitable for several different vehicle types. This will be tested on a large premium sport utility platform delivering 120 to 130 g/km CO2 and a zero emissions range of at least 12 miles. The project will also investigate range extension and plug-in charging and the installation/ commissioning of local recharging facilities for vehicle trials within the E-ON fleet.

Flywheel Hybrid System for Premium Vehicles

To design and develop a mechanical hybrid (flywheel and variable drive system), kinetic energy recovery system for use in a premium segment passenger vehicle as an alternative, cost competitive solution to other hybrid systems.

Limo-Green

To use Jaguar's class leading lightweight aluminium body structures as a basis for testing the concept of a large luxury vehicle with an advanced hybrid electric driveline, consisting of an advanced drive motor, small battery pack and a small auxilliary power generator for sustained cruising. The project aim is to demonstrate a vehicle with sub 120g/km CO2 whilst maintaining the premium quality of the vehicle.

Lower Cost, Light Weight Vehicles by Increasing the Use of Aluminium Scrap
To demonstrate, within five years, the feasibility of a mass producible, lightweight car based on a body structure built using sustainable aluminium sheet derived in part from low cost energy efficient recycled, post consumer scrap. This will be a key enabler for the mass production in the UK of low CO2 premium cars.

In addition, Jaguar Land Rover is involved in a project led by Ricardo to deliver a global premium vehicle demonstrating a 25-30% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions with no loss of performance using an innovative, highly-downsized petrol engine with two-stroke/four-stroke switching technology.

Commenting on the announcement, Jaguar Land Rover's acting Chief Executive Officer, David Smith, said, "Our engineers are at the forefront of developing new, sustainable technology and as a business we are investing £700m on projects specifically aimed at reducing CO2 emissions.

"We welcome the announcement today by the Technology Strategy Board of government funding for these important projects and we fully support the additional £70m of government investment in the Low Carbon Vehicles Integrated Delivery Programme. This will assist Jaguar Land Rover, other UK vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers to accelerate and widen programmes to achieve even more substantial CO2 improvements for vehicles."

[Source: Technology Strategy Board]


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