An undisclosed, established European automaker has enlisted the expertise of UK-based lithium-ion systems supplier Axeon, the assistance of leading UK engineering firm Ricardo and the battery know-how of A123 Systems for collaboration on an upcoming plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV). The trio, along with assistance from that unnamed European automaker, will develop and integrate an advanced, lightweight battery pack that utilizes nanophosphate lithium iron cells manufactured by A123 Systems into an advanced PHEV.
The vehicle will feature a liquid-cooled battery pack as well as Ricardo's high-tech management system that incorporates active cell balancing. Ricardo will engineer the vehicle's battery pack, including all of its mechanical and electrical systems and develop the hybrid powertrain's software and thermal management systems. Axeon will conduct full-scale testing of the vehicle's powertrain and handle production and supply of the necessary components. It may be a while before we discover which PHEV will house all this technology, but at least we know now that one more plug-in hybrid is definitely in the works.

[Source: Ricardo]

PRESS RELEASE

Axeon and Ricardo collaborate on battery system for plug-in European car


Release date: 5 October 2010

A European automotive manufacturer has sought the expertise of UK-based lithium-ion energy systems supplier, Axeon, and automotive technology, innovation and systems integration provider, Ricardo, to supply and integrate an advanced, lightweight battery pack for a pioneering plug-in hybrid vehicle, which is guaranteed to grab worldwide headlines when it is launched.

British company Axeon and the international Ricardo group are firmly positioned amongst Europe's foremost experts in electric vehicle propulsion technology. The plug-in hybrid vehicle, from an established European brand, will feature an advanced, bespoke Axeon battery system that leverages advanced Nanophosphate™ lithium iron cells from A123 Systems. The team is developing a world-class solution for this application, featuring an ultra-lightweight, liquid-cooled battery pack and a development of the Ricardo's Battery Management System incorporating active cell balancing. Ricardo will engineer the pack including all aspects of the mechanical, electrical/electronic hardware and software, including thermal design considerations and safety. Axeon will subsequently assume full responsibility for a full test and validation programme, production and supply.

"It's difficult to think of a more demanding application or client for our skills, so we were delighted to have been selected to play such a key role in this development programme" said Lawrence Berns, CEO of Axeon.

Berns added, "This car will transform thinking about hybrid cars in every area, especially performance. Our technology will play a key role, underlining our prowess in this competitive field and showing that hybrids can also offer significant advances to performance as well as environmental benefits".

"This is an exciting project which builds upon Ricardo's longstanding and highly successful relationship with Axeon which has already seen our companies collaborate on Technology Strategy Board part-funded research which has helped us jointly develop aspects of the technology to be deployed in this programme," said Richard Wenham, Ricardo director of Intelligent Transport Systems.


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