While the corporate average fuel economy
requirements in the energy bill that was passed last week mean a lot of extra work for automakers, some see it as an opportunity. One of those is Ricardo. The engineering
consultancy that specializes in power-train work has set up a new unit called Total Vehicle Fuel Economy (TFVE). The TFVE group will be working with client companies to optimize all the vehicle systems with the goal of improving efficiency. They are looking beyond just the engines and transmissions at all the energy-consuming systems on the car. They are using a systems engineering approach that incorporates both the hardware design and the controls software.