Chery to debut A5 hybrid models at Olympics

Click above for more high-res shots of the Chery A5 hybrid

In April, it was revealed that Chinese carmaker Chery would be supplying some fifty vehicles for use during the Olympic games, including the company's first hybrid model. There are two such hybrid models, both based on the automaker's A5 sedan. The A5 BSG is a simpler design featuring a twelve volt Belt Starter-Generator attached to the standard model's 1.6-liter four cylinder engine. The BSG features stop/start capability and is said to offer up to a 10-percent fuel economy improvement in urban driving. The more advanced A5 ISG uses a smaller 1.3-liter engine along with a 12 kW, crankshaft-mounted 151-volt Integrated Starter-Generator system which is said to offer a 15-percent improvement in fuel consumption.

Pictures indicate that the larger battery pack of the A5 ISG model is located in the trunk and is attached to the back of the rear seat. These two hybrids were developed with the assistance of Ricardo and are expected to go on sale shortly after the Olympic Games are complete.

[Source: Ricardo via Carscoop]

Press Release:

Chery Hybrid Vehicles Co-Developed with Ricardo Debut at Beijing Olympics

VAN BUREN TWP., Mich., Aug 06, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- As part of the transportation arrangements for the Beijing Olympics, 50 hybrid vehicles co-developed with Ricardo are being provided by Chery Automobile Company Ltd. Known as the "Olympics Green Messengers," these vehicles are some of China's first hybrid vehicles and will go into full production in the months following the games.

With its expertise in hybrid electric vehicles and its wide-ranging skills in systems integration and vehicle controls and electronics, Ricardo was a natural choice as engineering partner for Chery when the Chinese automaker decided to develop its first hybrid products. Chery set out to develop two new vehicles based on its existing A5 sedan. The first is a stop-start hybrid based on a 12-volt belt starter-generator (BSG) linked to a 1.6 liter gasoline engine with a 5-speed manual transmission. The second is a more comprehensive mild hybrid based on the same vehicle but equipped with a 1.3 liter gasoline engine and a 12 kw crankshaft-mounted 151-volt integrated starter-generator (ISG). These technologies provide significant fuel savings through the use of advanced powertrain control and energy management strategies.

In addition to developing these two new hybrid products, an important objective of the Chery program was technology transfer through integration of the joint program with its own engineering processes. A dedicated on-site engineering office was established at Ricardo's Cambridge Technical Centre in the UK. Chery engineers worked alongside colleagues from Ricardo as well as with selected component and sub-system suppliers to undertake key aspects of the project.

Key Ricardo responsibilities for the BSG program included:
-- Full architecture, sub-system and components requirements definition;
-- Hybrid control unit design;
-- Vehicle and communications interface development;
-- System design including detailed thermal analysis;
-- Powertrain control strategy for safety and efficient operation.

Thanks to the focus and efficiency of the engineering and development programs, the first prototype vehicle was run with production-intent hardware, complete with hybrid strategy and application software, just ten months from the start of the project. In tests on the ECE Urban drive cycle, the BSG vehicle achieved approximately 7 percent improvement in fuel consumption over the baseline product. Improvements of greater than 10 percent are expected in real-world urban driving.

For the more complex ISG product, Ricardo assumed full system design responsibility, including specification and integration of the ISG system and the high-voltage battery pack and battery management system. Ricardo also developed an integrated hybrid control unit that incorporates the motor drive power electronics, DC to DC converter, and hybrid supervisory and safety functions into one compact package. The safety-critical application strategies and software were defined, engineered and validated through extensive vehicle and hardware-in-the-loop testing.
With its comprehensive mild-hybrid functionality, the ISG-equipped sedan provides a significant increase in performance over the equivalent baseline A5 vehicle with a 1.3 liter engine. Peak power and torque of the ISG-equipped vehicle are comparable to a 1.6 liter engine. Final production calibration and testing of the vehicle systems are still taking place, but the fuel consumption improvement over the NEDC cycle is expected to approach 15 percent compared to the 1.6 liter benchmark vehicle. In addition, the system enables engine restart within 200 milliseconds, thus allowing stop-start functionality to be included in the hybrid control strategy.

The new BSG and ISG powertrain-equipped A5 models of Chery Automobile Co. Ltd. underscore the position of this fast-growing Chinese automaker as one of China's automotive technology leaders. Engineered to exacting European emissions requirements, these new vehicles are due to enter full production shortly and will be available for both domestic Chinese and export markets.

About Ricardo

Ricardo, the Eco-Innovation Technology Company, is a leading independent provider of technology, product innovation, engineering solutions and strategic consulting to the world's automotive, military, transport and new energy industries. The company's skill base represents the state-of-the-art in low emissions and fuel-efficient powertrain technology, and can be best summarized: "Ricardo is Fuel Economy."

With technical centers and offices throughout Europe, the U.S. and Asia, Ricardo provides engineering expertise ranging from vehicle systems integration, controls & electronics, hardware and software development, to the latest driveline and transmission systems and gasoline, diesel, hybrid and fuel cell powertrain technologies. Its customers include the world's major automakers and suppliers as well as manufacturers in the military, commercial, off-highway and clean energy sectors. The company also serves in advisory roles to governmental and independent agencies. Ricardo's U.S. operation, Ricardo, Inc., is headquartered in Van Buren Township, Michigan. Ricardo plc posted sales of $344 million in financial year 2007 and is a constituent of the FTSE TechMark 100 index -- a group of innovative technology companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information, visit .

Ricardo offers TVFE(TM), its Total Vehicle Fuel Economy engineering service, to transportation manufacturers worldwide to provide objective evaluation of all available technologies to identify the most cost-effective strategies to optimize fuel economy and CO2 goals. For more information on TVFE, please visit .

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