'Hybrid engineering is the most exciting, challenging job for any science graduate in the car industry today.' That was the claim from Mike Richardson, Jaguar Land Rover’s Hybrid Group manager, when he spoke at the British Science Festival in Birmingham. Richardson was outlining Jaguar Land Rover’s research and development approach to hybrid technology as the first step towards electric vehicles, 'It is ironic that electric vehicles have actually been around for more 100 years, but the course of history took the early automotive pioneers down the route of today’s petrol-based internal combustion engine,' said Richardson. 'This means that we are now playing catch-up with regards to the mass commercialisation of electric propulsion technologies and infrastructure.'
Jaguar Land Rover was one of the lead sponsors of the British Science Festival and senior engineers from the company gave lectures throughout the Festival week. 'Meeting future environmental requirements and targets in the premium luxury car market will be particularly challenging,' predicted Mike Richardson, 'Our customers have always looked for continuous improvement in performance and functionality and this has typically increased energy consumption. The challenge today is to develop cars that have a reduced impact on the environment while still delivering what our customers want.'
Jaguar Land Rover is the UK’s largest investor in automotive green technologies. With investment in product creation topping £1 billion a year and more than £800 million committed to the development of environmental technologies, the company is at the centre of the UK automotive industry’s drive to deliver technical innovation in all areas of vehicle development. Richardson said, 'For premium vehicles, plug-in hybrids present the next and most immediate potential and there is broad acceptance across the industry of a technology roadmap that sees electric vehicles as the ultimate solution to the low carbon vehicle challenge. Our plan and expectation at Jaguar Land Rover is that these will evolve through hybrids, plug-in hybrids and range-extended hybrids. This joint understanding frees up the opportunity for some innovative consortia and collaborative effort, as well as providing a platform for funding and investment.'
Jaguar Land Rover already has more than 100 engineers working specifically on hybrid technology and is currently recruiting to increase that number. Collaborative and Government-funded research projects to develop and test the feasibility of a number of different advanced hybrid systems are a key part of Jaguar Land Rover's research and development activities. Current programmes include;
Limo Green is a research project funded by the Technology Strategy Board. Based on the new, lightweight, XJ saloon launched in 2010, Limo Green - a ‘series hybrid’ - features an all-new range extender powertrain instead of the familiar Jaguar diesel and petrol engines. Limo-Green will produce CO2 emissions of less than 120gm/km CO2 and fuel consumption bettering 57mpg, it also delivers a top speed of 180kph. The overall range is 500 miles and in Electric Vehicle (EV) mode, an impressive 30 miles.
Range Extended Hybrid Electric Vehicle
The REHEV project, which uses a Range Rover Sport development vehicle, researched a plug-in diesel electric parallel hybrid system suitable for a range of applications.This two-year project, is supported by the Government’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and partnered by EON, Ricardo and Amberjac. The REHEV runs as a pure electric car for up to 19 miles in town and the diesel engine and electric motor combines to drive all four wheels at higher speeds and when off-road. The project investigated range extension and plug-in charging and the installation/ commissioning of local recharging facilities. REHEV achieved emissions of 94g/km over the drive cycle, a significant improvement on the already ambitions target of 130g/km.
“Range_e” Technology Strategy Board Ultra Low Carbon Fleet Trial
By the end of 2010, Land Rover will be testing the first diesel hybrid prototype, called the range_e, which is being developed using a Range Rover Sport platform. Tests of this vehicle will use the existing 3.0-litre TDV6 diesel engine in conjunction with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. The goals are to achieve a range of 20 miles using electric power only, emitting less than 100 g/km of CO2, and a top speed of around 120 mph.
FHSPV (Flywheel Hybrid Research Vehicle)
Flywheel technology, a system that recovers and stores energy generated during braking, is an area in which the UK has a world-class cluster of pioneering technology companies. Jaguar Land Rover is currently lead partner in a Technology Strategy Board project known as FHSPV (Flywheel Hybrid System for Premium Vehicles) which runs in conjunction with Flybrid Systems, Torotrak, Prodrive, Xtrac, Ricardo and Ford Motor Company. This project vehicle is a mechanical flywheel hybrid built to demonstrate the feasibility and capabilities of this technology. Targeting a 20 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions, the project is investigating how the flywheel hybrid system behaves when integrated into a premium passenger vehicle – in this case the donor vehicle is a Jaguar XF.
A number of new consortium programmes backed by TSB funding have recently been announced, including 'REEVolution', a research project that will investigate enhanced technology for premium range-extended electric vehicles.
Jargon buster - Hybrid definitions:
Electric Vehicles (EVs) are vehicles which use electric motors only for traction.
Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) are vehicles which combine the power of an internal combustion engine with one or more electric motors for traction.
Series HEVs use the engine exclusively to drive a generator to provide electric power, with an electric machine providing drive to the wheels.
Parallel HEVs use electric motors in parallel with internal combustion engine.
Powersplit HEVs can work in either mode.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) are HEVs which have the ability to be recharged through a mains supply.
Micro Hybrids are a subset of the full Hybrid and provide engine start-stop capability and use regenerative braking for limited charging only.
Kinetic hybrids systems use high power density devices (such as a flywheel) to recover and re-use substantial braking and coast-down energy