has been awarded funding from the Office of Low Emissions Vehicles (OLEV), through a partnership with Innovate UK
, to investigate the use of innovative advanced thermal management methods to improve the performance and efficiency of the electric motors and power electronics used in electric and hybrid vehicles.
Running for six months, the project ‘aligns’ with the UK Government’s aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by increasing electrification across a range of transport sectors.
The focus of Ricardo’s work in the project, for which grant funding has been provided by OLEV, will be the development of an electric motor concept with the aim of achieving a 15-20% improvement in performance compared with that of current ‘state of the art’ products.
If successful, this will provide vehicle manufacturers — as early as 2021 — with the capability of developing products that can meet Automotive Council UK motor and power electronics specific power targets for 2030.
By virtue of its enhanced performance, the concept will enable10-20% motor downsizing and weight reduction, providing improved vehicle packaging opportunities. Crucially, it will also help to bring down the total cost of each vehicle. Moreover, the design principles demonstrated in the new motor can also be applied across aerospace, off-highway and other markets.
During the project, Ricardo engineers will take the opportunity to evolve and update the company’s design and analysis tools so that they can reduce development time of motors and drives by 20-30%, thereby enabling vehicle manufacturers to bring their products to market sooner and at lower cost.
Richard Gordon, Ricardo’s head of R&D, said: “Ricardo’s R&D in novel and disruptive cooling technologies and thermal management is already much in demand with global vehicle manufacturers.
“We are very appreciative of this latest award of funding, which will enable our research to deliver near-term, significant efficiency and performance benefits for global transport manufacturers as they seek innovative technology solutions to accelerate the development and introduction of electric and hybrid vehicles.”