Currently reading: Ricardo 48V hybrid engine architecture can cut CO2 by 15%
New system could reach market within two years; compatible with petrol and diesel engines

British engineering and consultancy firm Ricardo has developed an advanced 48V hybrid system that could feature on multiple car models and cut CO2 emissions by 15%.

Unlike similar 48V systems created by other brands, such as Mercedes, the Ricardo system has been designed to be compatible with multiple platforms and petrol and diesel engines, meaning it could be used by several car makers on a wide range of models.

To demonstrate the benefits the system can bring in efficiency, Ricardo has fitted it to a Ford Focus 1.5-litre TDCi, which has been part of three years of laboratory and road testing and delivered a 10-12% reduction in fuel consumption and 88g/km CO2 output – 11g less than a regular Focus can manage.

Ricardo says the efficiency improvements its system offers would be enough to ensure models can comfortably fall below the requirements of strict Euro 6b emissions limits, while also offering better value for money than alternative methods.

The firm says each gram of CO2 saved equates to about €80 in cost (around £67), which is claimed to be considerably cheaper than the costs involved in developing a plug-in hybrid system, for example.

Using a 48V hybrid system has other benefits too: it allows cheaper models to keep using affordable, latest-spec lead-acid batteries without the need for complicated control systems.

The hybrid project has been headed up by Ricardo as part of the UK’s Adept programme, which is part-funded by the government to promote the development of electrified powertrains.

Although Ricardo hasn’t revealed any potential future customers yet, its chief engineer, Gareth Milton, suggested manufacturers were already showing an interest.

“There is a lot of interest in all the major automotive markets, in the use of 48V hybridisation – for both gasoline and diesel powertrains. Ricardo is constantly in dialogue with the major automakers about the potential of new technologies.”

Milton said the system could make it to market before the end of this decade, adding: “There is a major leap between a technology demonstrator and a market-ready product. We would expect to see some examples of 48V technology on the market within the next two to three years.”


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typos1 1 July 2016

Hardly an informative article

Hardly an informative article - the hybrid "system" is 48v and uses (very heavy) lead acid batteries and er thats it . . .
Fal 1 July 2016


This sounds promising but the few times Ricardo are mentioned in articles people seem to have a bit of a downer on them. Why is this?
bowsersheepdog 3 July 2016

Fal wrote: This sounds

Fal wrote:

This sounds promising but the few times Ricardo are mentioned in articles people seem to have a bit of a downer on them. Why is this?

The reason may possibly be because while we are often told that Ricardo are developing this or that we never hear any more about it. It's always Ricardo will have the suchathing ready for production in a couple of years, never remember that suchathing we told you Ricardo were developing a couple of years ago, well it's now appearing on the latest Nissans, Vauxhalls and Peugeots. I have no particular feelings about the company either way, but I have wondered when such articles appear if manufacturers ever actually buy any of these things from them, whether as ready-made parts or as licences to produce for themselves.