The Electric Road Ahead
By EV World
Ricardo Engineering, headquartered in the United Kingdom, but with offices globally, including a new battery research facility in Michigan, has been helping develop advanced automotive vehicles and systems for 100 years.
Working either independently or collaboratively under contract, the company has amassed a great deal of expertise and knowledge in vehicle dynamics, transmissions and power trains.
Paul Boskovitch, Ricardo's chief engineer for advanced hybrid systems, shares some of his firm's insights and perspective in this 22-minute presentation delivered at the 2008 ACG Advanced Automotive Battery Investment Summit in Chicago this past June. In this talk, he focuses on both current and future technology trends as they apply to hybrid vehicles, especially their all-important battery technology.
His analysis sees lithium ion batteries being the most promising chemistry moving forward, but one that remains beset by five key concerns: safety, temperature, longevity, high energy and cost.
He sees PHEV 10 and 20 vehicles -- similar to the Toyota Prius plug-in now in development -- can be relatively easily adapted to existing vehicle platforms, while PHEV 30 and 40 -- Volt-class vehicles -- will require significantly more engineering that will involve major re-engineering of the existing vehicle or a complete from-the-ground-up design.
Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries remains a viable option for conventional hybrids, but not for plug-in hybrids or pure battery electric cars. Even lead-acid -- as illustrated by the UltraBattery Honda Insight above -- has value in certain applications and can help bring down the cost of the technology.
This is a somewhat technical presentation and we apologize that we do not have the accompanying slide presentation. However, as an overview of the current thinking of one of the industry's leading independent automotive R&D firms, it remains a valuable presentation.
To listen to it, use either of the two MP3 players on this page or download the 5.15 MB file to your computer hard drive for transfer to and playback on your favorite MP3 device.