Ricardo Offers Advanced Vehicle Expertise

Battery Systems Development Center provides complete vehicle systems integration for turnkey battery system development and application

Published: 28-Jan-2009

VAN BUREN TWP., Mich. -- Ricardo, Inc., a leading independent engineering firm specializing in total vehicle fuel economy and efficiency, has launched the Battery Systems Development Center at its Van Buren Twp., Michigan, headquarters. The center provides the most comprehensive and integrated range of capabilities in the industry for turnkey development and application of complete high-voltage battery-pack systems for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles.

"As a leading supplier of advanced technologies and alternative energy solutions, Ricardo is at the forefront in developing renewable energy applications that will help reduce our dependence on foreign oil and lead to energy independence," said Ricardo President Dean Harlow. "While there has been a great deal of theoretical discussion and proposals on renewable energy, Ricardo is actually applying the technology by taking it off the whiteboard and into the real world. Last year we launched TVFE(TM) as a total vehicle fuel economy solution. Now we open the Battery Systems Development Center which will be among the industry's most complete battery development and system integration centers, working with a wide range of customers from cell suppliers to the Tier 1 and OEM's on battery systems for hybrid and electric vehicles."

The Battery Systems Development Center is the focal point of Ricardo's design, analysis, simulation and integration of advanced high-power battery packs and their electronic management systems. Combined with the company's deep expertise in the development of electronic controls, hybrid transmissions and vehicle systems, it provides Ricardo with the capability of providing fully integrated, turnkey battery systems.

"Electrification of the vehicle is a critical element of automakers' strategies for achieving the 35-mile-per-gallon CAFE regulations," said Karina Morley, Ricardo's global vice president of Controls and Electronics. "The Battery Systems Development Center is a state-of-the-art, benchmark facility that enables Ricardo to evaluate and optimize batteries throughout the development cycle, from the early stages through battery pack production and integration into the vehicle."

Ricardo's Battery Systems Development Center is believed to be the only supplier facility with a Virtual Vehicle Development Environment, making it the industry's most comprehensive battery development and systems integration center. This allows for fully simulated vehicle integration to be conducted in a safe, controlled and repeatable environment, positioning Ricardo as one of the only suppliers equipped to deliver increased efficiencies by fully optimizing a battery pack and control system.

"We're very proud of the fact that Ricardo is playing a role in positioning Michigan as the leader in electric vehicle technology development," Harlow added. We commend Governor Granholm, the Michigan Legislature and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for creating incentives that make it possible for companies like Ricardo to invest in Michigan's high-tech future. It's an investment that will fuel jobs and economic development for years to come."

Ricardo's extensive expertise in battery development can be applied to non-automotive industries that can benefit from advanced battery pack development. Applications could include agricultural equipment, military vehicles and medium- and heavy-duty on- and off-road vehicles. This includes any type of energy storage, such as ultra capacitors or batteries for stationary or other applications.

In the Battery Systems Development Center, prototype battery pack systems undergo exhaustive development in specially built development chambers equipped with robust safety and filtration systems. Each will feature high- capacity battery cyclers, high-voltage instrumentation, hardware-in-the-loop systems and other equipment to enable the development of battery systems in simulated vehicle environments. Once a battery pack design is verified in a safe, simulated environment, the battery system can be integrated into and further developed on a vehicle in Ricardo's adjoining garage facility.

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. Ricardo's 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 $394 million in financial year 2008 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 www.ricardo.com.

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 www.totalvehiclefueleconomy.com.

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