Peugeot Joins with Ricardo in British Challenge to Develop Hybrid Car

British partners and the U.K.’s Dept. for Transport will help PSA Peugeot Citroen develop a hybrid Citroen Berlingo that could compete with the Toyota Prius in two years.

Published: 14-Jan-2004

PARIS – British partners and the U.K.’s Dept. for Transport will help PSA Peugeot Citroen develop a hybrid Citroen Berlingo that could compete with the Toyota Prius in two years.

PSA and Ricardo Engineering, the official lead partner in the project, announced their plans in late December, two months after being named one of five winners in a British-government challenge.

DaimlerChrysler AG and MG Rover Group Ltd. also will have development projects funded by up to 50% by the British government, as well as two consortiums of parts suppliers.

The £3 million ($5.1 million) Berlingo project, called Efficient-C, is aimed at developing an affordable, parallel-hybrid vehicle. Ricardo and PSA calculate their vehicle will deliver an emission level of 89.5 g/km/cabon dioxide on the road, the equivalent of the British goal of 100 g/km CO2 on a well-to-wheel basis.

That emission level is equivalent to about 68 mpg (3.5L/100 km).

"Cooperation between Ricardo and PSA goes back to the development of diesel engines 30 years ago, when we worked with Harry Ricardo," says Tod Evans, chairman of PSA Peugeot Citroen U.K. "The companies have had various collaborative projects over the years but nothing of this scope."

The batteries for the vehicle are the biggest question. PSA says they could be lithium ion or nickel-metal hydride, and super-capacitors also may find a place in the design. QinetiQ, formerly part of the British defense ministry, is the partner in charge of electricity storage.

PSA will bring to the project the Berlingo Multispace, its automated manual transmission Sensodrive, and a 90-hp common-rail diesel engine with new-generation particle filter. Ricardo will work on integrating the hybrid-drive system.

The project is to take 18 months, with a first-phase feasibility study to determine the final architecture of the drivetrain. The partners expect to use a DC electric motor-generator enabling stop/start operation of the diesel engine, torque assist, regenerative braking and all-electric traction at low speeds.

Vehicle performance targets include a 0-60 mph (100 km/h) acceleration time of less than 13 seconds and a top speed in excess of 93 mph (150 km/h).

The British Future Vehicles Strategy sets a target for 2012 for one in 10 new cars to meet the 100 g/km C02 well-to-wheel target.

The Ultra Low Carbon Challenge launched April 29 invited proposals from individual companies and consortia to demonstrate the feasibility of a family-size ultra-low carbon car in the U.K.

Other car makers winning proposals were MG Rover, working with the British engineering group MIRA, Powertrain Ltd., and Pi Technology; and DaimlerChrysler, working with Zytek Automotive Electronics Ltd.

In addition, a consortium led by Bertrandt U.K. Ltd. won funding to develop a flywheel energy-storage device. Another group led by Artemis Intelligent Power Ltd., with Dana Corp. as a partner, is working on hydraulic energy storage

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