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POWERTRAIN


still rotating and absorbing power, but still better than not having the hybrid system. It depends on how much people are willing to invest. I suspect in the future smaller starter/ alternator systems will increasingly gain the ability to be disconnected from the engine.


WHAT DOES


THIS MEAN FOR ENGINE DESIGN? From the engine design perspective, you end up with a unit that requires


less transient capability. The more the dynamic response for the vehicle comes from the hybrid system the more the engine becomes a steady state device. This is good from an effi ciency standpoint.


WHAT ABOUT THE BATTERY TECHNOLOGY?


You have to work with what you’ve got. I’d like to see improvements with cost, weight, size and safety. Also, recycling is a massive issue – there’s a reason why there’s so much work going on in that area. For me, the so called ‘second life’ usage is just delaying the inevitable, and it’s a nettle that has to be grasped at some point. Hopefully by the time we see large volumes of batteries that need recycling there will be a solution. If you look at the energy density in comparison to liquid hydrocarbon fossil fuels we are a long way off too.


48V - the future for pure EVs?


Exhaust gas recirculation schematic


This is also about market acceptance, people assume they will get as far from a charge as from a tank of fuel and some education may be required here. Despite the fact the average UK car journey is only around seven miles, there is still range anxiety. If people had reliable chargers at home that might help. The new Dyson EV is apparently going to have solid-state technology so I’m very interested to see how that’s going to work. Of course this does give PHEVs an advantage as you can have


quite a small battery with the IC engine to fall back on. If one does a carbon footprint analysis this does make a large diff erence if charged appropriately from renewables.


WHERE DO FUEL CELLS FIT INTO ALL THIS?


Fuel cells are still at the research stage for most manufacturers. I know several OEMs are looking into this and we are actively involved in several programmes. Many of our IC engine components are appropriate here. The obstacle is not the technology on-board the vehicle but the hydrogen creation and fuelling infrastructure: problems EVs just don’t have. Currently hydrogen


production is quite carbon-intensive and until this changes this will be a barrier to further fuel cell uptake. However, it’s still worth researching, because greater reliance on renewables could well solve this in the future. ■


P0 is alternator location, with P1 being at the fl ywheel, P2 is in the same place but with a clutch in between it and the engine, P3 is downstream of the gearbox, P4 is at the wheel end.


24 www.engineerlive.com


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