Ricardo and QinetiQ to Demonstrate Low Cost, High Performance Battery Technology for Hybrid Vehicles

Nov 07, 2007, 00:00 ET from Ricardo Inc.

    VAN BUREN TWP., Mich., Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
 battery technology shows significant promise for hybrid and electric
 vehicle applications in terms of its comparatively high power and energy
 density, and ability to retain charge for extended periods. However,
 commercial challenges remain in terms of both cost and weight. Ricardo and
 QinetiQ have embarked on a two-year collaborative project part-funded by
 the UK Government's Department for Transport, which aims to dramatically
 reduce the costs of Lithium-Ion batteries for hybrid vehicles while
 protecting or further improving vehicle performance.
     The specific objective of the Reduced cost Li-Ion (RED-LION) project is
 to demonstrate the application of new Li-Ion cell chemistry in a hybrid
 vehicle battery with an estimated production cost of one-third that of
 conventional battery technologies and around half the weight. If
 successful, this breakthrough technology could make hybrid and electric
 vehicles commercially more attractive and hence make a significant impact
 on global CO2 emissions.
     In June 2006 Ricardo, QinetiQ, and PSA Peugeot-Citroen unveiled their
 100g/km CO2 Efficient-C full hybrid diesel demonstrator vehicle based on a
 Citroen Berlingo Multispace. While this vehicle provided an uncompromised
 package and superior performance compared with the equivalent current
 production turbo-diesel model, the project partners estimated that its
 incremental manufacturing cost needed to be reduced by around 50 percent
 (to approximately $2,900) for the technology to become fully commercially
 viable based on prevailing fuel prices and consumer fiscal incentives.
     The battery system represents around one-third of the incremental
 manufacturing cost of a typical hybrid vehicle as well as considerable
 addition to the vehicle mass. If successful, the RED-LION project will
 demonstrate commercially viable technologies that are capable of delivering
 sub-100g/km CO2 emissions with superior performance compared to the
 equivalent current production vehicle.
     Mel Brooks, managing director of QinetiQ's Energy and Materials
 business, said:
     "QinetiQ has a strong track record in delivering high-energy
 Lithium-Ion battery technology to military customers. This leading edge
 battery technology emanating from defense is now poised to make a
 significant difference to the viability of hybrid vehicles with the
 RED-LION project helping to ensure that cost does not stand in the way of
 more widespread commercial adoption."
     Neville Jackson, Ricardo technology director, said: "By incorporating
 the very latest high performance Li-Ion battery technology, which offers
 the potential for significant reductions in both manufacturing cost and
 weight, we aim to demonstrate that we have made progress in developing the
 commercial case for hybrid diesels. We have already demonstrated that
 acceptable package and superior performance is possible from a hybrid
 diesel powertrain and with this project, we aim to show that it can be made
 commercially viable too. This promising battery technology could deliver
 significant benefits to many vehicle types including electric and plug-in
 hybrid, as well as full diesel and gasoline hybrids."
     With technical centers and offices throughout Europe, the U.S. and
 Asia, Ricardo is a leading independent technology provider and deep-content
 strategic management consultant to the world's transportation sector
 industries. The company's engineering expertise ranges from vehicle systems
 integration, controls, electronics and software development, to the latest
 driveline and transmission systems and gasoline, diesel, hybrid and fuel
 cell powertrain technologies. Its customers include the world's major
 automakers, tier 1 suppliers and leading motorsport teams. The headquarters
 of Ricardo's U.S. operations, Ricardo, Inc., is located at Van Buren
 Township, Michigan. 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." Ricardo plc posted
 sales of $344 million in financial year 2007 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.

SOURCE Ricardo Inc.