Ricardo-led ‘ADEPT’ project aims to deliver breakthrough in diesel fuel efficiency

Ricardo-led ‘ADEPT’ project aims to deliver breakthrough in diesel fuel efficiency
03 September 2013


  • ADEPT builds on the successful ‘HyBoost’ project that successfully demonstrated intelligent electrification in a high performance, low CO2 gasoline powertrainPartners will apply 48V ‘intelligent electrification’ concepts, mild hybridization and waste heat recovery in a Ford Focus based demonstrator
  • Project aims to deliver full hybrid equivalent fuel economy and performance with less than 70 g/km CO2 emissions, but at a significantly lower cost
  • Builds on the ‘HyBoost’ project that successfully demonstrated intelligent electrification in a high performance, low CO2 gasoline powertrain

Engine downsizing through charge boosting is a well-recognized means of improving internal combustion engine fuel efficiency by increasing the proportion of the drive cycle at which the powertrain operates within or close to the region of peak fuel efficiency of its operating map. An effective limitation on downsizing, however, is the delivery of acceptable driveability characteristics and launch performance. Full hybridization provides a means of energy management that enables this limit to be exceeded, but it brings a considerable cost premium associated with the electrified powertrain architecture, including the high capacity battery pack and electric motors.

In the highly successful HyBoost project, Ricardo, Ford Motor Company, Control Power Technologies (CPT) and the European Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (EALABC) demonstrated a concept termed ‘intelligent electrification’.  This deployed near-market and available 12+X volt electrification and boosting technologies to demonstrate a high performance, low CO2 gasoline powertrain offering fuel economy benefits equivalent to a full hybrid – but at a projected cost premium of less than a diesel. 

With the new Advanced Diesel Electric Powertrain (ADEPT) project announced today, the same partners will be joined by Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies UK Ltd and University of Nottingham, and aim to apply the intelligent electrification concept for the first time to a diesel vehicle (a Ford Focus). In doing so, they will explore the advantages that can be derived from the use of a 48V architecture, considered ideal for cost effective harvesting of kinetic energy,  combined with synergistic electrical ancillaries and advanced thermal systems and waste heat recovery technologies. Vehicle driveability and performance attributes will be optimized through effective application of a belt starter generator (BSG) capable of providing torque assist where required to augment engine performance. With this form of intelligent electrification, the partners of this new project aim to demonstrate a powertrain with uncompromised performance and less than 70 g/km CO2 emissions as measured over the European Drive Cycle, but at a projected production cost significantly lower than a comparable full hybrid electric vehicle.

“Intelligent electrification offers extremely promising benefits in terms of the cost-effective reduction of vehicle CO2 emissions and improved fuel economy with uncompromised performance,” commented Ricardo chief technology and innovation officer Professor Neville Jackson. “By focusing on the implementation of an extremely pragmatic and synergistic mix of powertrain electrification using available and near-market technologies, we have already shown in the HyBoost project the very significant and cost-effective benefits that can be achieved in a gasoline powertrain and 12+X volt electrification. With the expanded partnership of the new ADEPT project, we aim to take this work forward and demonstrate the benefits of applying 48V intelligent electrification to a diesel powertrain. If successful, we expect that this will deliver the performance, fuel economy and CO2 emissions benefits of a fuel diesel hybrid, but at a fraction of the cost premium over that of the baseline diesel.”   

The ADEPT project is supported by funding from the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, with balancing contributions from the project partners.



A full copy of this press release is available from the link at the top right of this page.