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Anglo-French plans for low carbon car project revealed

PSA Peugeot Citro'n, Ricardo UK Ltd and QinetiQ have revealed plans for their £3m Low Carbon Car project, codenamed EFFICIENT-C, to develop a C-segment passenger car capable of ultra-low CO2 emissions while delivering competitive performance and refinement.

EFFICIENT-C will involve the development and demonstration of a parallel diesel/electric hybrid powertrain system installed in a Citro'n Berlingo Multispace. Development of the vehicle is expected to take 18 months and with the potential for delivery in future products available to customers. The first phase of the programme will comprise a feasibility study which will define the final vehicle architecture.

PSA Peugeot Citroen will deliver the base vehicle hardware and engineering support to the integration of hybrid technologies, including powertrain, energy storage and associated control systems. The company will also provide guidance to ensure production and cost feasibility and consumer acceptability.

Ricardo, which last year launched a prototype diesel-electric hybrid car with partner Valeo, will contribute programme management and hybrid vehicle expertise. It will also provide powertrain and vehicle control/electronics development, demonstrator vehicle build and production cost-benefit analysis.

Qinetiq, the privatised former MoD R&D operation will bring expertise to the project in the areas of energy storage, power electronics, battery management and hybrid powertrain modelling. The company will also provide prototype energy storage and management hardware to support the demonstrator vehicle.

The Ultra Low Carbon Challenge was launched by the UK Government on 29 April 2003 and invited proposals from individual companies and consortia to demonstrate the feasibility of a family sized ultra-low carbon car in the UK. The EFFICIENT-C project was one of five winning proposals announced last October.

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