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Ricardo launches HyTrans 'micro-hybrid Transit van project

The £1.2 million HyTrans 'micro-hybrid' Transit van development project was formally announced today by Transport Minister David Jamieson MP during a visit to Ford's Southampton Transit van assembly plant.

British engineering consultancy Ricardo is to carry out the project in partnership with Ford, Valeo, and the Gates Corporation. It aims to demonstrate technologies for an affordable and production-feasible micro-hybrid diesel delivery vehicle based on the existing Ford Transit. Ricardo defines a 'micro' hybrid as being a vehicle in which an electric machine is used for applications such as stop/start and regenerative braking but is not used to supply additional torque when the engine is running.

The HyTrans project is expected to take about one year to complete and to lead to a demonstrator vehicle which will achieve a15-25% urban delivery cycle fuel economy improvement without compromising performance, payload capacity or price. The vehicle's micro-hybrid system will include an automatic engine stop/start capability together with a regenerative braking system. An advanced energy management supervisory control system will ensure the optimum use of Ford's latest 2.0-litre common rail 92kW (125PS) diesel engine and Valeo belt-driven combined starter-alternator system, which Ford refers to as an Integrated Starter Generator System (ISG).

The HyTrans project is jointly funded by the project partners who between them are meeting half of the costs in the form of materials and engineering resources, with matching funds provided by the Department for Transport. The Energy Saving Trust will administer this funding by providing grants through its TransportEnergy New Vehicle Technology Fund.

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