Qimtek

Smart engines for electric cars

13 Mar 2019

Engineering capacity news posted by Andy Sandford

Engineering services provider Produciv is working with Libertine on the commercialisation of a range of modular smart engines for electric vehicles.

The collaboration will focus on delivering electric vehicle and lab-based prototype power generator systems to showcase Libertine’s modular Smart Engine packaging concept and demonstrating the Smart Engine performance made possible by Libertine’s linear e-machine and controls technologies.

In addition, Libertine and Productiv are planning to establish pilot manufacturing systems at Productiv’s facility at The Proving Factory in Coventry to support Smart Engine client product developments with pre-production prototype systems including full vehicle demonstrations.

Smart Engines at a glance

A Smart Engine has the crankshaft replaced by software-controlled linear electrical machines that generate electrical power and govern piston motion to optimise the combustion process.  In addition, advanced data logging, analytics and diagnostics functions in Smart Engines will reduce maintenance costs and improve demand response. Libertine’s real-time electronic piston motion control and adaptive control algorithms will help make Smart Engines that are far more efficient, cleaner and more flexible than conventional engines.

Smart Engines are a key technology in the acceleration of global automotive electrification. Libertine’s modular Smart Engine technology platform permits complete power generator systems ranging from 20-60kWe to be integrated within the envelope of an existing EV battery pack enclosure, alongside a smaller stack of battery cells. This approach allows EV manufacturers to offer a single vehicle platform with different combinations of battery cell and fuel energy capacity, according to user needs, charging infrastructure and regulations in different markets.

Productiv has extensive expertise and an established track record in commercialising low carbon powertrain technologies for emerging vehicle applications. This will enable Libertine to manufacture and commercialise Smart Engines fuelled by a range of renewable and low carbon fuels over next three years. The collaboration exemplifies the strength of the UK’s innovation leadership in low carbon automotive technologies.

Says Anand Lakhani, Managing Director of Productiv: “Productiv and Libertine have a strong shared vision for the role of innovative UK businesses in the global electrification of transport. We believe that the strength of Libertine’s technology and team, complemented by Productiv’s capabilities, will address the key remaining challenges for Smart Engines.”

Says Sam Cockerill, CEO of Libertine: “Taking complex technology to market requires strong strategic partners – a lesson we have learned from other technology IP businesses such as Arm. Productiv’s facility at the ‘Proving Factory’ provides a path to start volume manufacturing earlier than we could do alone, and will enable our customers and partners to gain access to production grade Smart Engine technology, shortening their time to market.”

www.productivgroup.com

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