ELECTRIC & HYBRID VEHICLES
Prodrive has been developing electric and hybrid vehicle technologies for more than 15 years. Since our first project in 2001, when we created a petrol/electric hybrid demonstrator car for one of Europe's leading OEMs, we have been at the forefront of the creation of highly efficient DC-DC converters including the world's first 48-12V DC-DC converter to meet the latest 48V automotive standard ISO21780. This hybrid technology optimises the performance of electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell bikes, flywheel-based hybrids and recently developed the first series hybrid delivery van for Ford. Today we are working with Volta on their full electric mid-sized truck and with ARC on Vector the most advanced electric motorbike ever created.
Our extensive in-house manufacturing facilities ensures that we can turn ideas into full working prototypes, or proof of concept demonstrators to short timescales. We are also experienced in taking projects from this phase to production readiness, for high volume manufacturing.
Conventional practice is to follow an initial proof-of concept stage with a design intent stage. The hardware is representative of a production solution, but is still made to prototype standards. By designing the demonstrator vehicles to production standards from the outset, we can address many of the issues that are usually deferred until later in the programme. This way, we can cut the hardware phases from three to two steps, speeding up the whole process. This allows our clients to sooner comprehend their ambitions.
FORD TRANSIT HYBRID
Prodrive has helped Ford create the first Transit PHEV (Plug-in Electric Hybrid Vehicle). We were responsible for the integration of the hybrid powertrain systems into an existing Transit platform without any modifications to the engine bay or load capacity. We also built the first 20 vehicles, to near production standards for year long trials in London. The vehicles were so good that, in the words of Mark Harvey, Ford director, Urban Electrified Van programme: “This trial is the first time Ford has given such early prototype vehicles to customers, and we’ve been able to incorporate their feedback directly into the production van. The response has been overwhelmingly positive – operators don’t want to give them back.”
48V DC-DC CONVERTER
Prodrive’s new 48V to 12V DC-DC converter has been designed to meet the latest ISO21780 standard for 48V automotive systems.
It provides businesses developing 48V systems, such as mild hybrid systems, with a cost-effective product which is configurable to suit almost any application including CAN and FlexRay with multiple power options from 400W to 2.2kW. It can also provide the opportunity to downsize or remove the standard 12V battery.
VOLTA ELECTRIC TRUCK
We are working with Volta Trucks to help bring their zero emission, fully electric mid-sized truck to fruition as fast as possible. Volta is designing its city delivery vehicle from scratch to fully exploit the benefits of an electric powertrain; optimising its payload and creating a safer truck for urban roads.
MULTIPORT DC-DC CONVERTER
We developed a silicon carbide-based multiport DC-DC converter
which controls power flow between multiple energy sources. Silicon carbide devices operate at a much higher frequency than equivalent silicon components with a significant reduction in switching losses. This has resulted in a significant reduction in the size of the magnetic components and has enabled the converter to a class leading efficiency of 98.7%, a gravimetric power density of 10.5kW/kg and a volumetric power density of 20kW/litre