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by Tim Beissmann

Jaguar Land Rover will lead a collaborative research and development program into advanced next-generation hybrid and electric powertrain technologies based on the Range Rover Evoque.

Dubbed ‘Evoque_e‘, the two-year £16.3 million ($27.8 million) UK government Technology Strategy Board project will team Jaguar Land Rover with 11 industry and university partners, including Williams Advanced Engineering, Delta Motorsport, Tata Steel, and the universities of Bristol, Cranfield and Newcastle.

Commencing next month, the collaboration will design, develop and build three unique research vehicles: a mild hybrid, a plug-in hybrid and a full battery-powered electric car.

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JLR hybrid and electrification director Peter Richings says the aim of the project is to develop technology platforms that are configurable and compatible within the architectures of existing production vehicles.

“The outcome of the Evoque_e project will be new technologies with the potential for high volume production that are capable of delivering benchmark performance in terms of cost, weight and sustainable use of materials,” Richings said.

He explained the project partners would incorporate single- and multi-speed axle drives, modular battery packs and integrated power electronics, advanced control development and torque vectoring technologies into the Evoque_e vehicles, while also investigating ways to improve the performance of electric motors and reduce the reliance of rare earth materials.

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Collaboration partner Drive System Design will contribute its expertise in two- and three-speed transmissions; technology it says can reduce the energy consumption of an electric vehicle by 10-15 per cent compared with a conventional single-speed transmission.

JLR is Britain’s biggest investor in automotive and manufacturing research and development, spending £2.75 billion ($4.69 billion) in product creation in the 12 months ending March 2014.

JLR will continue the theme next week when it unveils hybrid versions of the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport at the Frankfurt motor show on September 10.




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