The Range Rover Evoque compact SUV will be the platform for a £16 million research program supported by the UK’s Technology Strategy Board. The Evoque_E program will investigate the benefits of high-speed motors and multi-speed transmissions for hybrid and electric vehicles. The project will build three development vehicles based on Land Rover’s new Range Rover Evoque, in mild hybrid, full hybrid and pure EV configurations.
Engineering consultancy Drive System Design (DSD) will provide its high-speed power transmission and its novel MSYS three-speed powershifting gearbox. DSD says this technology can reduce the energy consumption of an electric vehicle by 10-15 percent compared with a single-speed EV or HEV transmission because, as well as allowing downsizing of the motor, it extends the time the motor is operating within its most efficient region.
“We know that multi-ratio transmissions will allow an EV – or an HEV on electric power – to run further and faster without compromising pullaway or gradient climbing ability,” said DSD managing director Mark Findlay, “and we know that electric machines operate more efficiently at higher speeds. This program is the first comprehensive review of these concepts and how they could be implemented for production in a premium vehicle.”
For the full hybrid vehicle, DSD will work with GKN Driveline to adapt the transmission to run with a new, ultra-high-speed motor, designed by Newcastle and Bristol universities with Motor Design Ltd and manufactured by Zytek using Tata Steel product supplied through their wholly-owned electrical steel subsidiary, Cogent Power. The consultancy will also apply its expertise in transmission Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH) to ensure that each of the powertrain options provides premium refinement without compromising weight or durability.