Powertrains & Energy Management

Powertrains & Energy Management

The challenge: Developing and optimising internal combustion, hybrid and electric powertrains boasting low CO2 and pollutant emissions

Key technologies of the 2013-2018 performance contract

Powertrain architecture

The electrification of powertrains has generated new opportunities to improve internal combustion engines. There are numerous possible improvement avenues: thermodynamic optimisation of engines, synergies between internal combustion engines and electric motors, optimisation of transmissions and auxiliary systems, friction reduction, etc.

Combustion, post-treatment and fuel

Emissions from fuel-burning engines continue to drop thanks to the development of new combustion systems (2-stroke, homogeneous combustion, diluted combustion, variable compression ratio), the introduction of alternative fuels (biofuels, natural gas) and the optimisation of post-treatment systems (DPV, SCR, NOx-Trap, etc.).

Management and recycling of heat energy

An internal combustion engine's efficiency can be improved by optimising the management of a vehicle's energy as a whole and developing energy recovery systems (thermoelectricity, Rankine cycle, turbo compounding, etc.).

Digital engineering

To speed up development times and improve engine efficiency, the development and/or improvement of digital and experimental tools is essential: engine control strategies for hybrid powertrains, enhancing our understanding of physico-chemical phenomena, Hardware-in-the-Loop (HiL) simulation, etc.

Electric motors and actuators for electrified vehicles

The development of compact electric motors for the electrification of auxiliary systems and the "mild hybridisation" of most vehicles will open the way for reductions in fuel consumption that will be crucial in reaching the target of 95g of CO/km by 2021.

Electric motors and actuators for electric and hybrid vehicles

Thanks to new mechatronic technologies, including systems to incorporate power electronics into motors and improve heat management, electric motors for electric and hybrid vehicles will perform better.

Active and passive components incorporated into mechatronic devices

Electronic components have a crucial role to play in the evolution of vehicle electrification. New semi-conductor technologies (SiC/GaN) and the development of passive materials suited to automotive applications will lead to improvements in mechatronic systems.

High-performance materials for mechatronics

New materials are needed for the development of mechatronic systems that are more compact, more energy efficient and more cost effective: alternatives to rare earth elements, film technologies, conductive and insulating phase-change materials, brazing materials, etc.

Robustness and manufacturing

The development of new high-performance mechatronic systems requires the robustness and reliability of products to be guaranteed. It also requires the set-up of processes and facilities that will enable these new device to be mass-produced.

Work streams of Key Area "Powertrains & Energy Management"

STREAM 1 - Mechanical, electrical and engine system architecture
  • Metals, composites, plastics, glass, recycled materials, biomaterials, semi-conductors, etc.
  • Functionalised & smart materials
  • Assemblies
STREAM 2 - Energy recovery and management
  • ICT for energy management, thermoelectricity, turbogenerators, Rankine cycle, Stirling engines, solar power, kinematics, etc. Thermal management
STREAM 3 - Combustion, friction, thermal aspects, post-treatment and fuels
  • Systems (injection, ignition, post-treatment, etc.) and combustion methods (dual fuel, homogeneous combustion, external combustion, etc.) Friction and lubrication
STREAM 4 - Electrical / electronic parts / components
  • Electrification of vehicle functions and auxiliary systems (including powertrains)
  • Static converters / power inverters
  • Reliability and robustness of power components
STREAM 5 - Tools & methods
  • Modelling, design, optimisation and adjustment tools / methodologies (MIL, etc.), improving dependability using a systems approach
Examples of products stemming from R&D projects

VCRi by MCE5-Development