|The Ashwoods Hybrid Drive System Layout. Click to enlarge.|
UK-based Ashwoods Automotive, a provider of hybrid-electric vans and hybrid drive systems, is offering a hybrid drive retrofit kit for panel vans. The proprietary system can be fitted in less than four hours and delivers a reduction in fuel consumption from 15-25%, depending upon the vehicle’s drive cycle.
The company has also developed a retrofit stop/start engine system, which can further reduce fuel consumption and emissions by 5-10%.
|The Ashwoods motor generator unit. Click to enlarge.|
Current customers of Ashwoods’ Hybrid Transit vans include Riverford Organics, the Environment Agency, Transport for London and the Borders Agency, plus the councils of Camden, Coventry, Gateshead, Hackney, Islington, Leeds and Liverpool. Ashwoods is the sole supplier of hybrid vans into the Department for Transport’s Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme (LCVPP). Ashwoods is delivering more than 130 vehicles in Phase One, accounting for more than 68% of the total LCVPP fleet.
Ashwoods is also heading a consortium including Citroen, LifeBATT and SevCon to develop a new generation of hybrid drive trains scalable from 25 kW up to 150 kW, in a £1.8-million (US$2.8-million) project part-funded by the UK Technology Strategy Board.
Hybrid drive. The Ashwoods Hybrid Drive consists of two main components: an electric motor/ generator that drives the rear axle and the Intelligent Power Pack Module (IPPM). The IPPM contains the battery (Lithium iron phosphate), the Ashwoods hybrid control unit (HCU), the Motor Controller plus all power electronics and controls.
Communication with the vehicle is via the standard OBD socket.
When a fleet manager wants to sell the hybrid van, Ashwoods can decouple the system, refurbish it and fit it to another vehicle in their fleet.
Ashwoods has already delivered more than 130 of its Hybrid Transit vans, launched in 2009, to public and private sector fleets.
Stop/start. Ashwoods says that its Stop/Start Module is suitable for most light commercial vehicles, including panel vans such as the Ford Transit and car-derived vans like the Vauxhall Combo. A competent mechanic can fit the module in less than an hour and it does not affect the vehicle’s vehicle manufacturer’s warranty.