UK-based Ashwoods Automotive has introduced a new bolt-on electric drive system that converts ICE-only commercial vans into stop-start hybrids, cutting overall fuel consumption by as much as 25%, depending on a vehicle’s driving cycle.
Ashwoods' hybrid system consists of an electric motor/generator and the company's Intelligent Power Pack Module (IPPM), which contains the li-ion battery and electronic control unit. A motor controller and other miscellaneous electronics and controls complete the product, which communicates with the car's factory electronics through the on-board diagnostic (OBD) port (standard on all cars).
This isn't a pie-in-the-sky concept, either: Ashwoods claims to have delivered 130 of its Hybrid Transit vans public fleets, with customers as diverse as Riverford Organics and the councils of Camden, Coventry, Gateshead, Hackney, Islington, Leeds and Liverpool – and Ashwoods' leadership in UK hybrid tech has been recognized by some of the OEMs, as well, heading up a consortium that includes Citroen, LifeBATT and SevCon to develop a new generation of hybrid drivetrain systems.
Ashwoods' hybrid system and stop/start modules are supposed to be suitable for most light commercial vehicles, including Ford's excellent Transit. Aswoods claim either system can be installed by a competent mechanic in just a few hours, and that these systems will not affect the vehicle’s OEM warranty … though you should
probably definitely check in with your local dealer before the install (just to make sure).
SOURCE: Green Car Congress.