Revole and Emerald Automotive partner to build the EA t-001
and Emerald Automotive
partner in joint light-weight commercial vehicle
The t-001 Light Weight Vehicle (LEV) – a Range Extended
In less than 18
months, Revolve and
Emerald Automotive built two clean-sheet ground-up new vehicles as
proof-of-concept lightweight hybrid delivery vans with advanced
telematics as part of a TSB initiative to promote UK businesses.
Early concept discussions
Andy Tempest from Intelligent Energy, whose brain child is now
realised as the t-001, and Paul Turner from Revolve sowed the
of a plan to build a light-weight diesel-electric series hybrid.
Government funding in the shape of a TSB initiative grant gave the
green light to the project, which was to involve mainly UK
for the major technology components with an exploitation plan to
Revolve engineers, drawing heavily
on their extensive prototype building expertise, drew up the
designs for the advanced light-weight chassis, composite body
powertrain layout and the ergonomics of the interior design
an ergonomic prove-out buck to verify the CAD designs for the new
H-point which included forward vision, rear view vision, steering
wheel, seat and pedal positioning.
Working within a team of engineers
from Ricardo, Evo Electric, Axeon, Penso, RDVS and
Intelligent Energy, the Revolve team laid out the basic
including powertrain and battery concepts, interior design and
exterior panelling. These were then passed on to suppliers for
detailing, before the two vehicles came together in Revolve’s
Extensive weight analysis including
a weight BoM, weight distribution matrix and finite element
of the whole vehicle allowed the Revolve team, led by Principal
Design Engineer Steve Pegrum, to optimise the various components
achieve the lightest weight possible within the project.
Preliminary energy consumption
analysis by the powertrain team, headed up by Principal Powertrain
Engineer Trevor Jasper, determined the parameters of battery
charge capacity, drive layout and control systems which would
the vehicle to meet its design objectives. These were as varied as
gradeability (starting on a slope fully laden), range on electric
mode only, acceleration and of course maximum speed.
refined during the development phase and then extensively modelled
Ricardo to provide predictions of the vehicle range and
over not only the regulated emissions cycles (European and
by also over industry-recognised Hyzem cycles. These Hyzem cycles,
opposed to the European Emissions Cycle, simulate much more
real-world cycles of Urban, Extra Urban and Motorway/Autobahn
patterns which give better real-world measures of range for
and hybrid vehicles.
The diesel engine was mapped on the
Revolve dynamometers with the NIRA controller to optimise its
engine-out emissions fuel economy and NVH with unique strategies
written specifically for this hybrid installation.
Ricardo performed several
of the model analysis as data from the various test phases
engine emissions and fuel efficiency from testing at the Revolve
dynamometer facility and the battery performance from tests at
To address the complexities of the
hybrid design, develop the High Voltage (HV) system, and to prove
various charging and discharging strategy scenarios, Revolve built
“lab car” in their engine dynamometer facility.
The “lab car” proved to be an
invaluable tool during the development as it allowed the team to
evaluate the generator and traction motor including the 470Volt
battery and inverter systems as well as assess various concepts in
the high voltage systems which were new to the team. Various
of operation and control were parameterised and evaluated ahead of
the actual vehicle build.
All Revolve and Intelligent Energy
personnel were given extensive safety training in handling HV
for use in the workshop and the test cells.
The concept vehicles’ advanced
telematics were developed by Ricardo. The ultimate goal of the
telematics system is an “artificial horizon” of driver route
choice including information on potential gradients, possible low-
and zero-emission zones, traffic and urban areas which feed into
vehicle controller allowing for optimisation of the battery usage
minimum fuel consumption when combined with current information
the recent route, range, usage, battery temperature and current
Significant engineering effort went
into designing the powertrain installation and cooling systems and
their integration into the vehicle’s heating and ventilation
requirements. By feeding the cooling fluid for the traction motor
its inverter through the range extender engine, waste heat is fed
the engine and cabin when cold which reduces warm-up time and
emissions from the engine. Similarly, waste heat from the range
extender is fed to the cabin if required before finally going into
Uniquely, the battery has a heat
exchanger with the cabin air which helps maintain the battery at
optimum temperature, which, coincidentally is pretty much the same
ambient as the driver requires. Thus, waste heat is utilised as
as possible, maximising the efficiency of all the systems in the
world, not just for the homologation test cycles.
The vehicle is still equipped with
AC and additional heating to ensure it fulfils requirements for
ambients as diverse as southern Spain to northern Finland.
The first two prototypes have
successfully completed all development testing to date with no
issues and have been used as demonstrators to press and investors
alike. As part of the TSB funding for these vehicles, an
plan showing a realistic route to volume production has been
meticulously developed and extensively vetted.
For more information, please
Paul Turner at Revolve on +44 (0) 1277 261400 or email