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Hybrid Vehicle with 48V Advanced Lead Carbon Battery on Path to Meet Future Ultra-Low Emissions Targets

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Hybrid Vehicle with 48V Advanced Lead Carbon Battery on Path to Meet Future Ultra-Low Emissions Targets


European contact: Bob Tolliday +44 (0)20 7833 8090 [email protected]

North American contact: Chip Bremer +1 919-287-1873 (office) +1 919-810-1353 (mobile) [email protected] 


  • ADEPT program aims to demonstrate technology capable of providing near full-hybrid equivalent fuel economy at significantly lower cost
  • ALABC advanced lead-carbon battery pack, provides a high-power, high-endurance, easily recyclable, lithium-free low-cost energy storage solution
  • Results of almost three years of intensive development and road and laboratory testing of ADEPT technology will be revealed at LCV2016


ADEPT 070516 

DURHAM, NC (30 June, 2016) – The Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC) has worked, alongside other partners in the ADEPT program, to produce a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) system with a 48-volt advanced lead carbon battery that is on track to meet stringent air quality and ultra-low emission requirements for the next generation of road vehicles.

These results follow almost three years of intensive testing, development and validation of advanced mild hybrid technologies with 48V ‘intelligent electrification’ applied to a Ford Focus project demonstration vehicle.

The final results will be presented September 14-15 at the UK’s premier Low Carbon Vehicle event, LCV2016, where industry executives, government officials and the media will have an opportunity to drive the vehicle.  

ALABC, with important contributions from Provector (battery pack design and construction) and the University of  Sheffield (battery evaluation and dynamic charge acceptance studies), is part of the ADEPT (Advanced Diesel-Electric Powertrain) research consortium led by Ricardo together with Controlled Power Technologies (CPT), Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies UK Ltd, Ford Motor Company and the University of Nottingham. 

The consortium aims to demonstrate the advanced 48V mild hybrid powertrain architecture fitted with an advanced lead carbon battery is capable of delivering near full hybrid-scale diesel fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions, through a highly cost-effective package, without compromising increasingly stringent European exhaust emission regulations, which currently require cars to meet Euro 6b air quality standards in terms of NOx, PM and CO.

In addition, the integration of hybrid and emissions control systems has the potential to deliver up to a 10-12 percent reduction in fuel consumption, equivalent to sub-80g/km of CO2 emissions (NEDC). Crucially, the technology can be delivered at lower costs than a more traditional approach of optimizing each system separately. Initial analysis shows that costs (based on Ricardo’s estimation) of less than €80 per gram of CO2 reduction for every kilometre travelled is feasible through ADEPT technology. Ricardo believes the above package is very competitive with other fuel economy solutions such as full hybridization.

“This clearly demonstrates that lead-carbon batteries are the most cost-efficient way of meeting stringent future CO2 emission targets,” said Alistair Davidson of ALABC.

The concept of intelligent electrification enables highly aggressive engine downsizing and down-speeding beyond what might normally be possible other than through more expensive hybridization approaches. This is achieved through the use of torque assist from electrically harvested energy, temporarily stored in a 48V advanced lead-carbon UltraBattery® pack (battery modules provided by ALABC member East Penn Manufacturing) with a high rate partial state-of-charge capability similar to a supercapacitor, in combination with 48V electrified ancillaries. 

With sophisticated electronic control of the powertrain systems, torque assist can be used to ensure that performance is maintained – or improved upon – throughout the duty cycle while also reducing fuel consumption. By basing the system on a 48V electrical architecture, the ADEPT project aims to achieve a highly optimal cost and performance trade-off, including ultra-low emissions, while also delivering significant fuel savings.  

Completion of development – testing ongoing

Following the announcement of the ADEPT project in September 2013, initial integration and development tests were carried out by the ADEPT team on an early ‘functional integration’ prototype, which was revealed at the LCV2014 show. This enabled the project to carry out de-risking of components and systems, and also provided a platform for evaluating control concepts. 

The final ADEPT demonstrator vehicle, which has now been completed, provides the fullest implementation of systems to be carried out by the team.  At the LCV2016 show, the final results of ongoing vehicle road and laboratory tests will be revealed for the first time. The project partners also intend to make the vehicle available for ride-and-drive demonstrations at LCV2016.  

“We are really pleased to have achieved this important milestone of completion of the ADEPT demonstrator prototype,” commented Ricardo Innovations MD Thomas Gutwald. “While much development attention is currently focused on full hybrids and battery electric vehicles – including by Ricardo and its customers – I firmly believe that the concept of ‘intelligent electrification’ will have an extremely high level of mass market appeal, providing arguably a greater overall fuel and carbon emissions saving in the near to medium term due to its highly cost-effective focus on the combination of near-market, available technologies. We look forward to sharing the results of the road and laboratory testing that is currently ongoing with the ADEPT vehicle, at the LCV2016 show in September.”

The ADEPT research project is jointly funded by the UK Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), implemented through the UK innovation agency, Innovate UK, with matching contributions from the participating partners.

ADEPT powertrain architecture

The baseline vehicle for the ADEPT research and development program is based on an already downsized and competitively fuel-efficient diesel Ford Focus ECOnetic 1.5TDCi, homologated with carbon dioxide emissions of 88g/km. 

Key features of the vehicle systems include CPT’s water-cooled SpeedStart switched reluctance belt starter generator (BSG), capable of delivering in excess of 12kW of regenerative braking, as well as near instantaneous and near continuous torque assist levels of over 7kW – sufficient to enable significant engine down-speeding in addition to a highly capable start-stop functionality. 

Further energy recovery is achieved from CPT’s exhaust-mounted 48V Turbine Integrated exhaust Gas Energy Recovery System, known as TIGERS.  Rated at 2.4kW, TIGERS is capable of providing further power recuperated from the exhaust downstream of the turbocharger.  The exhaust gas is diverted to the TIGERS unit via two bespoke emissions control valves developed by Faurecia Emissions Controls technologies for the ADEPT project.  Again, the recovered energy is stored in the advanced lead-carbon battery pack, providing a high-power, high-endurance, easily recyclable, lithium-free energy storage solution at a competitive cost.  

The ADEPT powertrain includes a range of electrical ancillaries powered from the 48V system rather than directly from the engine, including for example, the vehicle air conditioning compressor. In addition to powering these ancillaries and facilitating a significantly improved start-stop functionality, ADEPT’s 48V architecture also provides significant levels of torque assist from the BSG to offset fuelling to the engine for improved fuel economy, and to increase overall powertrain torque capability for enhanced vehicle performance.

The control strategies deployed have been developed based on extensive vehicle systems simulation work. This has enabled the core powertrain and aftertreatment system, as well as the 48V BSG, ancillaries, battery pack and exhaust energy recovery system, to be operated in a seamless manner, while also providing a valuable computer-aided engineering (CAE) capability to explore further potential avenues of development and optimization opened up through intelligent 48V electrification.  




The Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium is an international research co-operative comprised of lead producers, battery manufacturers, equipment suppliers, application developers, and research facilities organized to enhance the performance of lead batteries for a variety of markets, including hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) applications.  A program of the International Lead Association, ALABC pools the resources of its global membership in order to perform specific research on advanced lead batteries that otherwise would not be possible by any single entity.  For more information about the ALABC, visit