November 8, 2019
Innovation is firmly planted in Cosworth’s DNA. For as long as the company has existed, we’ve sought to remain at the cutting edge of technology, the pinnacle of engineering and the forefront of development. Industry is all about constant evolution, and rolling with the times, rather than necessarily reinventing wheels.
The automotive world, in particular, is changing rapidly. The drive for electrification is omnipresent. At Cosworth, we are well known for our leading role in internal combustion engine development, and that remains a cornerstone of our business. We are using our experience and technical knowhow to support a key change in the automotive landscape.
Managing Director Powertrain, Bruce Wood said: “If electrification is looked at less as revolution and more as evolution – after all some of the earliest cars were electric – in the last few years electrification has ‘come of age’. It is now part of the mainstream present and future solution.”
Rather than focusing solely on the electric element of powertrain, Cosworth is instead looking at the role that each element plays, including that of the ICE alongside battery and motor.
“There is space for many solutions depending on the application but there is every reason to believe, over the coming decades, that ICE and electrification will sit side by side – often combined – to provide transport solutions,” adds Bruce.
Cosworth is already incorporating hybrid technology into solutions for the automotive, aerospace, marine and motorsport industries. The company’s recently announced hybrid contract in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) is a case in point, with Cosworth providing a more relevant and environmentally friendlier solution that will sit at the heart of the popular motorsport series.
Advances in battery technology, too, will play a key role. Our Principal Engineer Paul Freeland spoke at the annual International EV Batteries conference in London at the start of November and is also at Professional Motorsport World in Cologne mid-month.
At PMW, Paul explained the need for lighter weight, higher performing and more robust batteries to form the basis of powertrain systems. Cosworth has been involved in a consortium led project to produce a high voltage battery pack using smart cells, which is overcoming challenges in this area.
“It is clear that electrification is happening,” Paul said. “Cosworth is playing its part to overcome obstacles by applying our skills in light weighting, systems integration, system optimisation in a broad field where either the internal combustion engine is coupled with an e-machine to get the best efficiency, or in certain applications, purely electric applications suited to densely populated areas where journey times are short.”
The ability to monitor and control battery cells enables the gathering of better information from each cell, with less than half the wiring of a normal battery. This not only reduces cost and weight, but most importantly means that the entire battery can be monitored and managed to deliver optimum performance across a longer lifecycle. Introduced at the manufacturing stage, this removes well over 100 connectors and wires that were previously potential points of failure, producing more efficient and more reliable systems.
Cosworth is deploying its knowhow across the full spectrum of powertrain development to help develop more efficient, more eco-friendly mobility solutions of the future. In whatever direction the industry pivots, Cosworth will always be ready to react with the most appropriate solution – or combination of solutions – for whatever application or industry.
Bruce Wood concludes: “The transport needs for the world will likely become more diverse under the umbrella of needing to limit global emissions. The ICE has a vital part to play in this alongside electrification – and Cosworth is working hard to deliver real world solutions.”
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