Over the past year, a team of specialists from Semcon, Volvo Cars, Vattenfall, ETC and Energimyndigheten (The Swedish Energy Agency) has been developing a set of plug-in hybrid demo vehicles at Volvo's Concept plant. The three vehicles will be complete this fall, and the team will use these prototypes to gather information about how future consumers will use plug-in vehicles, from driving experience expectations to how they will be charged.

By pooling their knowledge and technology, the six-person team converted a vehicle with a traditional combustion engine into a plug-in hybrid. The team started by  installing a battery and electric motor, then constructed a specially-adapted transmission and designed and installed special wiring and controls. This sort of collaboration makes developing new technology very cost-effective, since no one company is burdened with the expense of having experts in all disciplines. Each collaborator pitched in with their own specialized expertise: powertrain, engineering, electronics, project management.

Stefan Ohlsson, president of Semcon's Automotive R&D agrees that close cooperation with experts in different sectors is essential in this type of project. "Today all sorts of different projects are being run worldwide to convert vehicles to being hybrid-driven and solely electrically-driven. With the small series and different concepts that are flourishing among manufacturers, Semcon’s experience in constructing and installing the new technology is of course very valuable,” he added.

Source and photo: Semcon