Ricardo Launches Industry’s Most Comprehensive and Integrated Development Center for Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Battery Systems

VAN BUREN TWP., Mich., Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ — Ricardo, Inc., a leading
independent engineering firm specializing in total vehicle fuel economy and
efficiency, has launched the Battery Systems Development Center at its Van
Buren Twp., Michigan, headquarters. The center provides the most
comprehensive and integrated range of capabilities in the industry for turnkey
development and application of complete high-voltage battery-pack systems for
hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles.

“As a leading supplier of advanced technologies and alternative energy
solutions, Ricardo is at the forefront in developing renewable energy
applications that will help reduce our dependence on foreign oil and lead to
energy independence,” said Ricardo President Dean Harlow. “While there has
been a great deal of theoretical discussion and proposals on renewable energy,
Ricardo is actually applying the technology by taking it off the whiteboard
and into the real world. Last year we launched TVFE(TM) as a total vehicle
fuel economy solution. Now we open the Battery Systems Development Center
which will be among the industry’s most complete battery development and
system integration centers, working with a wide range of customers from cell
suppliers to the Tier 1 and OEM’s on battery systems for hybrid and electric

The Battery Systems Development Center is the focal point of Ricardo’s
design, analysis, simulation and integration of advanced high-power battery
packs and their electronic management systems. Combined with the company’s
deep expertise in the development of electronic controls, hybrid transmissions
and vehicle systems, it provides Ricardo with the capability of providing
fully integrated, turnkey battery systems.

“Electrification of the vehicle is a critical element of automakers’
strategies for achieving the 35-mile-per-gallon CAFE regulations,” said Karina
Morley, Ricardo’s global vice president of Controls and Electronics. “The
Battery Systems Development Center is a state-of-the-art, benchmark facility
that enables Ricardo to evaluate and optimize batteries throughout the
development cycle, from the early stages through battery pack production and
integration into the vehicle.”

Ricardo’s Battery Systems Development Center is believed to be the only
supplier facility with a Virtual Vehicle Development Environment, making it
the industry’s most comprehensive battery development and systems integration
center. This allows for fully simulated vehicle integration to be conducted
in a safe, controlled and repeatable environment, positioning Ricardo as one
of the only suppliers equipped to deliver increased efficiencies by fully
optimizing a battery pack and control system.

“We’re very proud of the fact that Ricardo is playing a role in
positioning Michigan as the leader in electric vehicle technology
development,” Harlow added. We commend Governor Granholm, the Michigan
Legislature and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for creating
incentives that make it possible for companies like Ricardo to invest in
Michigan’s high-tech future. It’s an investment that will fuel jobs and
economic development for years to come.”

Ricardo’s extensive expertise in battery development can be applied to
non-automotive industries that can benefit from advanced battery pack
development. Applications could include agricultural equipment, military
vehicles and medium- and heavy-duty on- and off-road vehicles. This includes
any type of energy storage, such as ultra capacitors or batteries for
stationary or other applications.

In the Battery Systems Development Center, prototype battery pack systems
undergo exhaustive development in specially built development chambers
equipped with robust safety and filtration systems. Each will feature high-
capacity battery cyclers, high-voltage instrumentation, hardware-in-the-loop
systems and other equipment to enable the development of battery systems in
simulated vehicle environments. Once a battery pack design is verified in a
safe, simulated environment, the battery system can be integrated into and
further developed on a vehicle in Ricardo’s adjoining garage facility.

About Ricardo

Ricardo, the Eco-Innovation Technology Company, is a leading independent
provider of technology, product innovation, engineering solutions and
strategic consulting to the world’s automotive, military, transport and new
energy industries.

The company’s skill base represents the state-of-the-art in low emissions
and fuel-efficient powertrain technology, and can be best summarized: “Ricardo
is Fuel Economy.”

With technical centers and offices throughout Europe, the U.S. and Asia,
Ricardo provides engineering expertise ranging from vehicle systems
integration, controls & electronics, hardware and software development, to the
latest driveline and transmission systems and gasoline, diesel, hybrid and
fuel cell powertrain technologies. Ricardo’s customers include the world’s
major automakers and suppliers as well as manufacturers in the military,
commercial, off-highway and clean energy sectors. The company also serves in
advisory roles to governmental and independent agencies. Ricardo’s U.S.
operation, Ricardo, Inc., is headquartered in Van Buren Township, Michigan.
Ricardo plc posted sales of $394 million in financial year 2008 and is a
constituent of the FTSE TechMark 100 index — a group of innovative technology
companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information, visit

Ricardo offers TVFE(TM), its Total Vehicle Fuel Economy engineering
service, to transportation manufacturers worldwide to provide objective
evaluation of all available technologies to identify the most cost-effective
strategies to optimize fuel economy and CO2 goals. For more information on
TVFE, please visit http://www.totalvehiclefueleconomy.com.

[Via http://www.prnewswire.com]

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