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Developing vehicle electrification

Vehicle electrification is crucial for reducing fuel consumption and limiting the impact of transport on the environment and health. This solution will mostly take the form of vehicle hybridization adapted to usage.

IFPEN research in this field covers the development of innovative, ultra-compact motors with a high specific power, along with their dedicated power electronics. IFPEN also designs solutions targeting waste heat energy recovery. Lastly, due to the complex architecture of electric and hybrid vehicles, researchers are also working on the optimization of onboard energy management.


Vehicle demonstrators, showcases for IFPEN technologies

In order to validate the integration of the technological solutions it develops in a vehicle, IFPEN uses demonstrators in the ultimate step prior to potential industrial development by a partner.

These demonstrator vehicles are produced and tested within the context of a variety of projects, ranging from powertrain electrification to the use of alternative fuels. The most recent demonstrators have been used to validate:

  • the integration of the IFPEN-Mavel motor in the low-voltage electric powertrain of a vehicle designed by Aixam;
  • the integration of this same electric motor in a Renault Twizy;
  • the potential of the Cigal concomitant gas/ gasoline injection concept on a Renault Kangoo;
  • the performances of a dual-fuel powertrain compatible with the octane on demand concept developed by IFPEN and AFRC on a Peugeot 308.


The IFPEN-Mavel motor on the roads soon

IFPEN and Italian SME Mavel have developed a range of synchro-reluctant motors for electric urban vehicles.

In 2016, Aixam successfully conducted tests on the integration of an IFPEN-Mavel motor in a low‑voltage electric powertrain. A pre‑production version of the e-Aixam vehicle, incorporating this new powertrain, was approved at the end of the year with a view to launching it to market in France in February 2017.

The motors ordered by Aixam will be manufactured by Mavel edt in Italy.
Compared to motors currently available on the market, the IFPEN-Mavel motor has the triple advantage of:

  • being affordable,
  • not being over-reliant on rare earths
  • and being highly efficient.

IFPEN and Mavel are now extending their range to incorporate higher-voltage, more powerful versions meeting the evolving specifications of some of the world’s leading manufacturers.

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Key figures

the global market share potentially represented by electric vehicles in 2030


Renault, Europe’s leading utility vehicle brand, has joined forces with several partners including IFPEN as part of the HYDIVU (Diesel Hybrid for Interurban Light Duty Vehicle) project, funded by ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency) for innovative mild-hybrid diesel powertrains for light duty vehicles, particularly targeted at interurban use. To develop this solution which brings together a range of sophisticated technologies, Renault made the natural choice of working with IFPEN, a long-time partner, due to its expertise in simulation, calibration, engine control, energy and pollutant supervision as well as vehicle integration. IFPEN’s contribution was key in assessing the technologies in the legislation context through the setting of several demonstration vehicle configurations. Overall, the results of this collaboration were very satisfying and allowed Renault to decide which technological solutions to use for light-duty vehicles in this sector.”  
Philippe Bernet, Manager, Technology Planning and Advanced Engineering management, Renault-Nissan powertrain engineering