Siemens VDO Automotive provided an advanced diesel engine control unit and software for use in Ford’s Mercury Meta One diesel-electric Hybrid concept vehicle, which was on display at the 2005 North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this month.
Julian Dench, VDO Automotive vice president of Diesel Systems in North America, said his firm’s ECU interfaces with Ford’s Vehicle System Controller (VSC) architecture to optimize torque exchange between the diesel and electric powerplants. The Siemens technology is based on the Jaguar S Type Lion V6 EURO IV application that, according to Dench, is one of the most advanced diesel fuel delivery systems currently available on a luxury performance vehicle. Dench notes that clean diesel engines are being researched as possible powerplants to augment electric or fuel cell-powered motors in hybrid vehicles. “The diesel engine's inherent robustness, fuel efficiency and superior torque makes it a viable alternative to gasoline engines when trying to realize the fuel and emissions reduction benefits of hybrid vehicles, while improving overall driving performance,” he explains.
In the Meta One application, the Siemens ECU interacts with the VSC to enable such Hybrid Electric Vehicle features as a start-stop system for better fuel efficiency; engine assist for improved driving performance; regenerative braking for charging the electric motor, and further emission reduction by managing the diesel particulate filter.