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Cambridge Vehicle Dynamics Consortium


Research into the energy efficiency of long combination vehicles (LCVs) and the benefits of regenerative braking

Research to date has focussed on modelling the fuel consumption of heavy goods vehicles and understanding the factors that have the largest influence on CO2 emissions.  It turns out that the most influential factors are external to the vehicle - particularly vehicle utilization (eg back-hauling) and traffic congestion.  After those factors, the size of the vehicle plays a very large part in the energy consumption per freight task as does the provision of regenerative braking for start-stop operations. Vehicle mass is also important.  Factors that have traditionally been the focus of attention:  rolling resistance, vehicle aerodynamics, engine thermodynamics and driver behaviour are less influential.

fFuel Consumption Model

Urban Delivery Vehicles

The aim of the current project is to investigate the possibilities for regenerative braking in urban delivery vehicles. Regenerative braking systems recover energy from each braking event, and use this stored energy to accelerate the vehicle. Recycling energy in this way improves the fuel economy of the delivery vehicle over a standard urban drive cycle, and also helps to reduce brake wear. It is intended that a regenerative braking (hydraulic hybrid) prototype will be installed on the CVDC's experimental vehicle and tested to validate mathematical models and establish the true level of benefits available.

Schematic of regenerative braking system

Further Information

Professor David  Cebon
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Research Associate