EC - Horizon 2020 logo

Technologies for low emission light duty powertrains
Deadline: 26 Jan 2016   CALL EXPIRED

EU logo mono EC - Horizon 2020

 Sustainable Development
 Climate Sciences

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Growing road traffic in Europe results in detrimental effects on the environment and public health to a level that is becoming unsustainable, this in spite of increasingly stringent emission standards. In particular, CO2 and noxious emissions are not sufficiently reduced in real driving, while higher injection pressures have led to a shift towards the emission of smaller nanoparticles that are undetected by current certification procedures.

Advanced technologies offer solutions but need to be further developed: on the one hand a new generation of engine components has reached a sufficient level of maturity but more research for their optimal combination in a new generation of engines is needed; on the other hand, hybridised engines where ICE are coupled with electric drives that are able to supply instantaneous torque still need to be optimised introducing radically new combustion processes to reach much higher energy conversion, thus approaching the physical limits.


Proposals should address one of the following domains:

―New generation of non-hybrid engines based on existing engine technologies (short term developments): proposals will address the optimal combination of innovative engine and robust after-treatment technologies as well as modelling and testing to improve the design and control capability. Special attention should be given to the assessment and reduction of particle emissions below 23 nm, particularly for direct injection gasoline and diesel engines.

―Future combustion engines for electrified powertrains (longer term developments): new combustion processes, sensing, control and after treatment systems, supported by advanced modelling technologies where needed to allow these engines to meet future ambitious energy and emission targets simultaneously. Special attention should be given to the assessment and reduction of particle emissions below 23 nm, particularly for direct injection gasoline and diesel engines.

―Development (based on current direct injection engines) of the related measurement procedures down to 10nm, providing a contribution to future regulation on particle emissions, in particular in real driving conditions.

Proposals could foresee cooperation with entities participating in similar projects funded by Japan and US to exchange knowledge and experience and exploit synergies in view of establishing future international standards and regulations on nanoparticle emissions.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 5 to 10 million for the domains on engines would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately; smaller projects are expected under the domain on particle measurement. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Research projects will contribute to climate action and sustainable development objectives by delivering significant reductions of CO2 emissions (thus addressing the global warming challenge) and by improving noxious emissions (thus allowing better air quality in European cities). To achieve these impacts proposals will need to show how they intend to meet the following targets:

―For new generation of non-hybrid engines, demonstration vehicles incorporating each of the developed new engine technologies will prove, by independent testing, a reduction of WLTP[[World Light Duty Test Procedure]] CO2 emissions respectively of 5% for diesel and 15% for gasoline, with respect to the best equivalent size and torque engines on the market in 2015. At the same time they should demonstrate real driving emissions at least below upcoming Euro 6 RDE[[Real Driving Emissions]] limits (with particle number emissions measured with a 10 nm threshold).

―For future combustion engines for electrified power-trains, the innovative engines are expected to support the achievement of long term fleet targets of 50 g/km CO2 on the WLTP by demonstrating (on the bench with simulation support to emulate real driving and/or on a vehicle, depending on the starting TRL of the technology), a peak thermal conversion efficiency of more than 50%and real driving Euro 6 values with no conformity factor (with particle number emissions measured with a10 nm threshold.

―Projects related to particle measurements will also support the understanding, measurement and regulation of particle emissions below 23 nm (with the threshold of at least 10 nm).

Overall, research projects will contribute to the establishment of a future 'EU Super Low Emission Vehicles' standard.

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