Canadian ATV maker going green

BRP to develop hybrid engine for Can-Am Spyder roadster

Comments Off on Canadian ATV maker going green December 20, 2010
by Design Engineering staff

SHERBROOKE, QC – The Centre de technologies avancées (CTA)—a research facility partnership between the Universite de Sherbrooke and Ski-Doo snowmobile maker, Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP)—has received $11.3 million to develop hybrid engine technology for BRP’s Can-Am Spyder roadster. Over the next four years, CTA project will recieve $6.2 million from the Automotive Partnership Canada program and $5.1 million from BRP.

The project’s research team is led by Professor Alain Desrochers from the Universite de Sherbrooke’s Mechanical Engineering Department and includes about 30 people from the University and BRP. First launched in 2007, the Can-Am Spyder roadster features a Y-architecture (two wheels in front, one in back) but presents unique challenges, Desrochers said. Its compact size alone poses major challenges. Rather than modifying existing hybrid technology, the researchers will have to design an entirely new propulsion system.

“Creating a three-wheel vehicle, as opposed to a hybrid car, poses significant design challenges that require a very high degree of innovation,” said Desrochers. “These challenges include the lack of space to accommodate hybrid motorization, cooling problems, aerodynamics, vehicle weight, and noise. Everything must be studied and modified.”

Over the next four years the CTA will produce three generations of prototypes and their components. According to the CTA, any technological innovations will be potentially transferable to other types of vehicles and products.