Vehicle Propulsion Technologies program
To address the challenge of improving fuel efficiency, automakers need to adopt new technologies that comply with strict government standards and increased consumer demand. The Vehicle Propulsion Technologies (VPT) program assists Canadian automotive manufacturers to improve the efficiency of internal combustion engines, powertrains and the use of electric and fuel cell propulsion.
Through the development of high-performance materials and mass-production manufacturing processes, the VPT program helps Canadian companies to develop the technologies they need to become leaders in the growing vehicle propulsion supply chain. It further supports the development of more environmentally responsible vehicles by providing validation and safety testing services to ease the adoption of new electrification technologies.
Collaborate with us
Collaborate with us on strategic research projects to help de-risk your innovative ideas, reduce your start-up costs and accelerate your commercial development timelines.
Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) and Powertrains: If you are producing parts for traditional powertrains, assembling subsystems or designing systems for ICEs and advanced transmissions used in light-duty vehicles, we can help you develop and validate technologies aimed at improving fuel efficiency.
As the engine is a gasoline vehicle's most inefficient component, responsible for 60% of the vehicle's energy loss, engine downsizing is the main solution considered by the automakers for reaching lower fuel consumption levels. NRC can help you develop engine-downsize-enabling technologies while limiting the associated costs of new materials. These fuel saving technologies include new materials and coatings that reduce friction and improve the exhaust system efficiency of turbocharged, gasoline direct injection and large displacement engines. NRC is also investigating innovative porous materials and catalysts that can significantly reduce exhaust emissions.
Incorporating additional gear ratios into transmissions leads to better fuel economy. We can help you develop new technologies and solutions to introduce new transmission concepts that will contribute to improved fuel efficiency while keeping the cost of transmission down. These technologies include low-friction and wear resistant coatings, as well as high strength and density powder metallurgy manufacturing technologies for gears and other components of the powertrain.
Electrification: Whether you are designing battery modules, producing battery components or cooling systems, producing raw materials, developing or manufacturing advanced materials for batteries or supercapacitors, optimizing electrode formulations or prototyping new cell chemistries, we can help you develop, optimize and test low-cost technologies aimed at improving energy storage performance, economics and safety. Not only can we perform lab-scale research, testing and certification, we have the facilities and expertise for full-scale prototyping as well as production scale-up.
Low-cost electric motors
NRC can help you develop lower cost electric motors by addressing material issues encountered in e-motors. Whether you are a raw material producer, a materials processor or a components producer, you can benefit from our globally recognized expertise in the development of magnetic materials and components as well as in component testing.
Safe and low-cost energy storage technologies
Lithium-based technologies are the current choice for the major manufacturers of electric and hybrid vehicles, but their cost, performance, durability and safety need to be improved. This creates an opportunity for Canadian companies, such as material suppliers, components, cell and battery manufacturers and their suppliers to become a part of a growing supply chain. NRC can help you develop and test your technologies, improve your products and assist you in creating partnerships across the value chain. NRC is actively involved in conventional and new anodes such as graphite, silicon and composites, cathode formulations, binder, additives, liquid and solid polymer electrolytes, current collectors, electrode formulations, pouch cell prototyping, and cell and module testing.
Manufacturing for fuel cell vehicles
The supply chain for manufacturing fuel cell vehicles is in its early stages, constantly growing and evolving, providing numerous opportunities for newcomers with fresh ideas. If you are a raw materials supplier, component developer/supplier, technology provider or system integrator, now is the time to join this exciting industry. At NRC, we have tools and expertise to develop manufacturing technologies that support a strong Canadian supply chain. Our technologies ensure reliable, safe and cost-effective volume manufacturing and commercialization of fuel cell systems for transportation applications. Our fuel cell research activities are grouped around five pillars:
- material assessment
- manufacturing processes
- characterization tools
- costing models
- suppliers development
Our world-class expertise and facilities help industry define the specifications and standardize measurement methods for critical fuel cells components. Additionally, we analyze the supply chain landscape to identify areas of specific need, such as the development of novel polymer membrane manufacturing processes.
We can serve as an integrated R&D extension to your organization, connect you with other companies across the supply chain and help you certify your products, enabling you to join this rapidly growing market. By working with NRC, you will:
- Accelerate your product and technology development and validation;
- Become a leader of a rapidly growing supply chain;
- Minimize your risks associated with the development, adoption and commercialization of new technologies;
- Gain access to our cross-functional teams of experienced scientists and engineers as well as to our world-class facilities;
- Benefit from our unbiased advice and expert consulting services.
Technical and advisory services
For materials suppliers and processors
- Technology and market reviews and trends
- Material characterization and applicative evaluation
- Support to piloting and homologation processes
- Generic and proprietary electrode formulations
- Materials optimization for next generation anodes
- Advanced cathode materials for positive electrodes
- Additives and binders for improved electrode formulations
- Modified and new electrolytes
- 3D current collectors
For engine downsizing
- Component and sub-system testing and efficiency validation
- Prototyping services
- Laser polishing and texturing for lubrication and friction control
- PVD/CVD coatings for wear-resistant and low-friction coating
- Porous metallic materials for catalyst supports in exhaust after treatment unit
For IC engine and powertrain component manufacturers
- Thermal spray for low-friction coatings
For fuel cell and energy manufacturers and component suppliers
- Component testing and validation
- Specification definition and measurement of component properties
- Cell, battery and fuel cell performance and durability
- Codes and standards
- Safety assessment
- Cell assembly, performance and durability assessment
- Quality control/assurance technologies
- Diagnostics tools development
- Cell prototyping
- Electrode architecture: formulation, deposition
- Battery safety evaluations and abuse testing
- Battery modeling and simulation
- Module and pack design
For energy storage suppliers and manufacturers
- Chemical synthesis and modification of materials
- Performance assessment in coin-cell and pouch cell
- Membrane extrusion, modification, characterization and testing
- New battery technology prototyping
- High-volume, low-cost prototype manufacturing
- Materials development and characterization
- Bench-scale and full-scale testing
For vehicle integrators
- All-weather testing
- Component validation for certification support
- Safety risk assessment
- Codes and standards technical support
- Vehicle instrumentation, track and on-road testing
- Combustion laboratory with fuel characterization and emission testing
- Level 1, Level 2 and Fast DC charging facilities
- Wind tunnel testing facilities
- Metrology labs
- Fuel cell test stations
- Electrochemical testing facilities
If you are looking to access world-class vehicle propulsion expertise and state-of-the-art research facilities, please contact:
Online request form
Submit an online request for information about our programs and services.
OEMs, parts and systems suppliers, raw material producers, processing companies, technology developers and integrators, system integrators.
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