Achates Power has been awarded US$2m in funding from the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) for the development of a Highly-efficient Opposed-Piston Engine (HOPE) for Hybrid Vehicles.

Achates Power has partnered with the University of Michigan and Nissan for the project.

“The project builds on the successful development of the OP Engine and expands our research and development into the hybrid and range-extender market,” said Achates CTO, Fabien Redon.

“The inherent balance and power characteristics of the OP Engine makes it an ideal powertrain in a hybrid solution, providing vehicle manufacturers a cost-effective solution to improve vehicle fuel efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.”

The HOPE project will develop a single-cylinder OP Engine design with the goal to minimise energy losses typical in conventional internal combustion engines.

A motor-generator integrated on each engine crankshaft will provide independent control to each piston and eliminate all torque transmitted across the mechanical crankshaft connection, reducing engine size, mass, cost, friction and noise.

The application of high-bandwidth power electronics will further improve engine efficiency through real-time control of the piston motion and combustion process.

The University of Michigan Energy Institute will contribute engineering resources and talent in the design and testing of the Highly-efficient Opposed-Piston Engine for Hybrid Vehicles, while the project will look to leverage Nissan’s experience in hybrid engine development.