Collaboration with Holden commenced in a significant way with the development and demonstration of the fuel efficient ECOmmodore in 2000. This was the world's first family sized rear wheel drive car with the performance of a conventional V6 with half the fuel use.
The ECOmmodore used a combination of the first generation CSIRO supercapacitors in combination with specially designed, 'valve regulated', high power advanced lead acid batteries.
These energy storage devices operated under the control of a unique energy management system to match the power train, consisting of parallel petrol and electric motors, for operation in all driving conditions.
As Dr John Wright, Director of Energy Transformed, explains: 'This development platform has placed CSIRO into a world leading position to continue work with Holden on the next generation of energy storage and energy management systems for hybrid and, eventually, hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles.'
Work in the vehicle technology area has now been accelerated with the commencement of a major Flagship Program in CSIRO called Energy Transformed. The goal of this Program is to develop low emissions technologies to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transport and stationary energy sectors of the Australian economy.
CSIRO's Flagship research with Holden now involves the development of the next generation of supercapacitors with far greater storage capacity, new advanced high power batteries and energy management control to integrate these new power devices into hybrid power trains.
CSIRO is pleased to be working with Holden Innovation on these collaborative projects to make a real difference in the development of cleaner and greener vehicles to assist in making the GM/Holden goal of 'taking cars out of the environmental equation' a reality.