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The Future Propulsion as ONE System

European Union
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Total project cost
€1 200 000
EU Contribution
€1 200 000
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Vehicle design and manufacturing (VDM)
Low-emission alternative energy for transport (ALT)
Transport mode
Multimodal icon
Transport policies
Environmental/Emissions aspects
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Call for proposal
Link to CORDIS
Background & Policy context

The Fifth Framework Programme (FP5) has generated engine control technologies, such as multi-injection of fuel, variable valve actuation, variable compression ratio, etc., capable of high flexibility.

The challenge now is to pass from the single technology in FP5 to a controlled sub-system made up of more than one technology in FP6. The subsystems composed of highly flexible technologies should converge on the design of a flexible propulsion system running on future fuels able to meet significant pollutant and CO2 reduction. The breakthrough is represented by an ensemble of the technology sub-systems. Other activities had not been covered, such as after-treatment and the use of new synthetic fuels that together with an integrated control and gearbox would be required to treat the overall propulsion system.

ULYSSES contributes to EU policies suggesting what is the state-of-the-art and its future evolution via the road map of the propulsion system technologies, also taking into account the engine/aftertreatment requirements in terms of the fuel type/quality, thus giving a substantial contribution to the European Research Area (ERA).


The objective of the project is to construct a platform for exchanging information and strategic planning of EC-funded research projects dealing with new propulsion technologies/concepts based on IC engines running on an ameliorated fuel, including alternative and renewable fuels for on-road vehicles. Extension to rail and waterborne propulsion is also considered.

The project:

  • identifies projects linkages;
  • favours project integration, thus improving synergy and facilitating technology transfer;
  • accelerates dissemination and analysis of projects outcomes, thus giving a substantial contribution to EC projects in achieving the strategic targets of:
    • compliance with future EU pollutant emission limits;
    • CO2 emission reduction;
    • security of energy supply based on new fuels.

The project is organised according to four groups of activities:

  • analysis of propulsion systems versus future fuel scenarios;
  • assessment of the international state-of-the-art, identification of gaps and needs in the RTD activities, definition and updating of the joint RTD strategy and plans;
  • coordinated cross-fertilisation and dissemination of projects outcomes;
  • provision of the basic infrastructures needed to operate this coordination action.

The altered conditions of FP6 and FP7 research, with respect to FP4 and FP5, is accounted for by building the project on two pillars:

  1. Content: the aim is the full implementation of the potential of the internal combustion (IC) engine and hybrid technologies developed in previous and current projects by considering the three elements (fuel, powertrain (engine and gear box) and aftertreatment) as ONE system able to combine the two conflicting requirements of low emissions and high efficiency with future fuel characteristics.
  2. Partnership: the consortium enables 360 coverage of technology innovation and fuel processing.

The original duration of the project was 4 years from 01/06/2006 to 31/05/2010. The project was extended for 3.5 years until 30/11/2013 to cover EC-funded research projects with the following targets in the period 2014-2020:

  • CO2 and pollutant emission limits enforced by the EU, having particular regards to the real world emissions,
  • 20% fuel substitution of fossil fuels by 2020.

The project plan is now based on two work packages dealing with coordination activity and consortium management. Items of interest are:

  • Compression Ignition (CI) engines and the technology evolution of hybrids as well as range extenders,
  • The use on vehicles of different alternative fuels (e.g.: synthetic biofuels),
  • Spark Ignition (SI) engines applied to small vehicles hybrids / range extenders,
  • A contribution from the Ulysses partners to the meetings, which are also open to other EU Automotive companies as zero-budget partners.

Deliverables consist of periodic updates of the project sheets with main achievements of the last year and the main deliverables of the year, periodic updating of the progress of the CA projects in approaching the strategic targets and exploitation / dissemination related to the ICE / hybrid domai


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Commission
Type of funding
Public (EU)


The annual deliverable of Ulysses consists of:

  • periodic updating of the project sheets with main achievements of the last year and the main deliverables of the year;
  • periodic updating of the progress of the CA projects in approaching the EU strategic targets;
  • exploitation / dissemination related to the ICE / hybrid domain with organization of workshops.

Finished projects in 2011:

  • HI-CEPS 'Highly Integrated Combustion Electric Powertrain System' (01/09/2006 - 30/09/2011);
  • BEAUTY 'Bio-ethanol engine for advanced urban transport by light & heavy-duty captive fleets' (01/01/2009 - 30/04/2011);

Running projects:

  • NGAS 'Integrated GAS powertrain - Low emissions, CO2 optimised and efficient CNG engines for passengers cars (PC) and light duty vehicles (LDV).' 01/10/2008 - 31/03/2012;
  • LESSCCV 'Large-Eddy Simulation and system simulation to predict Cyclic Combustion Variability in spark ignition engines.' 01/12/2009 - 30/11/2012;
  • POWERFUL 'Powertrain of future light-duty vehicles.' 01/01/2010 - 31/12/2013;
  • FUEREX 'Multi-fuel Range Extender with high efficiency and ultralow emissions' 01/01/2011 - 31/12/2012;
  • NOWASTE 'Engine waste heat recovery and re-use' 01/10/2011 - 31/03/2015;
  • CORE 'CO2 reduction for long distance transport.' 01/01/2012 - 31/12/2015; New projects which should participate to 2012 Ulysses workshop:
  • 2020 Interface 'Tailoring of Tribological Interfaces for Clean and Energy-Efficient Diesel and Gasoline Power Trains' 01/12/2009 - 30/11/2012;
  • LIBRALATO 'Libralato Engine Prototype' 01/12/2011 - 31/05/2014.

Technical Implications

The mission of ULYSSES is to identify the areas of technological improvement covered by the powertrain projects. ULYSSES has to indicate how the CA projects can meet the EU strategic targets and the technology gaps where to address the future research.

From June 2010, the CA incorporated the remaining FP6 projects (e.g.: HI-CEPS) and the FP7 projects (e.g.: BEAUTY, INGAS, LESSCCV and POWERFUL) plus any new ones in the ICE/hybrid domain as well as widen its scope to train engines and possibly look at links with big-engine technology derivatives in the waterborne sector, particularly in view of dissemination activities


Lead Organisation
Centro Ricerche Fiat - Societa Consortile Per Azioni
Strada Torino, 50, 10043 ORBASSANO (TO), Italy
Organisation website
Partner Organisations
Avl List Gmbh
Hans-List-Platz, 8020 Graz, Austria
Organisation website
EU Contribution
Feldman Enterprises Limited
Angiou Pavlou 15, 1105 Nicosia, Cyprus
Organisation website
EU Contribution
Meta-Ricerche Di Cornetti Giorgio & C. Snc
Piazza Vittorio Veneto n. 14 Scala A, TORINO, Italy
EU Contribution
Daimler Ag
Mercedesstrasse, 70327 Stuttgart, Germany
Organisation website
EU Contribution
Berliner Ring 2, 1894 WOLFSBURG, Germany
Organisation website
EU Contribution
Institut Francais Du Petrole
1&4, avenue de Bois-Preau, RUEIL-MALMAISON, France
Organisation website
EU Contribution
Omv Refining & Marketing Gmbh
Lassallestrasse 3, WIEN, Austria
Organisation website
EU Contribution


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