Collaborative R&D Competitions

Hofer – Bowscale

hofer powertrain, Germany, is one of the world’s leaders in the development of powertrain technologies and manufactures class-leading hybrid transmissions. Its UK subsidiary is collaborating with WMG, McLaren Automotive and Yasa Motors through an Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) project that will provide the UK with capability for the design and manufacture of advanced hybrid transmissions, complementing the next generation of low carbon vehicles.

The project has led to a number of enquiries from local and global customers that require the design and production of advanced hybrid transmission and as a direct output of the investment through the APC has led to hofer having the confidence to invest further in the UK, and is in the process of constructing a manufacturing facility and employing the relevant skills.

With production beginning in 2020, this will be the UK’s first dedicated facility for the production of state-of-the-art hybrid transmissions for prestige and high-performance vehicles.

In addition to developing this technology, the APC project has assisted all partners to develop their capability:

  • hofer UK established a UK Technical Centre in Coventry, allowing for engineering and development activities, including:
    • Engineering, Programme Management, supplier liaison and quality control
    • Build and development areas including test cells
    • Significant knowledge transfer from hofer AG (Group) in Germany – which will substantially grow the UK’s knowledge base and enable the collaborators to develop an expertise in the UK that currently does not exist
  • YASA Ltd, relocated to a new Engineering and Manufacturing facility providing:
    • Workshops, production areas, test cells
    • Engineering offices and development areas
    • Increased manufacturing capability
  • Warwick Manufacturing Group:
    • Increased its expertise in power electronics and electric drives through research focused on increasing the power density of these devices using wide bandgap semiconductor switching technologies
  • To date, the partners have supported over 70 jobs and forecast many more as the production facilities come on line
  • As well as benefiting the UK economy, with new jobs and products, the technology will dramatically help reduce vehicle COemissions for current and future vehicles

Overall, the project brings a major positive impact to automotive component production and system supply in the UK that will be set to benefit from future opportunities.

Johann Hofer said: “This project is very exciting for hofer powertrain, as it allows us to bring our significant experience of electrical, mechanical and software system design and production to the UK market place; working with leading companies to create a unique hofer product portfolio for manufacture in the UK. The success of this project and the interest we are receiving from the automotive OEMs, confirms that we took the correct decision when deciding to be part of this project”.