A week on from LCV 2017: Reflections from Ian Constance

Words from the Advanced Propulsion Centre CEO, Ian Constance.

Last week I attended the Low Carbon Vehicle show, at Millbrook Proving Ground, the tenth anniversary of the show. The event showcased the incredible work being done in the UK in the low carbon technology arena, and made me extremely proud to be working in this space.

Since the first LCV Show in 2008, there has been an explosion of low-carbon vehicles and technologies that have been presented here and importantly many that have come to market. The show alone has gone from 85 exhibitors in 2008 to more than 180 today – clear evidence of this commitment and the importance of the Event!!

The amount of cutting edge technology on display really brought home that the UK is well equipped to be a hub for low carbon innovation. The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) had a successful time at the event, here is a short round up on all the activities that the APC was involved with:

LCV 2017 Official Opening

I was honoured to be asked to speak at the official opening of LCV 2017 on Wednesday 6th September.

I used this time to discuss the importance of building the UK’s electric vehicle (EV) supply chain, as we prepare for life in the brave new world outside of the European Union, it is more important than ever to ensure that the UK’s innovation and our competitiveness are at the forefront and having a robust EV supply chain will be significant in ensuring we are.

One of the key messages I tried to get across was that the development of battery technology is just one link in building UK’s electric vehicle supply chain. We must not forget other key technologies such as power electronics and electric motors are also crucial.

I also spoke of how the APC is dedicated to support those in the battery sector as we push to make the UK the hub for battery technology, highlighting the recent APC Faraday Challenge – National Battery Manufacturing Development Facility Competition.

Government Pavilion

The organisations that support the UK Automotive industry came together on a Pavilion at LCV 2017, providing information on support available.  The Advanced Propulsion Centre, Automotive Council, Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, Department for International Trade, Innovate UK, Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership and Office for Low Emission Vehicles, were on the stand advising delegates on what resources and support they can access.

There was also cutting-edge technologies on display, including the recently launched Suzuki Hydrogen Bike – being real-world trialled by the Metropolitan Police – that is part of an APC project.

The hydrogen bike is a significant milestone for hydrogen fuel cell technology. This real-world trial in a demanding application will allow the consortium to gather a detailed appraisal of the technology and assess it for future deployment, potentially marking a step towards wider roll-out of fuel cell vehicles.

Roadmap Update

The new updated roadmaps were launched on the first day of LCV 2017 by the APC. These updates were made with the knowledge and consensus of industry, academia and government.

Unveiling the Future

Simon Saunders of Ariel UK and Simon Edmonds of Innovate UK kindly invited me to help unveil one of the latest projects to be supported through the APC funding competitions.

We pulled back the sheet of the hidden vehicle on the Government Pavilion to reveal the Ariel HIPER car. Standing for High Performance Carbon Reduction, the project is destined for full release in 2019 and Ariel production in 2020. The HIPERCAR project will focus on performance, agility and usability – coupled with zero and ultra-low emissions. I wish Ariel and the rest of the consortium all the very best of luck with this project.

Niche Vehicle Funding

The winners of the Niche Vehicle Technology Readiness Level funding competition, were unveiled on the second day of LCV2017. Paul Gadd of Innovate and I presented a cheque to the project leads of the winning organisations, who will now be supported by the Niche Vehicle Network and APC throughout their technology development journey.

Electric Vehicle Supply Chain Portal

A brand new electric vehicle online networking portal was unveiled in the Innovation Arena throughout LCV 2017. The portal will allow those in the EV supply chain to showcase their expertise, advertise products and projects, as well as being able to see the UK EV supply chain. The new toolkit attracted a large amount of attention, receiving hundreds of registrations from delegates of the event.

Technology Developer Accelerator Programme (TDAP) Wave 2 Launch

Wave 2 of the Technology Developer Accelerator Programme (TDAP) was launched, inviting expressions of interest from technology developers. TDAP mentors technology developers and SMEs, helping bring forward their innovative Low Carbon Technologies. It does this by aiding the development of both their product and organisational capability through better understanding of the Automotive Industry requirements and visibility to a range of industry players.

All in all, I have to say the quality of the delegates, exhibits and dialogue at this year’s show was excellent and reached a whole new level. I am already looking forwarded to LCV 2018, to see how this fast developing low carbon space progresses over the next year.