UK capability in automotive power electronics and battery systems boosted by creation of APC Spokes

The APC launches Power Electronics and Electrical Energy Storage Spokes, bringing together academia and business to take ideas into production and boost the UK supply chain.

  • University of Nottingham to co-ordinate the APC Power Electronics Spoke.
  • University of Warwick to co-ordinate the APC Electrical Energy Storage Spoke.
  • APC Spokes provide a focus for the technical community to accelerate low carbon vehicle opportunities. 

18 March 2015: Tony Pixton, Chief Executive of the Advanced Propulsion Centre will today announce the creation of two new APC Spokes, pulling together highly focussed communities combining business and academia to support the development of the UK’s low carbon propulsion capability and help to strengthen the automotive supply chain in key technology areas.

Each of the APC Spokes will be the centre of an open and inclusive network created to provide a focus for specific technologies and act as a conduit to the UK’s expertise and resources. The APC Spokes will bring together interested academic and industrial parties as a voice for the community to take the specific technology forward and to support the development of consortia to exploit funding opportunities.

Speaking at the SMMT Open Forum in Leicester, Chief Executive of the APC Tony Pixton said:

The UK has a clear opportunity to build strong supply chains in low carbon propulsion technologies and the APC Spokes provide the mechanism for business and academia to work together in areas of common interest and leverage the significant resources available. I am delighted to announce that the universities of Nottingham and Warwick have been selected through an independent process to coordinate the communities in Power Electronics and Electrical Energy Storage respectively, and they join Loughborough University in London which was announced last November as the coordinator of the Digital Engineering and Test Spoke. Today’s APC Spoke announcement follows the recent Automotive Council report ‘Growing the Automotive Supply Chain: The Opportunity Ahead’ and shows how the UK automotive industry turnaround is boosting companies across the UK.

The successful APC Spokes were selected following an assessment process undertaken by independent industry experts. The APC Spokes aim to provide open and inclusive access to expertise in specialist technologies, signposting and promoting UK capabilities whilst providing networking opportunities to build consortia. Each APC Spoke working with the APC team will develop a collaborative environment for the benefit of all interested parties. The APC Spokes will also help to develop the relevant technology roadmaps by providing input, through the APC, to the Automotive Council. These roadmaps represent a consensus view of academia and industry on future priorities for the Spoke technologies, and hence form the basis of the industrial strategy for the UK automotive industry.

Commenting on their appointment as the APC Electrical Energy Storage SpokeProfessor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya Chairman of WMG at the University of Warwick said:

The global energy storage market will be worth $50 billion by 2020, of this, $21bn will be in transportation. Automotive is well on its way to displacing consumer electronics as the biggest user of energy storage. We are delighted to have been awarded the APC Electrical Energy Storage Spoke as it plays a significant role in bringing together researchers and industry to address the challenges of the growing need to enhance these technologies. Our advanced energy storage facility, which is the only one of its kind in the UK, provides the capability to validate new battery chemistry by enabling the rapid characterisation of battery cells, the ability to test up to 1000 Amps, and to expose batteries to extreme vibration, crush and penetration.

The APC Electrical Energy Storage Spoke will work with a number of academic and industrial partners active in automotive battery systems research and development.

Commenting on their appointment as the APC Power Electronics Spoke, Professor Andy Long, Dean of Engineering and Professor of Mechanics of Materials, Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham, said:

We are very excited that the APC has chosen the University of Nottingham as the APC Power Electronics Spoke. It is an opportunity to share our internationally renowned world-class expertise and research, spanning all key power electronic disciplines. The collaboration will increase the impact of our work, taking fundamental research towards low carbon propulsion development and production.

The APC Power Electronics Spoke will also work with a number of academic and industrial partners with a common interest in automotive power electronics. Both the Power Electronics and the Electrical Energy Storage Spokes will announce their partners in due course.

Announcements about further APC Spoke locations will be made in the coming months.