New £73 Million funding announcement brings UK closer to net zero emission ambition

23/06/2020

  • The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) awards £73m to 10 projects in its latest round of Government and industry funding for low-carbon emissions research
  • Collaborative projects between automotive manufacturers, suppliers and academia are working to achieve around 60 million tonnes of CO2 reduction
  • Research and development will safeguard or create nearly 10,000 UK jobs.

Further supporting its Industrial Strategy and Green Recovery, the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy has today provided an additional £73 million in funding for projects committed to achieving low-carbon technology in the automotive industry.

In a combined announcement of its 14th and 15th round of funding, the Advanced Propulsion Centre has awarded grants to 10 projects which combine expertise from Original Equipment Manufacturers, Tier 1 suppliers, SMEs and academia. These innovative programmes will create or secure nearly 10,000 jobs in research and manufacturing, across projects that can bring about a reduction of almost 60 million tonnes in CO2 emissions. The projects will develop cutting-edge technology including:

  •  Next generation axial flux motor for more efficient future powertrain systems
  • State-of-the-art integrated high voltage electronics systems
  • Development and commercialisation of compact, zero and low emission medium-size commercial vehicle powertrain solutions
  • Next generation EV technology
  • A new supply chain solution for subcomponents used in electric vehicles
  • Development of a lightweight, multi-material rolling chassis ladder frame
  • Innovative high-strength aluminium alloys with novel processing, joining and assembly techniques
  • Improvements in the production technologies for traction motor production
  • A game-changing energy recovery platform for heavy duty applications
  • Concept fuel cell vehicle.

Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “Whether it’s researching future battery design or creating a lightweight version of the Ford Transit, companies in every corner of the UK are leading the world in advanced automotive technology.

“Not only will this funding ensure the automotive industry can play its part in eliminating the UK’s contribution to climate change by 2050, it will also support thousands of jobs and be a welcome step towards the automotive industry’s economic recovery.”

Jon Beasley, Director of Technology & Projects at the Advanced Propulsion Centre, said: ‘‘It’s an exciting time for the UK automotive industry – we are on the precipice of an innovation landslide. The technology we invest in now is set to make an impact on the next generation of vehicles.

“The 10 projects chosen to receive funding will all develop the next iteration of electrification solutions; showing that it is fast becoming the technology of choice for a wide range of vehicles and that it is vital to ensuring a sustainable low-carbon future.”

The 10 winning projects are:

Jaguar Land Rover – Hi-VIBES

The Hi-VIBES project will deliver pioneering power electronics which will support the growing number of electrified products across the Jaguar Land Rover range.  Working with academics from the University of Nottingham and industry partners Lyra Electronics and Pektron, the project will create a fully integrated power electronics system that will be used for all future Jaguar Land Rover Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs). The system design will enable significant cost, weight and package benefits.

The Hi-VIBES project will bring significant opportunities for industrial investment and sourcing within the supply chain in the UK.

Avid Technology Limited – REVO

Partnering with Warwick University and The Welding Institute, this project led by Avid Technology Limited will deliver a highly innovative next generation axial flux motor and a motor manufacturing process for lighter weight, higher efficiency electric vehicle powertrains of the future. The project will further embed electric motor simulation and design and volume manufacturing, with the new manufacturing process capable of producing up to 100,000 units per annum on a single production line within Avid Technology’s existing UK manufacturing facilities.

TEVVA – SANGREAL

This project will design and bench-test an innovative transaxle and vehicle control system for 7.5-14 tonne commercial vehicles. Further developing and commercialising Tevva’s existing battery module and pack design to a ‘between the rails’ solution will improve safety and impact robustness with active thermal management. A substantial part of the investment will develop an advanced vehicle control system and cloud-based telematic, ensuring safe and reliable performance for both on and off-road applications. This enables predictive and preventative servicing that intelligently controls the range extender so that its use is minimised overall and avoided entirely in urban environments.

LEVC – EVE (Electric Vehicle Evolution)

A collaborative project involving specialist UK-based companies and academia to develop, localise and industrialise the next generation of EV technology for existing and future vehicles produced by London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC). Building on the success of the current ‘eCity’ technology that has already helped to reduce over 30,000 tonnes of CO2, investment in this new EV technology ensures that LEVC will continue to lead the development of innovative green mobility products.

BMW – @FutureBEV

A development team bringing together two premium automotive global companies, BMW & McLaren Applied, Customer Interconnect Limited (CIL), Lyra Electronics, Compound Semi Conductor Applications Catapult (CSAC) and the University of Warwick will foster a new UK supply chain for subcomponents and system capability for the future of electromobility. Delivered through two strongly interlinked workstreams addressing both volume and performance to drive improved efficiency, lower vehicle level CO2, reduced weight and better use of storage.

Ford – ESHADOW

Led by Ford, this collaborative industry research project with three UK industry partners and academic support aims to develop a hybrid material structural engineering tool to promote lightweight design and verification for product development processes. This project will create a lightweight multi-material solution for rolling chassis ladder frames to improve vehicle efficiency and promote adoption of zero-emission vehicle architectures and will demonstrate a new approach for engineering practices that will enable development of the next generation of electric vehicles.

Constellium – ALIVE (Aluminium Intensive Vehicle Enclosures)

Using innovative, high-strength aluminium alloys, the ALIVE project will design, develop, assemble and extensively test novel enclosure architectures that are scaleable in both design and manufacturing capability. This project hopes to enable these new concepts for the manufacture of both vehicle integration structures and battery enclosures in a new generation of lightweight hybrid and electric vehicles for the UK market.

 

 

Magtec

This collaborative R&D project will demonstrate the development of production technologies for traction motors; providing the electrical alternatives to diesel power solutions with demonstrable operational reliability for the commercial vehicle market.

A consortia, led by Magtec, includes four leading transport sector OEMs – Dennis Eagle, Paneltex, Volta Trucks and Angel Trains who will support the definition of requirements and verification of the solutions developed. Ensuring that the manufacturing processes are repeatable and robust. From the world of academia, the project will also include the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at the University of Sheffield whose expertise will be focused on utilising the most innovative manufacturing process and assembly methods.

Cummins – TRIDENT

Building on extensive cutting-edge developments in every major component and subsystem across the mechanical and e-machines domains, Cummins Turbo Technologies (CTT) alongside Tier 1 to Tier 3 partners across the UK supply chain aim to create a game-changing energy recovery platform.  By redefining the practical limits of system efficiency across multiple thermal propulsion powertrains as well as system level efficiency at vehicle level, the project hopes to deliver CO2 and fuel consumption improvements for ICE-based platforms such as hybrids, natural gas vehicles and reduced-emission diesel variants.

Jaguar Land Rover – ZEUS

Working with world-class research and industry partners, Jaguar Land Rover is developing a prototype hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. Hydrogen can play a role as a viable fuel in the future across the automotive industry alongside battery electric vehicles, helping to make our environments cleaner. Working with Delta Motorsport, Marelli Automotive Systems and UKBIC, the project will deliver a zero tailpipe emissions premium fuel cell SUV concept with Jaguar Land Rover attributes, such as long range, quick refill, towing, off road capabilities and low temperature performance.

The project will help drive significant growth and capability in fuel cell electric vehicle design and manufacturing, providing a competitive edge in intellectual property and supply chain for the UK.

Over an initial 10-year lifespan, the APC has a goal to save 50 million tonnes of CO2 emissions from the automotive industry, supporting the UK government’s net-zero plans. It is therefore investing in technologies that help lower emissions and protect the environment. The APC enables the relationship between UK government and the companies leading UK-based projects aimed at advancing low-carbon automotive technology.