£10m investment in innovative electrical systems for low carbon vehicles

Posted on 13 Sep 2009 by The Manufacturer

Ten research programmes that will lead to the development of cutting-edge electrical systems for electric and hybrid vehicles are to receive over £10 million support from the government-backed Technology Strategy Board.

Working jointly with the Department for Transport, it is the first competition run under the Integrated Delivery Programme, a £200m investment programme that will help to speed up the introduction of low carbon vehicles onto UK roads. Over 30 UK companies and seven universities will take part in the development projects, which have a total value, including contributions from the companies, of £20m.

Explaining its decision to invest in the development projects, John Laughlin, the Technology Strategy Board’s Low Carbon Vehicles programme manager, said: “We are investing to put the UK at the forefront of low carbon vehicle technology. A major barrier to the widespread acceptance of electric and hybrid vehicles is the difficulty in balancing the range of the vehicle against the available stored energy.”

“The work we are funding will focus on developing ultra-efficient electric and hybrid vehicle motive and ancillary systems that will make the best use of this energy. Increasing the market acceptance of low carbon vehicles will contribute to achieving UK and EU climate change targets, whilst creating significant market opportunities for UK-based companies.”

This is the second major recent investment in electric vehicle technology by the Technology Strategy Board, which is sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). In June, the organisation ― which supports technological innovation across the UK ― announced that it is to invest £25 million to enable over 340 low carbon vehicles to be road-tested across the UK over the next eighteen months.

The announcement about new research coincides with news that the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is today launching a new plan designed to make it easier for drivers to charge plug-in vehicles in a number of major UK cities. The Joined-Cities Plan aims to help cities across the UK to deploy a cost effective and compatible network of recharging points.