Two new research projects, that will drive forward low carbon vehicles technologies, are to receive £6 million funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, as part of the Research Councils UK Energy Programme.
The announcement was made today by Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, Greg Clark to coincide with the annual Low Carbon Vehicle Event – LCV Cenex 2014 opened at the Millbrook Proving Ground near Bedford.
The projects will involve academics from eight UK universities. ELEVATE (ELEctrochemical Vehicle Advanced Technology) led by Professor Rob Thring at Loughborough University, will develop better materials for energy storage devices such as fuel cells and batteries and improve integration between devices, vehicles and power grids. It will draw on expertise in departments of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Materials and Manufacturing and be informed by an Industrial Advisory Committee that includes companies such as Jaguar Land Rover, Johnson Matthey and Intelligent Energy.
While Ultra Efficient Engines and Fuels, led by Dr Robert Morgan at the University of Brighton, will investigate how to improve the operation of internal combustion engines by as much as one third efficiency and how new fuels’ performance can be used in future engines to bring emissions close to zero.
Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, Greg Clark said: “Forging strong business and academic relationships is vital to reinforcing the UK’s reputation as a global leader in research and innovation. Funding these new projects involving eight universities is a clear example of this in practice, while taking us a step closer to producing low carbon vehicles on a mass scale.”
It will involve academics from departments of Computing, Engineering & Maths, Engineering & Design, Physics, and Mechanical Engineering.
Industrial partners include Delphi Diesel Systems, Jaguar Land Rover, BP British Petroleum, Ricardo UK.
Professor Philip Nelson, EPSRC’s Chief Executive, added: “The UK’s research base and its universities are a fantastic source of new ideas and refinements from which industry can draw to grow and innovate. Low carbon vehicles are, without doubt, an inevitable and very necessary next step for the automotive industries. The leading research that EPSRC supports will help to make the mass use and production of these vehicles a reality more quickly.”