Infiniti has unveiled EMERG-E, a mid-engined sports car concept it developed as part of a collaborative R&D project co-funded by the Technology Strategy Board, at the Geneva Motor Show.
Capable of accelerating from zero to 130mph in a seamless 30 second burst, EMERG-E contains a pair of electric motors, a lithium-ion battery pack, four inverters, a three-cylinder range-extending internal combustion engine and a petrol tank.
Jaguar Land Rover, Lotus and Infiniti are partners to the Technology Strategy Board’s initiative, which aims to speed the arrival of low carbon vehicles on UK roads while developing a strong and globally competitive supply base for the low carbon sector.
Andrew Everett, automotive specialist at the Technology Strategy Board, said: “The aim of the project is to mentor smaller companies to make sure they can position themselves to be suppliers of the future, and to put the UK in a cost competitive position.
“The initiative, one of the 112 we run under our low carbon activities, originated from a competition we ran last year, focused on supply chain development: we selected and funded six projects out of 20 applications.”
EMERG-E is the first of the three new demonstrator vehicles that will showcase new technologies. The cars combine and build on the skills of all of the businesses forming the REEVolution consortium (REEV stands for Range Extended Electriv Vehicles): suppliers Axeon Technologies, EVO Electric and Xtrac, and the the three car manufacturers (JLR being the lead partner).
The total cost of the project including industry investment is over £20m. Just over £9m of this was grant funding from the Technology Strategy Board.
Everett continued: “Each partner represents an intrinsic part of the project. Their role is to help the smaller potential suppliers understand the market, quality needs, cost drivers they are under and manufacturing opportunities. We are helping to make sure that UK capabilities are there when the low carbon market really takes off.”
Mentoring of small suppliers entails regular meetings and discussions, as well as the development of strategic roadmaps.
Concluding that the legislative environment within which the car industry now sits drives the need for new technology, he added: “The days of petrol engine vehicles are gone.”