UK Awards 24M to 6 Low Carbon Vehicle Projects

The UK Department of Transport has awarded £24 million (US$37.5 million) to six projects to further develop the UK’s low carbon vehicle capability. The six winning projects—which together with contributions from business will receive total funding of £52 million (US$81.2 million)—are part of the latest Technology Strategy Board competition.

Projects include the development of new engines for plug-in hybrid versions of Nissan, Lotus and Jaguar Land Rover cars, a lightweight electric bin wagon, development of lightweight materials for vehicle weight reduction, and new technologies using thermal energy to improve vehicle performance. The six successful projects are:

GranteesProjectDescription
Dennis Eagle Ltd (lead company), MIRA Ltd, Magnomatics Ltd, MTL Group Ltd Hybrid Integrated Urban Commercial Vehicle The Hybrid Integrated Urban Commercial Vehicle (HIUCV) is a lightweight Heavy Goods Vehicle designed for refuse collection in an urban environment. The HiUCV is targeted to halve the overall carbon emissions per tonne of waste collected of current best-in-class Refuse Collection Vehicles (RCVs) in the urban environment. This will be achieved through exploiting innovative British technologies in the supply chain partners.

The HIUCV will be designed to significantly exceed legislative and Government requirements for greener vehicles. This project will produce a demonstrator for a commercially viable, highly competitive, improved performance RCV for urban use with a high percentage of UK sourced technology and components.
Jaguar Land Rover (lead company), Ford Motor Company, IAV (UK), CPT, BP, University of Nottingham, Imperial College London VIPER - Vehicle Integrated Powertrain Energy Recovery VIPER will show how a reduction in CO2 emissions of 4.5% could be achieved over a broad range of new vehicles by optimizing control of heat energy, in today’s conventional vehicles. The suppliers in the VIPER project will develop new technologies to harness, manage and store the heat energy and integrate these into a practical demonstrator with two of the biggest vehicle manufacturers in the UK. A prototype Land Rover vehicle will demonstrate the benefits of the suppliers’ technology on CO2 emissions.

The academic expertise in computational and experimental techniques will combine with engineering service suppliers to develop new efficient methods for the optimization of future vehicles. The VIPER technologies could be applied to the majority of new vehicles before the turn of the decade.
Jaguar Land Rover (lead company), Lotus Cars Ltd, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd, EVO Electric Ltd, Xtrac Ltd, Think Global, Axeon Ltd Evolution of REEV Technologies – Building a UK Supply Base (REEVolution) The project aims to deliver range-extended electric vehicle (REEV) products while developing four fledgling UK suppliers of novel ultra low carbon (ULC) technologies, through working with three major UK vehicle manufacturers and a world-leading engineering consultancy. The consortium companies will collaborate over the next three years to develop advanced electric powertrains and a greater understanding of the commercial requirements needed for high performance electric and range extended electric vehicles. The work will accelerate the development of new technologies and key commodities whilst laying the foundations for a globally competitive supply base.

The REEVolution programme is the next phase of a previously successful project led by Jaguar Land Rover called Limo Green (earlier post), a series hybrid range extended electric Jaguar XJ, which was part funded by the Technology Strategy Board. It is expected that the REEVolution project will deliver a 70% - 75% CO2 emission reduction through implementation of this technology into three very different currently best in class vehicle applications.
Intelligent Energy (lead company), Revolve, Caparo Lightweight Ultra Low Emissions Delivery Van This project will deliver two prototype lightweight electric vans, with diesel range extender. The van design and driver ergonomics will be specifically configured to meet the requirements of commercial vehicle fleet operators such as Royal Mail and DHL (both of whom have already provided initial input to the project).

The consortium will also leverage the best of British technology from Ricardo, Lotus and EVO electric motors plus other technology SME’s. A hydrogen fuel cell version of the van is due to be launched in 2017. This will reduce tailpipe CO2 emissions from 70 g/km to zero.
Ford Motor Company Ltd (lead company), Jaguar Land Rover, Johnson Matthey Plc, ITM Power (Trading) Ltd, Revolve Technologies Ltd, Cambustion Ltd, University of Bradford, University of Liverpool, University of Birmingham. CREO - CO2 Reduction through Emissions Optimisation For vehicles to have minimal impact on air quality, catalytic converters have been fitted to modern engines. Although great strides have been made to improve the fuel economy of vehicles there is still an impact of about 4% due to the emissions control system. This project aims to re-design the engine and after-treatment as a complete system, meeting legislative, customer and business requirements while minimizing CO2 levels. This will be achieved through the use of novel after-treatment techniques, the on-board generation and use of hydrogen and the development and application of new optimization tools.

The major contributors to this project are Ford Motor Company, which manufactures about 2 million engines per year in the UK, Jaguar Land Rover, which installs engines supplied by Ford, and Johnson Matthey, which provides many of the catalytic converters fitted into these engines. Three vehicles will be built to demonstrate the potential of the technology —gasoline and diesel cars and a diesel hybrid bus. The target is a 4% improvement in CO2 by 2015 potentially rising to 15% by 2025.
Jaguar Cars Ltd (lead company), Composite Metal Technology Ltd, Textile Centre of Excellence, Antich & Sons (Huddersfield) Ltd Aluminium Matrix Composite Materials for Vehicle Weight Reduction (AluMatCom) AluMatCom is a project to investigate the potential for use of reinforcing fibres in cast aluminum components to provide a material that has the potential to give the strength and stiffness of steel with the weight of aluminium. The project will bring together leading players in the weaving (Antich and Textile CoE), casting (Composite Metal Technology), and automotive industries (Jaguar Land Rover) with input from the AMRC, University of Sheffield.

Lighter vehicles require less energy (and emit less CO2) making aluminium matrix composites (AMCs) especially attractive to a premium vehicle manufacturers. AMCs have wide potential in vehicles and the objective of this project is to prove engineering, manufacturing and commercial feasibility of the materials, enabling Jaguar and Land Rover to make further gains in the environmental performance of their products.

Plug-in Car Grant. The Government also set out the eligibility criteria for its Plug-in Car Grant. Under the scheme motorists will receive a grant of up to £5,000 (US$7,800) to purchase electric, plug-in hybrid or hydrogen fuelled cars.

The level of the Plug-In-Car Grant has been agreed until 31 March 2012. The level will be reviewed in January 2012. After taking into consideration a number of key factors such as the costs of vehicles and the development of the early market, the level will then be set for subsequent years. £43 million (US$67.2 million) has been made available up to the end of March 2012. The final budget beyond 2011/12 will be confirmed at the spending review.

In order to be eligible, cars must meet appropriate safety standards and must have been crash tested. They must also meet minimum range and performance criteria:

  • Vehicle Type: New cars only (‘M1’ category vehicles, this includes pre-registration conversions) i.e. excluding motorcycles, quadricycles and vans.
  • Carbon Dioxide tailpipe emissions: Less than 75 g/km
  • Range: EVs minimum 70 miles, PHEVs minimum electric range 10 miles.
  • Minimum top speed: 60 mph.
  • Warranty: 3 year or 60,000 miles vehicle warranty, plus, a 3-year battery and electric drive train warranty with a consumer option for a 2-year battery warranty extension.
  • Battery performance: Either a minimum 5 year warranty on the battery and electric drive train as standard OR additional evidence of battery performance to illustrate reasonable performance after 3 years of use.
  • Electrical Safety: Vehicles must comply with UN- ECE Reg100.00 (PHEVs will be required to show they have met the technical requirements of 01 series amendments to UN- ECE Reg 100); vehicle manufacturers will be required to identify risks associated with vehicle use and state mitigating actions.
  • Vehicle crash safety: European Commission whole vehicle type approval (EC WVTA, not small series) OR evidence that the car demonstrates appropriate levels of safety as judged by international standards.

I am determined to make this Government the greenest ever and transport will have a key role to play. But this will not be achieved by forcing people off the road—it’s not the car that’s the problem, it's the carbon.

While I am convinced that rail will be the future of long distance inter-urban journeys, we can’t ignore the fact that 84% of journeys are made by car and there is no realistic prospect of displacing the private car for point to point complex journeys.

However, we are on the brink of a technological revolution that will transform the way we see motoring in the 21st century allowing the benefits that the private car delivers without destroying the planet in the process.

—Transport Secretary Philip Hammond


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