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EPSRC funds £6 million to drive new low carbon vehicle technologies research in UK

Two new UK research projects to drive forward low carbon vehicle technologies are to receive £6 million in funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The projects involve academics from eight UK universities.

Low carbon vehicles

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in the UK is funding £6 million (US$9.6 million) for two new research projects, to drive forward low carbon vehicle technologies. The projects, part of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) Energy Programme, will involve academics from eight universities around the UK.

The announcement is being made today by Greg Clark, the Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, to coincide with the annual CENEX Low Carbon Vehicle Event 2014 (LCV2014), taking place 10–11 September at the Millbrook Proving Ground, near Bedford.

Electrochemical technologies

The ELEVATE (ELEctrochemical Vehicle Advanced Technology) project is led by Professor Rob Thring at Loughborough University. It will develop better materials for energy storage devices such as fuel cells and batteries, and improve integration between devices, vehicles and power grids.

ELEVATE will draw on expertise in chemistry, chemical engineering, materials, and manufacturing departments at Loughborough University, University of Warwick, University of Southampton, University College London, and University of Oxford. It will be informed by an Industrial Advisory Committee that includes companies such as Jaguar Land Rover, Johnson Matthey, and Intelligent Energy.

Ultra efficient engines and fuels

The Ultra Efficient Engines and Fuels project, led by Dr Robert Morgan at the University of Brighton, will investigate how to improve the operating efficiency of internal combustion engines by as much as one-third, and how the performance of new fuels can be used in future engines to bring emissions close to zero.

This project will involve academics from computing, engineering & maths, engineering & design, physics, and mechanical engineering departments at the University of Brighton, Brunel University, University of Oxford, and University College London. Industrial partners include Delphi Diesel Systems Ltd, Jaguar Land Rover, BP British Petroleum, and Ricardo UK.

Driving low carbon vehicle technology research

‘Low carbon vehicles are, without doubt, an inevitable and very necessary next step for the automotive industries,’ says EPSRC Chief Executive, Professor Philip Nelson. ‘The leading research that EPSRC supports will help to make the mass use and production of these vehicles a reality more quickly.’

The Research Councils UK Energy Programme, led by EPSRC, is investing more than £625 million ($1 billion) in research and skills to pioneer a low carbon future. This builds on an investment of £839 million ($1.35 billion) since 2003.

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Energy efficiency  •  Energy storage including Fuel cells  •  Policy, investment and markets