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    Automotive & Motorsport

    Winning the electrification race  

    • By Editor
    • March 18, 2020
    • 5 minute read

    The UK has a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to drive the electrification agenda, but it needs industry and academia to be on the same page.

     

    The recent Government announcement that it plans to bring forward the ban on petrol and diesel cars to 2035 sent shudders through an already beleaguered automotive sector.

    Fears around falling sales that are caused by a cocktail of Brexit uncertainty, trade wars and now the Coronavirus, will no doubt be exacerbated by this latest legislation move by Number 10 and there will be some nervous discussions being held in boardrooms of car makers all over the world. In essence, the race to electrification has just been pushed up a notch or ten. OEMs, suppliers and academic partners are already working around the clock to develop EV powertrains.

     

    This is as an opportunity to position the UK as a global leader in EV development. The catch-22 is making sure we are ‘bold and brave’ in our approach to pushing the boundaries. Simon Shepherd, the recently appointed Director for the Centre for Advanced Low-Carbon Propulsion Systems (C-ALPS), is one such advocate. In his new role, the powertrain specialist will lead a £50m state-of-the-art facility for creating cleaner mobility based in the heart of Coventry. The Coventry University research initiative has been established to engage with strategic industrial partners to help move forward capabilities.

     

    FEV, a German-based engineering consultancy, is one of the founding partners and has already invested heavily in putting in some of the most advanced internal combustion and electrification test bed facilities currently available in the UK.

     

    “The race to decarbonised transport is one of the biggest challenges facing the automotive sector right now, as all of the big players try to find increasingly high-tech ways to meet stringent emission targets whilst ensuring their organisations remain profitable,” explained Simon.

    He continued: “C-ALPS has the potential answer, providing the sector with unique access to the best professors, applied learning, industrial expertise and an e-mobility hub that is packed with the latest testing, development and prototyping capabilities. Our first ten months have been about recruiting some of the UK’s best academic talent and investing in facilities that include a battery cell prototype and test facility that can produce and characterise cells.”

    Coventry University and founding partner FEV have already installed an electronics lab, battery cell prototype line and battery cycling lab alongside FEV’s own state-of-the-art engine test cells.

    C-ALPS will now look to identify key industrial partners and match their needs to the centre’s core priority research areas and capabilities, incubating project ideas that can attract ground transport and aerospace funding from bodies such as Innovate UK.

    “We have everything i

    n place at C-ALPS, whether that is the academic expertise, the technology or the space to grow in Coventry. The focus now is on exploring partnerships with businesses, so we can jointly help industry address and overcome key areas of technology development. We will also have the freedom to partner with other organisations and C-ALPS is already making strides with numerous OEMs and a number of international academic institutions, the latter opening up opportunities for collaboration in new markets

     

    Project SENSE

    In February, the European battery research project, SeNSE was officially launched – an ambitious 4-year, £10m programme to develop next generation of lithium-ion batteries.

    Five research institutes and six industrial companies from seven countries are involved, with C-ALPS the sole UK representative and charged with the responsibility of creating live monitoring of the true battery state.

    Current ‘state-of-the-art’ monitoring and control techniques for lithium-ion cells rely on full-cell potential measurement and occasional surface temperature measurements. However, Li-ion cells are complex multi-component devices and as such these techniques have poor resolution, limiting applicability,” explained Dr Tazdin Amietszajew, Assistant Professor in Battery Diagnostics at C-ALPS.

    For SeNSE, C-ALPS propose instrumentation methodology, utilising a combination of micron-scale temperature sensors facilitating internal thermal mapping and miniature quasi-reference electrodes. A combination of sensing elements can be placed on a single low-cost sensor assembly, easily adaptable to a range of cell formats and chemistries for installation into industrially relevant cells.

    Dr Amietszajew concluded:

    “We aim to use this new capability of live monitoring of the true battery state, paving the way for a deeper understanding of the Li-ion cells internal processes.”

    C-ALPS Fact File

    C-ALPS is located in a 30,000 sq/ft purpose-built hub on Cheetah Way in Coventry, housing some of the most advanced internal combustion and electrification test bed facilities currently available in the UK. The capabilities will be available to OEMs, SMEs in the supply chain and technology partners keen to accelerate the creation of new cleaner mobility systems for use across automotive, aerospace, marine and rail sectors. Over 40 new jobs have been created initially, with a number of apprentices and graduates from Coventry University already appointed.

     

     

     

    https://cdn.mtdcnc.global/cnc/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/06165841/C-ALPS-Action-Engine-500x260.jpg

    Winning the electrification race  

    The UK has a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to drive the electrification agenda, but it needs industry and academia to be on the same page.

     

    The recent Government announcement that it plans to bring forward the ban on petrol and diesel cars to 2035 sent shudders through an already beleaguered automotive sector.

    Fears around falling sales that are caused by a cocktail of Brexit uncertainty, trade wars and now the Coronavirus, will no doubt be exacerbated by this latest legislation move by Number 10 and there will be some nervous discussions being held in boardrooms of car makers all over the world. In essence, the race to electrification has just been pushed up a notch or ten. OEMs, suppliers and academic partners are already working around the clock to develop EV powertrains.

     

    This is as an opportunity to position the UK as a global leader in EV development. The catch-22 is making sure we are ‘bold and brave’ in our approach to pushing the boundaries. Simon Shepherd, the recently appointed Director for the Centre for Advanced Low-Carbon Propulsion Systems (C-ALPS), is one such advocate. In his new role, the powertrain specialist will lead a £50m state-of-the-art facility for creating cleaner mobility based in the heart of Coventry. The Coventry University research initiative has been established to engage with strategic industrial partners to help move forward capabilities.

     

    FEV, a German-based engineering consultancy, is one of the founding partners and has already invested heavily in putting in some of the most advanced internal combustion and electrification test bed facilities currently available in the UK.

     

    “The race to decarbonised transport is one of the biggest challenges facing the automotive sector right now, as all of the big players try to find increasingly high-tech ways to meet stringent emission targets whilst ensuring their organisations remain profitable,” explained Simon.

    He continued: “C-ALPS has the potential answer, providing the sector with unique access to the best professors, applied learning, industrial expertise and an e-mobility hub that is packed with the latest testing, development and prototyping capabilities. Our first ten months have been about recruiting some of the UK’s best academic talent and investing in facilities that include a battery cell prototype and test facility that can produce and characterise cells.”

    Coventry University and founding partner FEV have already installed an electronics lab, battery cell prototype line and battery cycling lab alongside FEV’s own state-of-the-art engine test cells.

    C-ALPS will now look to identify key industrial partners and match their needs to the centre’s core priority research areas and capabilities, incubating project ideas that can attract ground transport and aerospace funding from bodies such as Innovate UK.

    “We have everything i

    n place at C-ALPS, whether that is the academic expertise, the technology or the space to grow in Coventry. The focus now is on exploring partnerships with businesses, so we can jointly help industry address and overcome key areas of technology development. We will also have the freedom to partner with other organisations and C-ALPS is already making strides with numerous OEMs and a number of international academic institutions, the latter opening up opportunities for collaboration in new markets

     

    Project SENSE

    In February, the European battery research project, SeNSE was officially launched – an ambitious 4-year, £10m programme to develop next generation of lithium-ion batteries.

    Five research institutes and six industrial companies from seven countries are involved, with C-ALPS the sole UK representative and charged with the responsibility of creating live monitoring of the true battery state.

    Current ‘state-of-the-art’ monitoring and control techniques for lithium-ion cells rely on full-cell potential measurement and occasional surface temperature measurements. However, Li-ion cells are complex multi-component devices and as such these techniques have poor resolution, limiting applicability,” explained Dr Tazdin Amietszajew, Assistant Professor in Battery Diagnostics at C-ALPS.

    For SeNSE, C-ALPS propose instrumentation methodology, utilising a combination of micron-scale temperature sensors facilitating internal thermal mapping and miniature quasi-reference electrodes. A combination of sensing elements can be placed on a single low-cost sensor assembly, easily adaptable to a range of cell formats and chemistries for installation into industrially relevant cells.

    Dr Amietszajew concluded:

    “We aim to use this new capability of live monitoring of the true battery state, paving the way for a deeper understanding of the Li-ion cells internal processes.”

    C-ALPS Fact File

    C-ALPS is located in a 30,000 sq/ft purpose-built hub on Cheetah Way in Coventry, housing some of the most advanced internal combustion and electrification test bed facilities currently available in the UK. The capabilities will be available to OEMs, SMEs in the supply chain and technology partners keen to accelerate the creation of new cleaner mobility systems for use across automotive, aerospace, marine and rail sectors. Over 40 new jobs have been created initially, with a number of apprentices and graduates from Coventry University already appointed.