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Advanced Propulsion Systems


Building a future for low carbon transport means developing propulsion systems which are a viable and attractive proposition for manufacturers and end-users. Current major challenges for industry include the cost and performance of electrified powertrains in comparison to conventional engines; the increasing integration of electrical and electronic components into system architectures; and the ability to scale up and manufacture components in sufficient, cost effective quantities whilst maintaining essential levels of quality, performance and safety.

Our research scope covers energy storage systems, electric machines and power electronics and system energy management. We are working with partners across application areas including high volume passenger car, high performance vehicles, off-highway and commercial vehicles, rail and marine systems. The specifications and requirements for different markets and applications vary significantly; we bring cross-sector expertise and experience to work with partners in developing optimised solutions. Our research facilities are designed to support research from fundamental materials and electrochemistry development through to component, powertrain and vehicle system integration testing and demonstration.

More about our Research Areas>>

Our People

We bring together experts from across disciplines and sectors to progress research, development and scale up of propulsion technologies towards application. Our expertise spans and integrates disciplines including chemistry, materials, engineering, computer modelling and manufacturing and we work openly with academic and industrial partners to share knowledge across applications. Our People>>

Our Projects

We work on collaborative projects which cover the areas of Energy Storage, Management and Conversion. Many of our projects are undertaken jointly with other WMG research groups such as for Manufacturing Automation, Electrochemical Engineering or Materials Manufacturing. Our research portfolio covers a variety of collaborative projects from early stage fundamental research through to industrial scale up. Our Projects>>

Our Facilities

New opportunities require demonstration in industrially relevant formats and quantities and to the required standards of quality, performance and reliability. Our Energy Innovation Centre provides a critical part of the UK's R&D infrastructure for academic and industrial partners to undertake research, development and scale up of advanced propulsion technologies into products for industry. Our facilities include

  • Battery materials scale up line including mixing, coating and cell building
  • Battery testing and characterisation including in-use and abuse testing
  • Advanced modelling and simulation facilities
  • Electric / hybrid drives test facility
  • Manufacturing / production pilot line facilities
Integrated Energy Research Accelerator (I-ERA)

The Integrated Energy Research Accelerator has been developed to deliver integrated energy solutions addressing three major energy use markets: transport, buildings and manufacturing. Phase one of I-ERA will provide £20M capital funding for unique facilities to support energy storage R&D and to deliver on the potential of energy storage for propulsion and 2nd life applications.

National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC)

Our National Automotive Innovation Centre will be a key development in the area of advanced propulsion research. Within NAIC, an Advanced Propulsion Research Laboratory will address the national requirement to position the UK as a leading innovator in this area. Research will encompass internal combustion engines, hybrid and electric systems, lightweight vehicle technology and advanced automotive control systems.