The key technology challenge faced by the automotive industry over the next 30 years will be the reduction of emissions from vehicles. This can be achieved through a combination of technology developments including reducing vehicle weight, improvements to powertrains and reducing use of carbon-based fuels.
The automotive industry has established broad consensus on vehicle technology roadmaps to encourage collaboration on the development of improved powertrain technologies such as for hybrid and electric vehicles. In many cases, the technology already exists to make low carbon vehicles, but it is not currently affordable for most consumers; technological innovation is required to accelerate the commercialisation of such technology into high volume automotive markets. In addition to considerations of CO2 reduction during the life of the vehicle, R&D must now consider the CO2 associated with the entire manufacturing supply chain process from materials production, manufacturing to end-of-life.
The UK automotive sector is spearheading progress in energy storage and management R&D, led by the Automotive Council and the government and industry funded Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), which we are pleased to host on campus.
WMG Capabilities in Energy Innovation
Our research activities cover the full cycle of development, characterisation and verification of battery and powertrain systems from concept to testing and demonstration at scale. WMG draws on its multi-disciplinary research groups in a number of areas to work with partners on energy innovation projects, these include:
Energy Innovation Centre
WMG's Energy Innovation Centre is a world class energy storage facility which enables creation, development and testing of new battery chemistries from concept through to fully proven traction batteries produced in sufficient quantities for detailed evaluation in target applications. The EIC comprises a battery materials pilot line, battery characterisation laboratory and abuse testing chambers and an electric/hybrid drive test facility. Research ranges in scale from active materials and cell chemistries through the development of battery packs and integration into powertrain and vehicle systems. All of our work is undertaken to create real business impact for our partners, from suppliers of novel battery materials through to global automotive manufacturing companies.
Advanced Propulsion Centre Electrical Energy Storage Spoke
We are delighted to have been selected as the APC's Electrical Energy Storage Spoke, to co-ordinate a technical community with a shared interest in battery systems for hybrid and electric vehicles. As a Spoke, we will bring together a community of academic and industrial organisations with a focus on electrical energy storage including battery and supercapacitor technologies, battery management systems, and battery pack integration. This community will inform APC strategy in this field, and will support the APC in developing and delivering these technologies to the market.
More about the APC Spoke at WMG>>