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Business Minister Announces £3 million for Warwick led low carbon vehicle research

Professor Phil Mawby University of WarwickBusiness minister Mark Prisk has announced that the School of Engineering at the University of Warwick is to lead a £3 million programme to enhance the electrical drive systems of electric vehicles.

Professor Phil Mawby, in the University of Warwick’s School of Engineering, will lead a consortium of UK researchers looking at technological enhancements to electrical vehicles’ electrical drive systems that both improve their power density and reduce their cost allowing more electric vehicles to reach the mass consumer market.

Professor Mawby says:

“The high cost of electric vehicles is often attributed to the cost of their batteries when in fact the cost of the electrical powertrain is much higher than that of an equivalent internal combustion engine. Much research is already focused on batteries but we also need to work on this neglected feature of electrical vehicles and we have some novel ideas that we think will bring great benefits.”

The Warwick research will be funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) who are providing £10 million for three major projects at Warwick, Loughborough, and Brunel universities to address fundamental research questions in developing low carbon vehicles. These projects have been developed by EPSRC with the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) through the Low Carbon Vehicle Innovation Platform Integrated Delivery Programme.

The work at Warwick builds on the earlier research success and research capacity built up by Warwick's School of Engineering through the £10m Birmingham Science City initiative.

Business Minister Mark Prisk said:

"The Coalition Government is absolutely committed to low carbon growth, tackling climate change and making our energy supply more secure.

"This highlights UK success as advanced manufacturers of low carbon vehicles and the £10m research grant will help ensure that the UK remains a world leader."

Chief Executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Professor Dave Delpy, said:

"As part of the Integrated Delivery Programme, EPSRC will be supporting a strategic programme of university-based research. The provision of high quality academic research ideas provides the basis for businesses to translate science into the vehicle market."

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said:

"Our world class science and research base is critical to promoting economic growth in emerging technologies, including low carbon vehicles.

"We have protected the science and research budget for the next four years. This will boost employment and instill the confidence of other investors. But, above all, it will improve people's quality of life by pushing at the frontiers of our knowledge."

For further information please contact:

Professor Mawby, School of Engineering , University of Warwick
Email: Phone: 024 765 24742

Peter Dunn, Head of Communications, University of Warwick
Tel: 024 76 523708 Mobile 07767 655860

PR29 16th March 2011