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List of winning NVN’s niche vehicle R&D competition as announced at Cenex LCV2013

Following the Niche Vehicle Network’s (NVN) 2013 R&D funding competition in April, it was announced at LCV 2013 11 niche vehicle manufacturers have been successful in securing a share of the total £1.35 million of funding available.

Morgan Plus E

A selection of NVN's previous awards winners were on display inside and outside the LCV 2013 halls, including the Morgan Plus E, developed in partnership with Zytek Automotive and Potenza Technology, shown above.

The projects, each lasting no more than 6 months, have been funded to develop a range of innovative low carbon solutions for both niche and volume vehicle manufacturers. Investment into the engineering projects has been provided by the NVN (a network of niche vehicle manufacturers, specialist technology and supply chain companies), with backing from the Technology Strategy Board and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

The NVN’s annual R&D competition aims to accelerate the development of cleaner and more fuel efficient vehicles through more efficient propulsion systems, the use of alternative fuels, improved aerodynamics and reduced weight.

The winners announced at the Cenex LCV 2013 event at Millbrook Proving Ground on 4 and 5 September, where the companies were presented with their grants, were:

  • Project Title:  Lightweight composite/aluminium niche vehicle platform. Lead Organisation:  Zenos Cars. Partner Organisations: First Principle Design, HPL Prototypes Limited. Project SummaryNiche Vehicle Services (trading as “Zenos Cars”), is an established automotive concern involved in the design, manufacture, marketing and retailing of ultra-low mass sports cars.  The Zenos team, with its technical partners, will aim to integrate a hybrid of advanced and re-cycled materials as part of an innovative vehicle architecture, delivering a proof of concept fully functional running prototype.  The objective of the project is to validate the materials selection and vehicle architecture.
  • Project Title: Safe And Versatile Torque control (SAVanT). Lead Organisation: Delta Motorsport Limited. Partner Organisations: YASA Motors Ltd, Potenza Technology Ltd. Project SummaryThe aim of this project is to produce a world leading electric vehicle demonstrator showcasing 4WD and torque vectoring capability and utilising the latest motor and battery management technology. Three significant developments will be implemented on an existing Delta E-4 Coupe, giving enhanced efficiency and functionality as well as a wider stability envelope: a “torque demand” strategy that is capable of controlling any configuration of electric motors; an upgraded, more efficient, YASA-750 electric motor and an upgraded battery management system.
  • Project Title: E-Supercharger for Super-compact Range Extender. Lead Organisation: Aeristech Ltd. Partner Organisations: Mahle Powertrain Ltd. Project Summary Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) with limited electric only range exist on the market, as do a number of fully electric vehicles (EVs) which have associated range anxiety and purchase cost issues.  A technically accepted solution is the Range Extended Electric Vehicle (REEV), which has a range extender (REx) unit added to the EV, which still has the potential for radical CO2 emission reductions (up to 80% Vs IC engine).  This consortium has brought together partners with complementary expertise and technologies to deliver a super-compact REx unit with a high power density.  The project will design, develop and validate the concept with a proof-of-concept demonstrator eSupercharger and engine integrated system.
  • Project Title: ST4. Lead Organisation: Westfield Sportscars Limited. Partner Organisations: GRP Building Products, Birmingham City University, Safety Belt Solutions, Cobra Seats. Project Summary The purpose of the project is to help research and design a new Westfield vehicle for the global market place.  The new vehicle is being designed to be 20% lighter compared to the existing range of products, to reduce the g/km emissions by 15% and to improve the aerodynamic structure of the vehicle.  The components for the vehicle will be designed to be interchangeable with existing cars (where possible) to increase the whole vehicle life of Westfield vehicles in service. 
  • Project Title: Electrochemistry Model-Based ECU for Hybrid Power Systems. Lead Organisation: Arcola Energy Ltd. Partner Organisations: ML Electronics Ltd. Project Summary The end result of this project is to create the technology and products that will revolutionise the life and efficiency of power systems in fuel cell hybrid applications. The consortium will design and test an Electrochemistry Model Based Electronic Control Unit (ECU) for Hybrid Power Systems including fuel cells, batteries and/or super-capacitors. The Electrochemistry Model Based ECU approach delivers significant additional benefit through centralising expertise and responsibility for the entire power system (i.e. fuel cells, batteries and/or super-capacitors) to give optimum performance, lifetime and cost.The ECU will be developed to support Arcola's existing "AutoPak" fuel cell system and will include remote monitoring.
  • Project Title: 100 MPG Ultra Efficient Sportscar. Lead Organisation: Great British Sports Cars Ltd. Partner Organisations: Caged Laser Engineering Ltd, That’s It! Design Ltd. Project Summary This project sets out with an objective to design and develop a lightweight highly efficient sports car capable of returning 100mpg through the combination of a latest generation Euro 6 compliant drivetrain, an aerodynamically effective body and lightweight chassis and hardware architecture.  The end result of this project will be a drivable chassis to allow physical validation of the drive train suitability, with CFD aerodynamic analysis to prove the effectiveness of the over and under body airflow management.
  • Project Title: Development of an Implementation-Ready Euro VI Methane Oxidation After-treatment for Dual-Fuel Heavy Duty Vehicles. Lead Organisation: Clean Air Power Ltd. Partner Organisations: Eminox Ltd, CDTi Ltd. Project Summary The objective of this project is to design, manufacture, install and test a novel and complex exhaust after-treatment system (EATS) that is intended for the reduction of methane emission from Dual-Fuel diesel-natural gas engines for Heavy-Duty truck Euro VI.  The final deliverable of this project will be a near “Implementation-Ready” (IR) pre-production prototype system installed and tested on an engine-test facility and on a trial-vehicle, demonstrating verified and validated catalytic and mechanical operation. 
  • Project Title: Pulsar Range Extender Modelling for Optimisation (PREMO). Lead Organisation:  miTechnology. Partner Organisations: Oaktec, Simon Hindle. Project Summary The PREMO project will conduct research to evaluate a novel, high efficiency, combustion engine concept that utilises standard 4-stroke engine architecture and well understood components in a unique way to create an engine with novel gas flow, gas dynamic and combustion architecture.   The development engine will be installed and tested with an EV drive train in the lightweight, aerodynamically efficient ASTAN vehicle chassis.
  • Project Title: Light-weighting the Electric Quadricycle. Lead Organisation: Arden Automotive Ltd. Partner Organisations: Speeder Design Ltd, Javan Sports Cars Ltd, Hyperdrive Innovation Ltd. Project Summary The primary objective of this project is to investigate and create a viable, safe and desirable product in the form of an electrically driven single seat quadricycle. The proposed vehicle is to represent a safe and efficient mode of personal transport without the drawbacks associated with the safety of two wheeled mopeds or the poor efficiency and emissions of current quadricycle products. The target use of this product will be for new drivers in the 16 to 17 age range and also in a wider context for general commuting purposes.

NVN has been a catalyst for over 105 different business collaborations

All of the projects funded by the Niche Vehicle Network receive 50% of their total costs from the network whilst the balance of the project costs is covered by their own resources. All of the projects are collaborative between two or more UK based companies active in the niche vehicle sector.

Supported by the Technology Strategy Board, the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, the Niche Vehicle Network promotes and stimulates collaborative research and development projects within niche vehicle SMEs. NVN has been a catalyst for over 105 different business collaborations and has facilitated the development of a range of prototype vehicles and process improvement projects.



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[...] The Pulsar Range Extender Modelling for Optimisation (PREMO) project was one of 11 niche vehicle manufacturers have been successful in securing a share of the total £1.35 million of funding... [...] Read More
Posted on 20/05/14 09:22.

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