The Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) based at the University of Warwick has been awarded £5.7 million by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for research into electric cars, in partnership with Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).
The research includes bearing and gear surfaces, batteries, power electronics and electric machines. The partnership with JLR will also focus on incorporating the research into skills programmes, for both academic and training purposes.
This award is part of a set of “Prosperity Partnerships”, which will receive £31 million of government funding from the EPSRC and the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).
A further £36 million comes from partner organisations in cash or in-kind contributions, plus £11 million from the various partner universities’ funds, amounting to £78 million in total.
Prosperity Partnerships are an initiative of the EPSRC aimed at encouraging research and collaborations between universities and the business sector. Ten universities, one of which is the University of Warwick, will lead on eleven different projects.
These were announced by Jo Johnson, the Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation on Thursday 13th July 2017 at a special event at BT’s headquarters in London.
Electrification, i.e. the introduction of electric cars on the market, is part of UK’s strategy to ensure that by 2050 almost every vehicle will have ultra-low emissions.
WMG’s Professor Barbara Shollock said: “This Prosperity Partnership will tackle the emerging challenges for vehicle electrification through a unique collaboration to grow scientific understanding.
“Our shared vision is to create new scientific insights to underpin the Automotive Council’s electrification agenda, from batteries and power electronics to electric motors and electric drive units.”
The news comes after announcements by JLR that they will expand their Coventry operations by hiring 5000 engineers. The WMG also announced plans to establish a National Battery Prototype Centre, aiming to create a national centre for battery technology for the next generation of self-driving, connected and electric vehicles.