The 2011 Shortlist - Automotive

2 min read

Arup, E.ON, Birmingham City
Council, Coventry City Council, Aston
University, Coventry University,
Birmingham University, Jaguar Land Rover,
Tata Motors European Technical Centre,
Mitsubishi Motors UK, Mercedes Benz UK,
Coventry University Enterprises

The Coventry and Birmingham Low Emission
Vehicle Demonstrator (CABLED) consortium
is the UK’s largest trial of electric and ultralow-
emission vehicles.
The initiative is the first of its kind to place
electric vehicles (EVs) in the hands of real
users for an extended period of time and
collect quantitative and qualitative usage
data. During the trial, 110 low-carbon
vehicles are being used as everyday cars
for 12 months.
Running since 2009 and scheduled to
finish in June 2012, the project is headed up
by Arup, which is providing two Citroen C1
EV’ies and HaloIPT inductive charging, a
technology that hasn’t previously been
demonstrated anywhere else in the world.
Other consortium members include
Jaguar Land Rover, which is providing five
Range_e plug-in diesel hybrids, Tata, which
is providing 25 Tata Indica Vista EVs and
Mitsubishi, which is providing 25 Mitsubishi
MiEVs. Working in partnership with
Birmingham and Coventry city councils,
E.ON is providing public and home charging
points, while Coventry and Birmingham
universities are providing hydrogen
refuelling stations.
According to the project team, charging
data gathered from the project is allowing
early calculations of the possible effects on
grid demand levels and already influencing
national policy for a UK electric vehicle
charging network. Feedback from trial users
is also assisting automotive manufacturers
prior to mass production of EVs.
Delta Motorsport, Totalsim, Oxford
YASA Motors, Advanced Composites
Group, KS Composites, Penso Consulting,
Simpack UK

Capable of 0-60mph in 6.5 seconds, and
able to travel more than 120 miles on a single
charge, Delta Motorsport’s E4-Coupe is a
striking example of the UK’s burgeoning
electric vehicle expertise.

Taking the relatively low energy density
of even the best lithium batteries as a
starting point, the team behind the car left
no stone unturned in the quest for energy
efficiency: reducing weight, enhancing
aerodynamic performance, and optimising
the power train.
To reduce weight, the team deployed
a range of novel materials throughout the
vehicle. The result is a car that weighs just
975kg, despite a battery pack that weighs
350kg. The most striking example of this is
in the chassis, which, thanks to the use of
carbon composite materials, weighs just
65kg, less than a third of the mass of a
typical small car’s chassis.
On the aerodynamic side, Delta worked
with Totalsim on the development of an
innovative layout to accommodate four
adult occupants that would keep the car
very compact and allow a slippery
exterior shape to clothe it.
Meanwhile, Delta teamed up with the
Electrical Power Group at Oxford University
to develop an electric motor with a peak
efficiency of more than 94 per cent, meaning
that over most drive cycles the efficiency of
the power train (including power electronics
and mechanical drive train) stays close to
90 per cent.
The team also exploited every
opportunity it could to enhance the
performance of the car. For instance,
mounting the batteries beneath the floor
gives the E4 a centre of gravity almost as
low as a single-seater racing car, while
centralising the battery mass between the
wheels has also contributed to its handling.
Delta is currently seeking partners to
take the car into production and believes
that the vehicle’s scalable production
processes will see its cost fall quickly
as production volume increases.

innovITS, MIRA and TRL

Intelligent transport systems (ITS) that
enable vehicles to communicate both with
each other and traffic infrastructure could
lead to significant improvements in road
safety, as well as a more efficient use of
transport. However, until now, it has been
difficult for automotive firms to develop and
test these systems in a realistic environment.
Launched earlier this summer at MIRA’s
West Midlands proving ground, InnovITS
Advance is the first dedicated facility of its
kind for testing infrastructure for intelligent
transport systems and has been set up to
fast track the development and validation
of a range of technologies for preventing
crashes, reducing congestion and
lessening pollution.
At the heart of the facility is the ’City
Circuit’, which provides a unique network of
roads, combined with an open architecture
of multi-zoned Wi-Fi and GSM mobile
telecoms systems that can be configured
according to the precise needs of testing.
The facility enables the precise
specification of road conditions and
communications to represent almost any
urban scenario from around the globe, and
can replicate precisely the conditions of
global navigational satellite system access
and denial of any mix of ’virtual’ buildings
specified on the site, from the urban
canyons of Manhattan or Docklands-style
high-rise neighbourhoods to low-rise
industrial estate or suburban sprawl.
The team behind the centre claims
that it will enable engineers from the
automotive, telematics, telecoms and
transportation sectors to work together to
pull forward many new technologies and
innovations that might otherwise never
reach the market.