GKN to launch UK eDrive research centre

GKN Automotive is launching a new Advanced Research Centre to develop next generation eDrive systems for future electric vehicles.

GKN Automotive

In collaboration with Nottingham and Newcastle Universities, the automotive tech company is aiming to ‘push the boundaries’ of eDrive technology and accelerate modular innovation through a focus on development of ultra-high efficiency EDUs.

GKN Automotive’s £3.5m investment in the Advanced Research Centre, co-located across three engineering facilities, is partly supported through the Melrose Skills Fund to increase automotive electrification capability and strengthen R&D in the UK.

The project will be virtually shared between the universities’ engineering departments, with research teams at each university collaborating with engineers at the GKN Automotive Innovation Centre.

“GKN Automotive is a pioneer of advanced eDrive development and this new research partnership will play a key role in strengthening the innovation of electrification technologies for future advanced propulsion systems,” said Gordon Day, managing director of GKN Automotive Innovation Centre.

“We are extremely proud that this research will be in partnership with Newcastle University and the University of Nottingham, two renowned and respected global leaders in automotive electrification engineering research. 


“Both institutions will also play a leading role in helping us develop a supply of high-calibre engineering talent, which is essential to enable us to put the UK at the forefront of global automotive industry innovation.”

The research supports the UK’s technology roadmap set out by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) and further strengthens GKN Automotive’s collaborative links within the UK Innovation Network.

Both partner universities are part of the APC’s ‘spoke’ community, bringing together specialist academic, technological and commercial expertise from across the UK to share best practice for the development of low emission propulsion technologies.

Nottingham University is the APC’s spoke for power electronics, and home to the Driving the Electric Revolution (DER) Industrialisation Centre — Midlands. Newcastle University is the spoke for electric motors and leads the national network of four DER Industrialisation Centres including Driving the Electric Revolution Industrialisation Centre – North East.

The Centres are backed by £33m UKRI funding, aiming to bring UK manufacturing to the forefront of global efforts to tackle climate change and reach net zero emissions by 2050.