British Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) has selected the University of Warwick, UK, as hub location for research and development of low carbon propulsion systems.
The £1 billion research centre will be located on campus at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), a division of the University focused on low carbon mobility, including energy storage and battery testing. APC is to invest up to £200m in projects this year.
The central hub aims to, together with a national spoke structure, provide the UK automotive industry with resources and facilities to develop propulsion systems and supply chains, according to APC.
The WMG facility “Energy Innovation Centre” comprises a battery scale-up line including a battery characterisation laboratory and an electric/hybrid test facility to enable industrial-scale testing. The facility is focused on identifying and demonstrating lithium batteries with higher energy densities and improved safety while reducing costs. The facility is also funded by the UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. A new £100m research and development facility, the National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC), will be built next year on campus. The NAIC will cooperate with the APC hub.
“There will be continuous calls for advanced powertrain projects, which go beyond engines into the research of hybrids and the whole function system,” Paul Blackmore, project manager at WMG High Value Manufacturing told BEST. “There are a number of automotive companies involved in the first programme, but also companies such as JCB and Flybrid. It is a real mix,” he added.
Other projects include Ford, GKN Land Systems and Cummins.
“The competition to identify the location for the APC Hub has reinforced the fact that the UK is strategically placed to be a worldwide centre for low carbon propulsion systems, R&D and production,” said APC chief executive Tony Pixton. The ten-year programme aims to secure and grow over 30,000 jobs in the UK.
The APC, formed in 2013, is a collaboration between industry and government in order to support the research and development of advanced propulsion systems.
More investments and projects will be announced in autumn this year.