WMG to collaborate with JLR on £5.7m electric vehicle project

Jaguar I-Pace

Jaguar Land Rover and WMG at the University of Warwick are to collaborate on a £5.7m programme developing electric vehicle technology.

WMG has been awarded funding by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to form a Prosperity Partnership with the vehicle maker.

Professor Barbara Shollock, of WMG, said: “This Prosperity Partnership will tackle the emerging challenges for vehicle electrification through a unique collaboration to grow scientific understanding.

“This integrated approach brings the potential for the UK to lead, both industrially and scientifically, in an area of high growth and relevance in the UK’s industrial strategy.

“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 programme forms a key aspect of the Government’s much-vaunted Industrial Strategy. The aim of the strategy is to make the UK a global leader in the technology of vehicle electrification.

It also envisions that by 2050 almost every car and van in the UK will be an ultra-low emission vehicle, with the UK at the forefront of their design, development and manufacture.

However, in order to achieve this there needs to be a step-change in knowledge, understanding and technology and the hope is that the Prosperity Partnership will help achieve that.

Jaguar Land Rover is already planning to have ultra-clean diesels and petrol engines, BEVs, PHEVs and MHEVs across its product range. Its first BEV (Battery-powered Electric Vehicle), the Jaguar I-PACE will be on the roads next year and by 2020, customers will be offered the option of electrification on half of its vehicles.

WMG said its research into the range of the technologies needed was already considerable; one example being WMG’s Energy Innovation Centre, a national facility for battery research. This facility supports the test, development and scale-up of new battery chemistries from concept through to fully-proven traction batteries.

Current research focuses on developing cheaper, higher energy density, safer batteries with emphasis on new battery chemistries, electro-mechanical behaviour, second life applications, super-capacitors and high rate chemistries.

WMG and Jaguar Land Rover have identified energy systems and advanced propulsion as the starting point for the new partnership. The research will focus on bearing and gear surfaces, batteries, power electronics and electric machines. However, the partnership will also embed that research into learning within skills programmes.