Warwickshire company secures £11.3m investment for motorsport-inspired energy recovery system for electric vehicles

A company from Warwickshire has won support for an £11.3m project to develop and manufacture an energy recovery system to reduce energy use in electric cars and vans.

The e-MOTIF project led by Shield Manufacturing Technologies in Southam combines lightweight energy recovery technology from motorsport with a new motor and inverter for electric cars and vans to cut energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

The technology is scalable and cost effective for global manufacturers and will lead to three new manufacturing centres opening across the UK.

Chris Shield, managing director of the Shield Group said: “Shield Manufacturing Technologies is delighted to be working with the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) and our partners to accelerate the development and production readiness of cutting-edge engineered technologies. The evolving market opportunity for this family of power-dense electric drive modules will generate significant numbers of skilled roles with associated investment across Shield’s facilities in the Midlands and opportunities for the region’s supplier base.”

It comes as more than £54m in combined government and industry funding has been committed to three projects across the UK for cars, buses, heavy goods vehicles and vans.

Jon Beasley, business development and programmes director at the APC, said: “The project being carried out by Shield Manufacturing Technologies will bring motorsport expertise and innovation to further develop the electrification of passenger cars and vans and will accelerate the transition of the automotive sector to a net-zero future. As one of three projects to benefit from £54 million of investment, the funding will enable the UK to apply its world-class innovation and experience in electrification of vehicles across the supply chain in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.”
Other projects to receive funding from the latest APCfunding competition APC17 include:
EPIC (Electric Powertrain Integration for Heavy Commercial Vehicles) – The next generation of zero emissions heavy commercial vehicles need lightweight ‘smart’ powertrains to manage extreme levels of electrical power. The EPIC project led by Meritor in Cwmbran integrates the key elements of motor, inverter, gearbox, differential and brakes in a single lightweight system for vehicles up to 44 tonnes and includes coaches, off-highway and construction vehicles.

Next Gen FCEV – Wrightbus in Ballymena is developing hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicle single and double-deck buses. This programme will enable higher volume production at lower cost and create a centre of excellence for zero emissions hydrogen technology to upskill and share knowledge in the UK.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The UK is leading the world by developing cutting edge technology that will help to tackle climate change and lead to a green, competitive future for our automotive supply chain.

“These projects will not only help accelerate the wider application of greener technology in lorries and buses, but will also help generate the high-skilled jobs to level up communities across the UK while ensuring we build back greener from the pandemic.”

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “As we look to reduce our carbon emissions, strive towards our net-zero goals and level up right across the UK, the whole transport sector will need to embrace new innovative technology such as green hydrogen and these projects are a fantastic example of doing just that.

“I’m proud to see the UK leading the way in the global transition to zero-emission vehicles. In the next decade, we’ll continue to be at the forefront of their design, manufacture and use as we build back greener.”