Network backing for low carbon innovation

Fifteen low carbon vehicle feasibility projects have received up to £8,000 in funding from the Niche Vehicle Network.

Supported by Innovate UK and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), the competition will fund up to 75% of the winners’ projects.

Among the winning feasibility projects were an aerodynamic, passive battery-cooling floor pan for an innovative electric performance sports car; the use of braided composites for lightweight crash structures; a high voltage, high current electronic fuse for electric vehicle battery systems; a lightweight composite bell-housing for niche powertrains; cost reductions from tubular chassis tooling and laser cutting operations; the development of a lightweight, high energy density, swappable battery pack; the development of a fully electric single seater road car; and the platooning of autonomous PODs for aerodynamic and power improvements.

Announcing the winners at the Niche Vehicle Network Member’s Forum, Dr Viv Stephens, Network director, said, ‘Our short-term feasibility study programme is playing a vital role supporting UK engineering innovation. In the global automotive sector, highly creative and dynamic niche businesses are sometimes overlooked, and our three-month funding packages, provide important support to early market R&D projects such as these.

‘This funding, provided by Innovate UK and OLEV, offers a helping hand towards commercialisation for many SME’s, who otherwise may struggle to make their innovative ideas a reality.’