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Innovation: Motor Vehicles

Volume 491: debated on Monday 20 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what projects to develop more environmentally efficient private motor vehicles have been sponsored by his Department’s Technology Strategy Board; and what progress has been made on those projects. (243810)

The technology strategy board’s portfolio of collaborative R and D projects comprises DTI funded legacy projects that preceded its establishment as an executive body, and those funded under its low carbon vehicles innovation platform. The projects are typically of three year duration, and the following list includes the name of the lead consortium partner:

Legacy projects

Enhanced Diesel Engine Lubrication Systems for Reduced C02 Emissions—Ford Motor Company.

2/4SIGHT—Downsized 2 Stroke/4 Stroke switching engine for passenger cars—Ricardo.

Energy Efficient Electric Urban Transport—Zytek Electric Vehicles.


Development of the rheo-diecasting process for lightweight automotive components—Innoval.

Low carbon vehicle innovation platform

Axon 60: A structural carbon fibre car with plug-in hybrid option—Axon Automotive Ltd.

Li-ion Batteries for Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles—FiFe Batteries Ltd.

Engine optimisation for reduced parasitic losses—Ford Motor Company Ltd.

Commercial vehicle fuel and carbon reduction by the use of ‘aerospace aero’ devices—Hatcher Components Limited.

Flywheel Hybrid System for Premium Vehicles—Jaguar Cars Limited.

Limo-Green—Jaguar Cars Ltd.

Lower Cost, Lightweight Vehicles by Increasing the Use of Post Consumer Aluminium Scrap—Jaguar Land Rover.

Range Extended Electric Vehicle REHEV—Land Rover.

High torque density electric drive for commercial vehicles (HiTED)—Magnomatics Ltd.

2/4CAR 2/4-Stroke Switching Carbon Reduction Vehicle—Ricardo UK Ltd.

Lightweight lead Acid Battery for Low Carbon Vehicles (LAB-LCV)—TWI Ltd.

Adventurous R and D projects such as these have an element of uncertainty and risk by their very nature. Exploitation strategies, which are commercially confidential, setting out how the project consortium plans to exploit the results are a key component of the business case submitted to the technology strategy board and can include the development of new products or processes, the publication of results or the stimulation of further work.

These strategies are re-visited during the course of the work and the technology strategy board have monitoring systems in place to encourage robust self-monitoring and to maximise exploitation during and beyond the project’s life-time and to monitor the impact of projects at least five years after the end of the project.

While the projects funded under the innovation platform are at a formative stage, a majority of the legacy projects such as those led by Zytek and Ford have already resulted in excellent technical outputs, while the Morgan LIFECar have been presented at the Geneva Motor Show and been featured extensively in the UK press and media. The technology strategy board will now work to ensure that where appropriate, technical advances are incorporated into the relevant company development plans.