Four different auto companies, all working together in the UK electric car consortium (along with Axeon, EVO Electric and Xtrac) called REEVolution. As the name kind of gives away, the goal is to "expand and enhance technology" used in extended-range electric vehicles in the premium sector (these plug-in hybrids are called range extended electric vehicles, thus REEV, in the UK). The UK government announced yesterday that REEVolution, part of the UK's Integrated Delivery Programme Competition for Low Carbon Vehicles, would be given £9.5million.
The makers of the little Think City fit into the consortium through Think's experience with electric powertrains. The automaker will supply the electric vehicle drivetrain controller and other advanced components to the consortium. Think spokesman Jon Harmon said, "This is an important step forward in global EV development and Think is right in the thick of it."
The program's goals are to improve the results of a previous project that Jaguar Land Rover and Lotus Engineering did called Limo Green (pictured). That extended-range electric Jaguar XJ got around 47 mpg (U.S.) on the EU combined cycle with a 30-mile electric range and CO2 emissions under 120 grams per kilometer. REEVolution will "develop components and systems, as demonstrated on Limo Green, onto global levels of quality and reliability as required by production vehicles." Who wouldn't want all that in a production Jaguar XJ?
THINK JOINS CONSORTIUM OF LEADING CAR MANUFACTURERS LED BY JAGUAR LAND ROVER TO SUPPORT PROJECT TO DELIVER NEXT GENERATION OF HIGH-PERFORMANCE ELECTRIC POWERED VEHICLES
OSLO, Norway, 16 September 2010 - The Technology Strategy Board alongside the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Office for Low Emissions Vehicles (OLEV) has today announced funding for the next stage of its Integrated Delivery Programme (IDP) Competition for Low Carbon Vehicles. A consortium of automotive partners has been awarded £9.5million to expand and enhance technology for range extended electric vehicles (REEV) in the premium sector in a research project called REEVolution.
The consortium partners – Jaguar Land Rover, Lotus Engineering, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd, THINK, Axeon, EVO Electric and Xtrac – will contribute between them a total of £11million to the programme which, in addition to the competition funding makes a £20million project investment in the future of low carbon vehicle technologies. The consortium companies will collaborate over the next two years to develop advanced electric powertrains and a greater understanding of the commercial requirements needed for high performance electric and range extended electric vehicles. The work will accelerate the development of new technologies and key commodities whilst laying the foundations for a globally competitive supply base.
The REEVolution programme is the next phase of a previously successful project led by Jaguar Land Rover and involved Lotus Engineering called Limo Green, a series hybrid range extended electric Jaguar XJ. The project was part funded by the Technology Strategy Board and the concept demonstrator delivered sub 120g/km tailpipe CO2, had fuel consumption bettering 57mpg, a top speed of 180mph, an overall range of 600 miles and in Electric Vehicle (EV) mode, an impressive 30 miles. This new project will develop components and systems, as demonstrated on Limo Green, onto global levels of quality and reliability as required by production vehicles.
Speaking on behalf of the consortium, Pete Richings, Chief Engineer of Hybrid Technology at lead partner Jaguar Land Rover said: "REEVolution is going to take us to the next level of understanding in delivering high end performance on premium and desirable electric and hybrid cars. With three demonstration vehicle programmes from three companies, Jaguar Land Rover, Lotus and Nissan, the learning and feedback from this project will be invaluable on the road to vehicle electrification."
The REEVolution target is to deliver advanced Jaguar, Lotus and Nissan engineering demonstrator vehicles with a sub 50g/km tailpipe CO2 emissions, which is typically a 70-75% saving over a similar vehicle with a conventional powertrain. These vehicles will benefit from technology developed by each of the consortium partners in the project and further the EV and HEV competency in the UK. The knowledge and results from this REEVolution project will also feed into the development of next generation components from the emerging UK supply base.
Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said: "The work that we are doing through the Low Carbon Vehicles Integrated Delivery Programme reinforces the Automotive Council's focus on both supply chain and technology. Both these areas will be vital if the mass production of low carbon vehicles in the UK is to become a reality. We are delighted to support the REEVolution project, which will develop new technologies while helping to build a globally competitive supply base."
The funding for REEVolution was awarded as part of Stage 4 of the Technology Strategy Board's Low Carbon VehicleIntegrated Delivery Programme Competition.
Notes to editors:
Technology Strategy Board: Integrated Delivery Programme
The Integrated Delivery Programme is a £200m investment programme, jointly funded by Government and business that will help to speed up the introduction of new low carbon vehicles onto Britain's roads. The Programme will co-ordinate the UK's low carbon vehicle activity from initial strategic research through collaborative research and development, leading to the production of demonstration vehicles.
REEVolution was awarded as part of Stage 4 of the Integrated Delivery Programme Competition: http://www.innovateuk.org/content/competition/integrated-delivery-programme-competition-4-.ashx.
Consortium Member's Contribution Summary
Jaguar Land Rover
Jaguar Land Rover will be lead partner on the REEVolution project and coordinate activity through its advance research team, which developed the Limo Green concept demonstrator. With more than 100 engineers working on electric and hybrid technologies the company is developing a number of projects to power environmentally sustainable, commercially viable premium vehicles.
Lotus Engineering is responsible for the design and integration of two hybrid Lotus Evora demonstrator vehicles and the integration of series hybrid vehicles for Nissan. Both the Lotus and Nissan vehicles will feature the Lotus Range Extender engine as part of the series hybrid drivetrain using the systems from other partners within the consortium.
The vehicles will include a highly complex drivetrain managed by the Lotus T6 controller with other systems to enhance the driving experience, demonstrating the expert capability of Lotus Engineering to integrate and develop advanced technologies for exciting and efficient hybrid vehicles
Dr Robert Hentschel, Director of Lotus Engineering, said: "The REEVolution Project furthers the UK's EV and HEV capabilities and stimulates the UK manufacturing base for green niche vehicles. Each of Lotus Engineering's core competencies: lightweight architectures, efficient performance, electrical and electronics integration and driving dynamics are illustrated by the advanced REEVolution Project."
Nissan Motor Co. Ltd
As the UK's largest car manufacturer, Nissan, with a factory in Sunderland, technical Centre based in Cranfield, and Design Centre in London, is ideally situated to work alongside UK-based companies to examine this opportunity for range extended electric vehicles. It complements Nissan's already substantial investment in bringing European production of the world's first mass-market EV, Nissan LEAF to the UK alongside the European production plant for batteries in Sunderland.
Says Nissan's Senior Vice President of Global Products, Andy Palmer: "As a technical innovator and leader in bringing Zero-emission cars such as the Nissan LEAF to market, Nissan sees no compromise between delivering a great driving experience and being environmentally friendly.
"We believe that we should look at as many different alternatives and specialized technologies as possible as we move towards a truly low-carbon automotive future. This collaboration provides an ideal opportunity to further develop and expand the contribution that our workforce in the UK has towards developing global innovations that support this environmental goal. The support that UK Government is providing through TSB has encouraged us to enter in to this development activity specifically in the UK against competition from other regional development centres."
Scandinavian electric vehicle pioneer, THINK, will develop the traction inverter module, DC-DC converter and the motor control module interface for its part in the consortium to deliver high performance, luxury electric vehicles with extended range generation technology.
THINK CEO, Richard Canny, said: "We are very proud to have been chosen to play a vital role in this pioneering project, alongside some of the UK's industry leaders. This is great validation that THINK's experience and pioneering developments in the electric vehicle industry, which we've perfected over two decades and 30 million miles of real world knowledge of EVs, can help improve the performance of high end sports and luxury models."
He added: "Having just delivered the world's most advanced commercially available drive-train in our fourth-generation controller, we are looking forward to continuing our technical development with the backing of the UK Government. This should provide the perfect environment to take this industry and its technologies to the next level, including exciting opportunities to utilize this technology in our own future products."
Axeon has a strong track record in EV battery design, development and manufacture, with increasing expertise in hybrid batteries. This programme will enable Axeon to develop into batteries capable of accepting and discharging higher currents, a specific requirement for REEV applications, giving them wider market exposure. Axeon's part in the programme is to design, develop and deliver validated battery systems, which can be productionised.
Lawrence Berns, Axeon CEO, said: "Axeon is proud to be working with such established and respected OEMs as JLR, Lotus and Nissan on this important and specialised programme. Our involvement in this project is testament to our proven expertise, capabilities and success in the development and supply of advanced automotive battery systems."
EVO Electric will supply advanced electric motors and generators to the consortium, drawing on its expertise in Axial Flux machines – a technology with the potential to dramatically lower the weight, volume and cost of hybrid and electric powertrains. Among other benefits, EVO Electric's motors and generators provide greater power and torque density, allowing for innovative, cost-effective approaches to vehicle electrification and hybridisation.
David Latimer, CEO, said: "EVO Electric's Axial Flux technology provides a revolutionary departure from conventional electric motor designs, which have not progressed as fast as other components of hybrid and electric vehicles. This TSB project will help bring this exciting technology to market and by doing so further accelerate the global trend toward low carbon vehicles."
THINK is a pioneer in electric vehicles and a leader in electric vehicle technology, developed and proven over 19 years. It is one of the few companies that has a 'ready-to-market' fully electric vehicle – the THINK City. With its market-leading range, driveability and recyclability, the THINK City is the first vehicle of its type to be granted pan-European regulatory safety approval and CE certification.
THINK is also a leader in electric drive-system technology, and was the first to offer a modular and flexible EV drive-train solution in the business-to-business sector. With its Scandinavian origins and sustainability mindset, THINK is one of the most carbon efficient car companies in the world.