Niche Vehicle Network, Technology Strategy Board and OLEV announce competition winners

Niche Vehicle Network, Technology Strategy Board and OLEV announce competition winners

05 Sep 2012

Loughborough, UK – 5th September 2012

The Niche Vehicle Network, the Technology Strategy Board and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), today announced the winners of the 2012 Niche Vehicle R&D Competition.

Backed by the Technology Strategy Board and OLEV, the Niche Vehicle Network promotes and stimulates R&D collaboration within the niche vehicle sector by bringing together independent vehicle manufacturers, system suppliers and automotive technology companies to collaborate on the innovative application of new technologies within niche vehicle production. Since the programme’s inception in 2005, the Network has been a catalyst for over 100 different business collaborations and has provided funding for the development of a wide range of vehicle, system and manufacturing process improvement projects.

The 2012 R&D programme aims to build upon the success of the Network by providing up to £900,000 of grant funding. Following an independent assessment process the following projects have been awarded grant funding:

Lightweight Titanium StructuresCaged Laser Engineering, in partnership with Ariel Ltd and Reynolds Technology, aim to investigate the viability of adopting titanium tube as a cost effective raw material for the manufacturing of spaceframe assemblies for low volume and small series production lightweight vehicles.

4-Speed Electric MinibusVocis Ltd, in partnership with Zytek Automotive and the University of Surrey, aim to build a demonstrator vehicle for the Vocis 4 Speed dual motor transmission – known as ‘eDCT’ (electric Dual Clutch-less Transmission).

Morgan Plus E2:  Morgan Motor Company, in partnership with Zytek Automotive and Potenza Technology, aim to undertake the continued development of the Morgan electric vehicle, the Plus E, building upon the lessons learnt during the initial prototype build.

EV BlueRDM Automotive, in partnership with Potenza Technology and WCT Solutions and Training Ltd, aim to develop a working electric vehicle demonstrator with a novel driver control interface and novel electrical architecture based on the application of an Apple iPad as a driver control interface.

Gearbox Prototyping Study:  Agility Global, in partnership with Turbo Technics and Gibbs Gears, aim to develop and validate a multi-speed gear box for their Saietta electric urban motorbike.

Rob Anderson, Programme Manager for the Niche Vehicle Network, says: "The NVN has been supporting niche automotive companies to bring innovative new products to the market for over five years. Our R&D programme complements the funding available from OLEV and the Technology Strategy Board Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform and enables us to continue to support niche companies across the UK."

Tim O’Brien, Innovation Platform Leader for Low Carbon Vehicles at the Technology Strategy Board says: "The quality and range of the proposed ideas was impressive and it is great to see the industry respond so enthusiastically to this competition. Accelerating the introduction and commercialisation of low carbon vehicle technology will deliver long-term benefits, to both the UK economy and the environment. We very much hope that this funding will help to bring these ideas closer to market."

Further details of the winning projects can be found on the Niche Vehicle website

View the press release including notes to editors here



Last updated on Wednesday 05 September 2012 at 08:48

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