Sustainable Vehicle Engineering Centre (SVEC)


Sustainable Vehicle Engineering Centre (SVEC)

SVEC deals with the current and future challenge facing the whole life of a vehicle and is a unique platform for the entire automotive sector. The Centre investigates the materials, design issues and drivetrain concepts that will allow the development of low mass, low emission, economical vehicles that satisfy functional and safety requirements, whilst being amenable to disassembly and recovery of materials at end-of-life.

The new SVEC centre at Oxford Brookes University is housed in a multi-million pound building that was completed in 2006.

Sustainable vehicle research

Current issues for research concern the disassembly, disposal and the recycling and reuse of materials in the current global vehicle parc. With 60 million vehicles being scrapped to landfill annually and over 950 million vehicles on the roads of the world, future challenges revolve around the very sustainability of the automotive industry, with a focus on legislative drivers, forecasting, education, design and new technologies for future vehicles. Typically, research projects are funded by industry, government and the research councils. Previous large-scale collaborative projects include:

Oxford Mini
  • Behaviour of bonded joints in aluminium autobody structures
  • Novel composite roof panels and optimised bonded joint geometries
  • Joints in composite structures
  • Emissions and drive cycle analysis

Current research projects include:

  • MINI E trial

    Taking place in the Southeast UK, in partnership with BMW Group, Scottish and Southern Electricity, SEEDA, Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council. This is a TSB funded project aiming to understand the real-world use of electric vehicles in the hands of typical drivers. SVEC is collaborating closely with the Department of Psychology at Oxford Brookes University.
  • POWER Project: E-Mobility Accelerator

    An EU funded, multi-partner project to develop policies related to the introduction of electric vehicles. Partner sites to be evaluated include Spain, Sweden and Poland.
  • Durastor Project

    A multi-partner project developing innovative hydrogen storage vessels
  • Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) in collaboration with Stannah Stairlifts

    This project aims to improve the sustainability of its products by developing 'whole life' design methodologies to cover manufacture, service and end-of-life leading to commercial and environmental benefits.
  • Disassembly of adhesive bonded joints for repair and end-of-life
  • Safe deployment and disposal of pyrotechnic devices
  • Alternative fuels and fuel additives
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Sustainable Vehicle Engineering Centre

Oxford Brookes University
Wheatley Campus
United Kingdom



  • Future trends of the Motor Industry
  • Current status of ELV legislation
  • 2008 World Auto Report by MJ Pemberton, PH Winfield and AR Hutchinson.
  • Nov 2007 Whole Life Vehicle Waste Streams - A Global Perspective by PH Winfield, AR Hutchinson and MJ Pemberton, ISBN 978 0 9556254 1