Electric Vehicles (EV) and e-mobility
Pioneering research has been conducted by the Sustainable Vehicle Engineering Centre (SVEC) in electric vehicles (EV) and e-mobility since 2009. This has been developed through prestigious projects, consultancy work and public engagement.
As BMW's academic partner, the flagship £6m TSB-supported MINI E project enabled us, in cross-university research, to interrogate the technical issues as well as understand fully the social and psychological aspects of driving electric cars. This trial, of 40 vehicles with 138 private and fleet drivers, combined objective data logger information with subjective driver data. The early project findings informed development of the 2011 BMW Active E, an electric derivative of the BMW 1 Series Coupe used to validate future powertrain developments, in preparation for the 2013 BMW i3. The University's research was extended substantially across the whole of the TSB's Phase 1 low carbon vehicle demonstration programme as part of Test Bed UK involving 340 vehicles. This research provided the first insight into the expectations and experiences of private and fleet drivers of EVs throughout the UK.
In an EU project, E-Mobility Accelerator, we developed business cases for regions in UK, Holland, Sweden, Poland and Spain that were show-cased as 6 short videos in the UKTI Lounge at LCV2011 in Rockingham. In another EU project, BATTERIE, we are exploring the intermodality implications for e-mobility through pilot studies that integrate road, rail, sea and air travel. These projects focus on business cases, policy recommendations and the development of incentive schemes.
We led the nomination of Oxford as one of the Energy Technology Institute’s electric 'J' cities in 2009 and co-founded the Oxfordshire EV Partnership (OEVP) in 2010. This partnership, led by Oxford Brookes, builds on the legacy of the MINI E project trials with many commercial supporters. The vision is to establish a self-sustaining market for electric and low carbon vehicles, to become an exemplar region for improved air quality, and to develop a low carbon economy in Oxfordshire.
Our vision includes public show-casing of low carbon motoring and we participated in the Bridgestone Oxford-London Eco Rally in 2011. As a Department with an excellent track record in motorsports we are working with a variety of partners to develop the ideas for show-casing electric vehicle technology in motorsports, and in developing the concept of race to road. Currently we are helping to develop the rules for the Cheltenham Street Race that will debut in September 2012. Short, sharp, road racing could become an exciting feature in future.
Our technical work includes a fundamental understanding of energy requirements, induction power transfer with Qualcomm-Halo, electric motor developments with Yasa Motors and battery recycling concepts with Axeon. The department undertakes testing of batteries, battery management systems and electric motors on dyno rigs for a variety of clients.