ARMD at LCV2021
An innovative solution to an innovation crisis: 12 low-carbon projects completed in 12-months drive automotive future
In November 2020, concerned about the impact COVID-19 was having on the UK automotive sector and the continued development of low-carbon technology, the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) guided £16.5 million of combined government and industry investment into a new Advanced Route to Market Demonstrator (ARMD) competition: a 12-month fast-start initiative to develop physical demonstrators of the technologies that will power the green industrial revolution.
Ian Constance, Chief Executive at the APC, explained why it was so important: “We launched our ARMD competition at the height of the pandemic, when the global automotive industry was at a near standstill. The aim was to kick-start innovation back into action and ensure that late-stage R&D projects continued to accelerate towards net zero.
“What we see unveiled at this year’s Cenex-LCV and Cenex-CAM, are 12 projects we have supported, that have made phenomenal progress in less than a year. In some cases the technology developers behind them have significantly increased their operations, leading to jobs and growth. It’s the very definition of building back better.
“This event allows them to showcase the technological capability they have developed and the opportunities that provides to anchor clean automotive manufacturing in the UK.”
From the first ever flat packed electric all-terrain truck for developing world markets, to a zero-emissions EV single-deck concept bus, the 12 winning projects will now be used to seed future development programmes nationwide as well as overseas investment into the UK.
The small-scale collaborative projects have been led by a range of OEMs and SMEs, focusing on products and processes across energy storage & management, power electronics, electric machines, lightweighting and hydrogen. They demonstrate a range of digitalisation techniques including the creation of “digital twins” to advance the development of each project’s prototypes or processes, covering vehicles ranging from passenger cars and buses to all-terrain vehicles and low carbon vehicles.
The live demonstrator projects were showcased for the first time at Cenex-LCV and Cenex-CAM 2021 – the UK’s premier low-carbon vehicle show. For photos of the live demonstrator projects please click here: [insert wetransfer link]
Further detail and quotes from some highlighted demonstrator projects:
REARMD demonstrator project, lead by Dolphin N2 Limited, accelerates advancement to market readiness, focusing on demonstration of Hydrogen combustion, core efficiency improvement through thermal barrier coatings, and development of virtual tools.
Simon Brewster, CEO, Dolphin N2 Limited said: “We are absolutely delighted that the APC supported us with this exciting technology, as it enables us and our key UK supply chain and academic partners to substantially strengthen their position in the fast-moving transition to net zero. The UK has been a fantastic place to get this off the ground, because of its enlightened, technology-agnostic approach, and the Cenex-LCV show is a great platform to showcase a new solution in a sector that needs one.”
Artificial Intelligence in stator Manufacturing Solutions (AIMS) demonstrator project, lead by Electrified Automation. has developed a new approach to electric motor stator manufacturing creating an automated cell alongside a software application to manage the entire production process.
Jim Winchester, Managing Director at Electrified Automation said: “The ARMD competition has enabled us to accelerate and increase our investment into our next generation manufacturing process for concentrated wound electric motor stators. We have been able to reduce the project timeline by 9 months and […] the output has given us a demonstrator that can showcase the technology.”
This eOX demonstrator project aims to develop a battery electric OX demonstrator vehicle suitable for operation in emerging markets as part of OX’s mobility-as-a-service ecosystem. The OX is the first flat packed all-terrain vehicle for emerging markets.
Simon Davis, Managing Director at OX said: “OX’s vision of clean, affordable transport for emerging markets is built on innovative vehicle and digital technology. The ARMD competition and support from the Advanced Propulsion Centre have accelerated our development of the electric OX truck, the first purpose-designed electric truck for emerging markets. The competition has already enabled us to scale and gain significant equity funding. This will put OX, and the UK, at the forefront of the green technology revolution whilst enabling the global community to meet the UN’s sustainable development goals.”
Vehicle Demonstrator Showcasing Cost Effective Electrification for Demanding Duty Cycles (CEEDD) demonstrator project, lead by PUNCH Flybrid, is a power dense, low cost, fully integrated flywheel-motor-inverter KERS unit focused on automotive and LCV vehicle applications with demanding duty cycles.
Tobias Knichel, Managing Director at PUNCH Flybrid said: “The APC ARMD project has been critical in enabling the partners to bring together support of a further 11 OEMs &Tier 1s providing potential accelerated routes to market while seeding further foreign investment to exploit additional applications in other markets.
“The long-term aim is to create three new high value UK manufacturing centres whilst working with and developing the UK supply-chain, generating over 700 direct and supply chain jobs, and supporting the UK Transition to Zero with more than 450,000 tonnes savings in CO2 per year. Execution of this project, plus the additional support via the APC17 e-MOTIF project, is providing the foundations for more than £55M of UK investment through to high-volume production.”