UK Funding Lightweight-Vehicle Research

By on November 18, 2018 in IN THE NEWS, SUPPLY CHAINS

The U.K.’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has earmarked more than $28 million for research into lightweight vehicles and powertrains. Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will be at the forefront of this push toward lower-emission vehicles.

BEIS minister Richard Harrington said, “These projects will make vital progress towards making electric vehicles lighter and more efficient and support our ambition to increase the number of electric vehicles [EVs] on Britain’s roads.”

Furthermore, he said, the country is determined “to lead the world in the design, development and manufacture of electric batteries.”

To make EVs more desirable for the consumer, their weight has to be reduced to keep them on the road longer before the battery needs charging.

“Jaguar Land Rover and its supply chain are focusing on the intelligent application of composite products within the vehicle structure to enable lighter and stiffer products that support the realization of greater electrification in high-volume vehicle platforms,” Harrington said.

Professor Dr. Gero Kempf, chief engineer at Jaguar Land Rover, explained that the new lightweight body structures lead to “a performance that will further enhance driver experience for future premium electric vehicles.”

Sigmatex will be handling a second government-funded project. It looks to produce a high-volume, low-cost carbon fiber textile and material handling process.

Scott Tolson, chief executive of Sigmatex, said, “This project will enable us to tackle one of the biggest barriers to greater adoption of lightweight composite materials in the automotive sector—cost.”