Last week’s Low Carbon Vehicle (LCV) event at Millbrook proving ground in Bedfordshire showcased a range of innovative technology projects, a large number of which focused on efficient and experimental powertrain technology.
What struck me most is the way that the challenges of meeting increasingly strict emissions standards and developing the technology for production are encouraging major car companies to forge extensive collaborations with smaller specialist firms.
At LCV, for example, Jaguar Land Rover announced the new two-year Evoque_e project which that will research hybrid and battery-electric vehicle technology. The collaboration aims to design, develop and build three next-generation Evoque-based concepts for a mild hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV), a Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) and a full Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV).
JLR is leading the project (it is stumping up £4m of the £16m that will fund the research), which will benefit from input from Zytek Automotive, GKN Driveline, Motor Design Limited, AVL, Drive System Design, Williams Advanced Engineering, Delta Motorsport, Tata Steel, Bristol University, Cranfield University and Newcastle University.
And where does all this research ultimately lead? Well, in a neat piece of symmetry, when I arrived in Frankfurt yesterday I had the opportunity to briefly sample the fruits of a previous research project by JLR.