A £2.2 million facility which helps companies develop engines for hybrid vehicles has opened at the Warwick Manufacturing Group site at the University of Warwick.
The Vehicle Engine Facility (VEF) is the UK’s only purpose-built hybrid powertrain testing facility for the automotive sector that is not owned and operated by an individual automotive company.
The VEF facility will give businesses access to state-of-the-art equipment and research support.
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, director of WMG at the University of Warwick, said: "We are delighted to be able to bring the Midlands a facility that will enable the British-based manufacturing companies to engage in low carbon engineering, which will be vital in helping manufacturing companies improve products and compete on the world stage in low carbon technologies."
Jaguar Land Rover chief executive Dr Ralf Speth added: "This new facility further strengthens WMG’s applied research credentials and we look forward to benefitting from the work undertaken there, especially in the incredibly complex area of significantly reducing vehicle emissions.
"There is also real potential for further advances in knowledge coming from supplier involvement which in turn generates additional research and results."
The new facility will use two dynamometers and a Robot Driver to allow the testing of various hybrid powertrain designs.
The two dynamometers are installed in parallel and can test electric motors’ gasoline, diesel, ethanol and biofuels-based internal combustion engines.
The VEF also includes a battery simulator and test station and full exhaust emissions measurement capability.
Richard Guest, managing director of Froude Hofmann, which helped install the new facility, said: "We are proud to be part of this development which will provide Warwick with a facility that is in the forefront of global hybrid development technology.
"With many competing alternative-fuel and hybrid powertrain technologies now being developed internationally, this new facility allows Warwick to work with Tier 1 and Automotive OEM clients world-wide."
The VEF has been funded by Advantage West Midlands and ERDF as part of the Science City Research Alliance (SCRA) Energy Efficiency Project.
The Energy Efficiency Project is part of a larger investment by Advantage West Midlands and ERDF in the research infrastructure of the West Midlands region, which unites the University of Warwick and the University of Birmingham in a strategic research partnership – SCRA – formed under the Birmingham Science City initiative.