Exeter-based automotive engineering specialists Ashwoods Electric Motors and partner organisations have been awarded a £1.7million government grant to develop cleaner and more efficient vehicle component systems. The award from the Advanced Propulsion Centre was announced by Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, at Innovate 2016 on November 3rd.
The project will see Ashwoods and partners work to integrate the innovative, lighter, smaller and more efficient electric motors produced by Ashwoods with gearbox transmissions, axles and controllers. These will then be made available as entire units to vehicle manufacturers, which means they will be cheaper, smaller and easier to install than the individual components.
Tom Aas, the managing director of Ashwoods Electric Motors, commented: “We are delighted that the Advanced Propulsion Centre has made this grant available to support the innovative work being undertaken by Ashwoods Electric Motors and our partners in this project. We believe that the integrated electric transmissions will be a great step forward for vehicle manufacturers, end users and the environment.
Overall, the project is looking very promising and it’s an exciting opportunity that will enable further development of cutting edge technology in the automotive sector. This will result in the creation of a number of jobs within UK and a large reduction in CO2 emissions.”
The key objectives of the project are to bring a lower overall cost for vehicle/equipment manufacturers, reduce the installation and supply chain costs, and increase the efficiency of the overall system by 10 to 20%. CO2 emissions will be reduced by 900kg per year in forklift applications, 225kg per year in lift platform applications, and 160kg per year in small electric vehicle applications.
Ashwoods Electric Motors aim for the products to be commercially available within nine months of project completion (which is at the end of April 2019).