Harris, Burgess, Bunce, Mansbridge and King have identified critical
facilitators and barriers to widespread daily EV use through their
industry-led, problem-based research into drivers' real-world long-term
experiences with electric vehicles (EV). Their findings have had impact in
3 distinct areas. First, their work has been used by the UK Government to
construct policy to support integration of EVs into the national fleet, as
well as informing realistic expectations of successful integration.
Second, their work directly influenced development of EVs, accelerated
their route to market, and has resulted in specialised support for EV
drivers and their vehicles. Third, their work has informed energy
suppliers of the support required for drivers to charge their vehicles
both at home and also away from home as part of a wider public charging
Cardiff University's research has provided quantitative characterisation
of transient fuel sprays under engine condition for the first time. This
has enabled integrated design optimisation of Gasoline Direct injection
(GDi) engines, through computer simulation validated by Cardiff's
experimental measurements. The method has been developed and used in
collaboration with Ricardo, a world-leading engine design consultancy, and
has resulted in:
There have been substantial reductions in global CO2
emissions. Prior to 2012, GDi engine production had resulted in over 20M
tonnes CO2 reduction globally, including 10M tonnes across
Europe. A global reduction of 10M tonnes/year is predicted by 2020.
Gasoline engines designed or developed by Ricardo in collaboration with
Cardiff have provided a considerable contribution to this reduction.
Cardiff's measurement techniques provided an essential step in designing
these engines. For example, the PETRONAS engine uses 20% less fuel and
produces 80% less NOx.
Improved Professional Engineering Practice
Cardiff's experimental validation methodology has enabled Ricardo to
design engines through simulation rather than step-wise empirical
development, significantly reducing lead time.
Using powertrain system models arising from QUB research Wrightbus
Ltd developed an advanced eco-friendly hybrid diesel-electric bus
which won the New Bus for London contract worth £230M supplying 600
buses to Transport for London (commencing August 2012).
Demonstrating highly significant economic and environmental impacts the
bus has twice the fuel economy of a standard diesel and emits less than
half the CO2 and NOx. The full fleet reduces
annual CO2 emissions in London by 230,000 tonnes,
improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gases.
The company continues to develop the technology in new hybrid vehicles reaching
worldwide, including USA, Hong Kong, Singapore and China.
Loughborough University's (LU) research collaboration with The Hardstaff
Group has resulted in a commercial Oil-Ignition-Gas-Injection system
(OIGI®), which substitutes natural gas for Diesel oil in heavy goods
vehicles. Using optical diagnostics OIGI® was redesigned, increasing
average substitution rates from 45% to 60%. The economic impact for
Hardstaff was a fuel saving of £406k per annum. The research allowed
Hardstaff to create new business with Mercedes-Benz in the UK and Volvo in
Sweden. OIGI® reduces CO2 by up to 15%, harmful nitrogen oxides
and particulate emissions by 30%. The research also demonstrated, for the
first time, dual fuel technology in small, high-speed diesel engines,
paving the way for its application in passenger cars.
Implementing measures that can maintain, as well as improve air quality
is a constant challenge faced by local authorities, especially in
metropolitan cities. The AVERT, EPSRC/DTI link project, led by Samuel and
Morrey of Oxford Brookes University, were tasked at identifying and
proposing a new strategy to limit the amount of pollutants from vehicles
dynamically using remote sensing and telematics. Firstly, it established
the magnitude of real-world emission levels from modern passenger vehicles
using a newly developed drive-cycle. Secondly, it demonstrated a broad
framework and limitations for using existing on-board computer diagnostic
systems (OBD) and remote sensing schemes for the identification of gross
polluting vehicles. Finally, it provided a strategy for controlling the
vehicle to meet air pollution requirements. The outcomes had direct impact
on Government policy on "Cars of the Future", roadside emission
monitoring, and the business strategies for both the Go-Ahead Group and
University of Huddersfield research into engine technologies has resulted
in a major new partnership with the UK arm of engineering multinational
BorgWarner, leading to the company increasing R&D capabilities in the
UK. This collaboration, funded partly by parent company BorgWarner US and
partly by the government's Regional Growth Fund, involves
multi-million-pound investment, as well as significant job creation and
safeguarding. It was a key factor in the company securing a substantial
contract with Jaguar Land Rover, whose decision was informed by the
University's capacity to help BorgWarner further its R&D activities
and upskill its workforce for the benefit of the UK automotive supply
chain and the local and national economy.
Research into variable mechanical energy absorption, using Finite Element
(FE) modelling and
analysis, funded by Cellbond Ltd., led to a design specification for an
Offset Deformable Barrier
(ODB). Such barriers are used within the motor manufacturing industry to
test vehicular safety.
Based on the findings of our research, the barrier used in car crash tests
has been redesigned.
The design specification for the barrier has been adopted by the European
New Car Assessment
Programme (EuroNCAP). All newly designed cars are tested with this type of
barrier before they
enter production. The use of FE modelling and virtual crash testing allows
barriers to be designed
with particular properties and for the crash testing cycle to be
The HOTFIRE collaborative research project (2004-2008) into advanced
engine combustion systems led directly to a new, high specific power
output, high fuel economy, low CO2 emissions turbocharged
`down-sized' three-cylinder engine that was demonstrated in the Opel Astra
car in 2008. The valuable new knowledge, understanding and techniques
gained in the HOTFIRE project has directly contributed to the successful
delivery of a major engine family project for an ASEAN region OEM client
of Lotus Engineering.
Improved measurement of fuel behaviour in automotive engines has
contributed to the success of
the AJ133 V8 engine, which powers over [text removed for publication]
vehicles sold since 2009.
The research, carried out at the University of Oxford in collaboration
with Jaguar Land Rover
(JLR), developed techniques to improve the understanding of combustion
dynamics in engines and
consequently enabled improvements to fuel consumption, emissions and
engine reliability. Impacts
include contributions to (1) JLR's improved engine design process and (2)
improved fuel efficiency
and thus lower emissions.
Experimental research and computer modelling in the School of Mechanical
Engineering have been applied by engine and oil companies to reduce fuel
consumption and noxious emissions. Studies into high pressure explosions
and burn rates have helped industry improve engine efficiencies by up to
30% and contributed to the development of much improved fuels. These new
products perform better, are less environmentally damaging and have
generated new company revenues. Research into burn rates, detonations, and
large jet-flames has also informed health and safety investigations,
particularly the UK Government Inquiry into the Buncefield explosion,
providing calculations and explanations of the blast, and recommendations
on future safety controls.