Industry focus low carbon vehicles E & T Magazine — Volkswagen e-up!

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Industry focus -low vehicles

We look at what’s on within the UK’s low carbon industry, what skills are after, what opportunities are out and what are the best routes the sector.

It is difficult to quantify the low automotive industry as it isn’t as a single sector. One of the best of progress in the field, however, is the of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ annual New Car CO2 Report. The 13th and recent edition was published in 2014 and showed that petrol and diesel cars account for 99 per cent of total volume, the share and volume of fuelled vehicles (AFV) to rise in 2013.

AFVs are on 30 per cent lower CO2-emitting petrol/diesel cars. According to the there are 47 models of AFVs in the UK in compared to only 21 in 2010. in emissions from new cars has lower total CO2 emissions all the cars on the road by more 15 per cent over the last according to SMMT.

What’s happening in the low carbon industry?

Although numbers small, the improvements are significant. The report showed that the new car CO2 emissions in the UK fell 3.6 per cent to in 2013. It means the UK has achieved the 130g/km pan-European 2012-2015 The EU target for 2020 is 95g/km.

is a large amount of research and private and publicly funded and partnership working helping to the sector. Alongside this, such as the BMWi3, Nissan VW e-Up. Citroen C-Zero and Fluence are establishing a more profile for the sector (these are those ranking highest in the top 20 lowest ranking CO2 emitting for 2013).

“The UK has now passed the electric car mark,” says Walsh, head of technical and consultancy at Cenex, established in as the UK’s first centre of for low carbon and fuel cell “Each vehicle brought to the is making the change happen.”

Low carbon projects

Cenex a range of programmes and these Plugged-in Midlands, which form part of a national infrastructure for electric and plug-in vehicles. It is also behind the Vehicle Research and Development which brings together vehicle manufacturers, system automotive technology companies and to collaborate on the innovative application of in low-volume vehicle production.

the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership was set up in 2003 and is a public-private partnership to a sustainable shift to lower vehicles and fuels and to create for UK businesses.

Head of communications Wallis says the auto-sector has emerging as a “UK industrial success in recent years with rates of investment in vehicle RD and associated supply chain

“In the auto sector, at least, is a strong case for saying and growth, we can have both,’” he

The partnership has just commissioned to look at the strength of the link low carbon policy and the rate of in the UK automotive sector. Meanwhile, a of car manufacturers are also leading last year, Jaguar Rover announced it would the £16.3m ‘Evoque_e’ collaborative project to develop new hybrid and vehicle (BEV) technology is supported by the UK’s innovation the Technology Strategy Board to collaboration between industry, and leading universities in the UK).

Indeed, a number of universities emerged as specialists in the field Coventry University, which is with Coventry City to make the city a test-bed for the low technologies, and Oxford Brookes, Sustainable Vehicle Engineering is involved in a number of key projects.

The is aiming to develop UK automotive a world leader in low-carbon industry is working with the on the Go Ultra Low campaign, which to promote the benefits of ultra-low vehicles as well as educate and help inform purchasing

What skills will be and what opportunities will

Clearly, electrical and mechanical will be well placed to opportunities in this sector but the are many and varied and a key focus is on affordable and sustainable technologies.

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“There are plenty of technical from the development of battery with improved capacity at costs to advanced or second-generation which reduce carbon over the full product says Wallis.

Walsh, a engineering graduate, says with sustainability a theme in all jobs, those who want to the market potentially have of choices.

“Whether it’s the of the future or vehicle and chassis sustainability is all part of the product cycle,” he says. “So you could on a job like I do where you are specifically at the future transition or equally within an engineering company at the it is interfacing with low carbon.”

And it just about the vehicles he says. “The infrastructure to them is really significant and you to grow this while the vehicles on the road.”

Who are potential employers and what are the routes in?

In short, anyone in the development of low carbon technologies and ranges from car manufacturers and F1 to those providing infrastructure and other services in the supply Graduate and apprenticeship opportunities necessarily focus solely on low but with sustainability a core for many organisations, opportunities to further down the line are to exist.

That said, companies do offer a low carbon from the start. These Ricardo with its sustainability Ricardo-AEA whose Sustainable Practice offers careers for graduates interested in low carbon alternative fuels and transport-related policies. Alternatively, you may like to yourself with specialist Cenex’s Chris Walsh qualifications in technology and innovation and sustainable leadership in addition to his degree.

Where can you find out

Check out the websites of car manufacturers and in the supply chain, which detail their low carbon The Cenex and LowCVP websites a good overview of particular taking place and which help you to stay abreast of news.

Those interested in working in area should also events such as Cenex’s Low Carbon Vehicle event in and get in touch with networking such as the IET’s Automotive and Transport Systems Network and the IET Sector .

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