Coventry University and engineering specialist FEV Group have opened a £50m facility for creating cleaner mobility.
The Centre for Advanced Low-Carbon Propulsion Systems (C-ALPS) will harness academic and commercial expertise to support the development of electric, hybrid and combustion engines.
Over 40,000 sq ft of purpose-built space on the university’s Technology Park will house advanced internal combustion and electrification test bed facilities creating a dedicated resource for testing current and future powertrain solutions.
The capabilities will be available to OEMs, SMEs in the supply chain and technology partners. 36 new jobs will be created initially, with a number of apprentices and graduates from Coventry University already appointed.
Over 100 people from industry and local business groups were present to mark the official launch of the facility including Richard Harrington MP, minister for business and industry, and Ian Constance, CEO of the Advanced Propulsion Centre.
Harrington said: "This new centre will combine our heritage in automotive with our leadership in clean growth to develop advanced, cleaner propulsion systems and other transport technologies. Our modern Industrial Strategy presents the Future of Mobility and Clean Growth as global opportunities that the UK can lead in, helping create the industries of the future and highly skilled jobs.”
Professor Richard Dashwood, deputy vice-chancellor for research at Coventry University, said:
"It’s all about bringing the best of both worlds together, using the expertise and track record of FEV Group in engineering consultancy and combining it with the academic knowledge of our professors to create a real centre of excellence that can attract funding, build capacity in the supply chain and, importantly, offer commercial testing services to car makers.
Automotive is naturally the first target, but the technology will also be available to support the evolution of other sectors.”
FEV UK moved into the new facility in January. Operating within Coventry University’s Institute for Future Transport and Cities, the C-ALPS centre has been designed by architects Broadway Malyan and built by Willmott Dixon to be the most advanced test facility of its type currently available in the UK.
More than £27m of capital investment has been channelled into the building and in creating the infrastructure that will allow FEV’s internal combustion and electrification test beds to satisfy commercial testing requirements .
Three professors have also been recruited to lead the research team, bringing experience in battery storage, power electronics and electric machines.