News

  • 17 May
    Insight: our top 3 takeaways from the Vehicle2Grid conference in Amsterdam

    Insight: our top 3 takeaways from the Vehicle2Grid conference in Amsterdam

    Productiv is at the forefront of technology for the electrification of the automotive powertrain.

    That’s why our product strategy manager, Tom Donnelly, attended a conference in Amsterdam last week on ‘vehicle to grid’; a potential solution to the additional load that will be placed on the national grid when we all start charging our electric cars.

    These are the top three lessons Tom brought away with him:

    1. Chief technology officer for the City of Amsterdam, Ger Baron, explained to delegates that the Netherlands missed the first industrial revolution in the 17th century, which was driven by the steam engine, because the Dutch government was subject to powerful lobbying from the dominant wind power industry at the time. Now, however, it seems the situation has been completely reversed. A Dutch technology investor said that current opposition to wind turbines in the Netherlands means that the growth of wind power is now far behind other European countries such as Sweden, Spain and France.
    2. Vehicle to grid technology is already available in the shape of the Nissan Leaf. Following the tsunami that struck Japan in 2011, the Japanese government asked Nissan to develop a vehicle to grid capability that could help power local facilities in an emergency. The result is that the original Leaf, with a battery capacity of 24kWh, can power a house for up to two days.
    3. The electric vehicle industry is giving rise to some unexpected new entrants. When the German post office, Deutsche Post, needed a small delivery van, they couldn’t find one that suited their particular needs. So they decided to build the van themselves! And it’s been so successful that they now sell electric delivery vans to other companies, and are even working on a larger van and an e-bike for mail delivery.

    Read more about the Vehicle2Grid conference here

    By Productiv News Uncategorized
  • 10 May
    Productiv set to attend Vehicle 2 Grid Conference in Amsterdam

    Productiv set to attend Vehicle 2 Grid Conference in Amsterdam

    We’re looking forward to attending the Interreg North Sea Region (European Development Fund) and Innovate UK Vehicle 2 Grid Conference tomorrow and Friday.

    Our product strategy manager Tom Donnelly will deliver a pitch to the assembly to explain how Productiv works with technology developers to maximise their chance of commercial success.

    Productiv is at the forefront of technology for the electrification of the automotive powertrain. One of the issues associated with electric powertrains is the additional load that will be placed on the electricity grid network when we all charge our electric cars.

    However, cars themselves can be part of the solution to this problem.

    With many cars plugged in overnight – and throughout the day – to recharge their batteries, they can be used as an energy store to supplement the grid during periods of peak demand. This is one solution being proposed to minimise the investment in infrastructure required for the expected growth of adoption of electric vehicles.

    The procedure has become known as ‘Vehicle-to-Grid’, and is being looked at by several industries, including the electricity generators and distributors.

    This will benefit some of the technology developers that we are working with; for example Zapinamo, which provides mobile and remote charging services.

    Potentially any technology developer working with batteries, power electronics or range extenders, could conceivably become part of this system.

    The solution to this issue will be multi-industry and the Productiv team will keep ahead of the issues facing all stakeholders to ensure that our technology developer partners are well placed to take advantage of this emerging market.

    By Productiv News Uncategorized
  • 25 Apr
    Connected and autonomous vehicles – not just for car drivers!

    Connected and autonomous vehicles – not just for car drivers!

    Think connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) are only relevant to car drivers? Think again! They are set to completely transform millions of lives – and you need never have clapped your hands on a steering wheel.

    Productiv recently attended the second ever Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) Connected conference, which brought together more than 400 cross-industry delegates.

    The focus of the event was connected and autonomous technology, which is set to revolutionise the automotive industry over the next few years.

    The significance of it was highlighted by Business Secretary Greg Clark’s announcement at the conference of the first phase of £100m of investment in CAV testing infrastructure, which will be used to support projects including public test facilities.

    Hand in hand with Mr Clark’s announcement was the launch of a new SMMT report, ‘Connected and Autonomous Vehicles: Revolutionizing Mobility in Society’.

    If you don’t drive a car there’s a good chance any discussion of CAVs may have passed you by up until now, or you might have dismissed it as something that’s not relevant to you.

    But with an estimated global value of $10tn, it may become difficult to ignore them for long – especially when you hear that the automotive industry actually only accounts for one fifth of the market for the technology!

    The new SMMT report explores how CAVs could radically transform millions of lives – and not just for car drivers. If you fall into any of the following categories (and presumably we’re all in number four!), then you might want to watch this space!

    • Pedestrians: fewer accidents involving pedestrians and the elimination of the human error that can put pedestrians at risk
    • Old/young/people less able to walk: independent access to mobility that was not available previously.
    • Injured and unable to drive: autonomy allows you to continue living your life. Or just to get to the hospital
    • Anyone who would like to breathe clean air: more efficient use of vehicles and fewer toxic emissions

     

    Click here to read the ‘Connected and Autonomous Vehicles: Revolutionising Mobility in Society report

    Save

    By Productiv News Uncategorized
  • 11 Apr
    Productiv partner in winning consortium for APC support to build UK battery manufacturing facility

    Productiv partner in winning consortium for APC support to build UK battery manufacturing facility

    Productiv is part of a consortium that has just won an Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) competition to build a high performance, low volume, flexible battery manufacturing facility in the UK.

    Led by Williams Advanced Engineering, the project will help overcome existing supply chain gaps in the automotive industry, as well as offering support to UK chemistry development and bridging the gap between low volume prototype build and electric vehicle production.

    Working alongside Productiv, Unipart Group, Coventry University, WMG, MCT ReMan and The National Composites Centre; Williams’ initiative will also promote battery system development and create more commercial opportunities for this technology in the UK.

    The all-electric Aston Martin RapideE (pictured), which Williams Advanced Engineering helped develop the technology for, could be the site’s halo product when it goes into production by the end of the decade.

    Speaking on behalf of the consortium, Williams Advanced Engineering managing director, Craig Wilson, commented: “We’re delighted to have won the APC6 competition and associated funding along with our consortium partners, whom we are looking forward to working with to deliver this exciting project. We truly believe we can make a difference to the UK’s manufacturing capabilities and offer a significant contribution to the future of the automotive industry and energy storage in general.

    “We have always endeavoured to work collaboratively with our customers to meet their sustainability challenges and find energy efficient solutions. This project will build on the extensive battery experience and know-how we have accumulated over the past ten years, and is a big step in the right direction to further the UK’s battery manufacturing capabilities, supporting future electric vehicle requirements.”

    The APC, which was created in a unique partnership between industry and government, provides funding to projects as part of its services to enable development of low carbon propulsion systems. Funding is allocated to projects based on the outcome of bi-annual competitions, which require applications from consortia with a clear demonstrable route to production including at least one SME, one supplier and a vehicle manufacturer.

    APC director of technology and projects, Jon Beasley, added: “Williams Advanced Engineering and supporting partners have won an APC6 competition to develop bespoke, high performance and cost-competitive batteries for low to medium volume applications. This project will focus on flexible manufacturing, design for manufacture, UK supply chain development, recycling and reuse and save over one million tonnes of CO2.

    “Through a partnership of companies, the project will further develop and make available battery systems in order to overcome significant supply chain gaps in the UK and be able to offer support to UK companies researching and developing cell chemistry, and opportunity for acceleration to commercialisation.”

    By Productiv News Uncategorized
  • 14 Sep
    Consortium awarded £6m investment for clean cold and power technology research

    Consortium awarded £6m investment for clean cold and power technology research

    Productiv is part of a consortium awarded £6m by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) to develop zero emission Dearman Engine technology and applications.

    The APC announced today that its latest grant funding round (APC5) will include multi-million-pound support for revolutionary clean cold and power technology.

    The consortium, led by clean cold and power technology company Dearman, is working to move Dearman Engine technology and applications into manufacturing and full commercial deployment. The engine will deliver radical improvements to the fuel efficiency of HGVs and buses, helping to significantly reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and CO2.

    In addition to Productiv and Dearman, the project brings together Hubbard Products, Air Products, Wessington Cryogenics and Loughborough University, with each partner bringing unique expertise to the development, manufacture and commercialisation of the technology.

    The consortium is matching Government funding, bringing the total investment in the cutting edge zero emission technology to £15.5m.

    The Dearman Engine is driven by the expansion of liquid nitrogen and can be used to produce clean cold and power for a range of applications across transport, logistics and the built environment.

    The most advanced application of Dearman technology is a zero emission transport refrigeration system. Designed and developed in conjunction with Hubbard Products, it’s a sustainable alternative to the diesel driven units that conventionally keep refrigerated trucks cold. The system is currently on trial with Sainsbury’s delivering food across London, where it is already having a positive impact on air quality.

    With support from the APC, the technology will be developed to support further applications, including to an air conditioning and auxiliary power system for buses, which in hot climates can consume more than a third of a bus’ diesel.

    Speaking for the consortium following the funding announcement, Dearman founder and CEO Toby Peters said: “Globally we face a major challenge; how can we reduce our impact on the environment, while continuing to grow the economy? Technology such as the Dearman Engine has the potential to make a meaningful contribution to achieving both goals. It’s a low cost zero emission technology, which can improve the efficiency of diesel engines – or replace them entirely in some applications – without imposing increased costs on business. It can have a major impact on the air quality of our cities and help to address climate change.

    “As a result of all this, the clean cold and power technology we are developing with our partners has the potential to be exported to fast-growing economies around the world, helping them to meet their booming energy needs without creating disastrous environmental consequences. The APC has recognised both the economic and environmental potential of the technology and has provided support that will unlock further investment and enable the aspiration to become a reality.”

    Applications of Dearman Engine technology can have a significant impact on the environment. For example, diesel powered transport refrigeration units are lightly regulated and, as a result, replacing an auxiliary unit with a zero emission alternative can reduce the total engine emissions of nitrogen oxides from the entire refrigerated vehicle by over 70%.

    By Productiv News Uncategorized
  • 23 Jun
    World-class 225CS rotary engine enters serial production with The Proving Factory

    World-class 225CS rotary engine enters serial production with The Proving Factory

    The world-renowned Wankel rotary engine is enjoying a revival thanks to a partnership between The Proving Factory, the automotive manufacturing and assembly organisation launched by Productiv in 2013; and engineering specialists Advanced Innovative Engineering (AIE).

    The Proving Factory is facilitating the higher quantity production of AIE’s 225CS Rotary Engine; demonstrating that the rotary isn’t just alive, but in demand.

    The first batch of SPARCS (self-pressurising-air rotor cooling system)-cooled 225CS rotary engines, which were built and assembled within The Proving Factory’s state-of-the-art facilities, were handed over to AIE managing director, Nathan Bailey, on 17 June.

    As a result of the 225CS convenient low parts count, the precision assembly of the rotary engine could easily take place using The Proving Factory’s advanced machining centre and rigorous standardisation of the component assembly process.

    With compliance to the strict standards set for the rotary engine build, AIE can ensure that the full spectrum of the 225CS innovative technologies will be guaranteed and consistent for the end consumer, including its patented Compact-SPARCS, full electronic engine management system and multi-fuel capabilities.

    As the first of many high quantity rotary engine productions for AIE, the partnership with The Proving Factory is ideal in supporting AIE to facilitate the higher volume supply needs of vehicle manufacturers within the automotive, aerospace and marine industries.

    Commenting on this new productivity increase for AIE, Nathan Bailey explains: “As specialist design and development engineers we use the latest technology and equipment in-house to produce high quality rotary engines. However, we also wanted to make sure that our clients could receive higher volume orders without lengthy lead times and with the same precision build and quality. Partnering with The Proving Factory was an ideal solution and supports us to expand our potential and production capabilities.”

     

    About The Proving Factory

    The Proving Factory works to bridge the market gap between technology developers making innovative, low-carbon engineering prototypes and the needs of vehicle manufacturers for volume supply. It is set up to partner with companies such as AIE to facilitate and manufacture large quantities of technology, as well as additional support for AIE’s in-house production capabilities. With the opportunity to manufacture around 200,000 units per year, The Proving Factory supports AIE to expand its potential in establishing production processes and demonstrating the ability to supply high-volume production solutions.

    About Advanced Innovative Engineering (UK) Ltd

    AIE is a UK-based engineering company specialising in the development of innovative Wankel rotary engines. The AIE team boasts a combined experience of over 80 years in rotary engine design, R&D and manufacturing; delivering products and services that have exceptional reliability, versatility and low total cost of ownership for the global aerospace, automotive and marine markets.

    By Productiv News Uncategorized