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Announcement Of Low Carbon Vehicle Award Winners At LSV 2016



Announcement Of Low Carbon Vehicle Award Winners At LSV 2016

The prize for the winners includes a share in £2.45 million recent investment for low carbon development and demonstration projects in the niche vehicle sector, the announcement comes today (14th September) at LCV 2016.

Over 50 businesses have been successful in receiving grant funding from the Niche Vehicle Network run competitions, supported by Innovate UK, the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC).

Winning projects include:

  • The development of a prototype hydrogen fuel-cell range-extended electric double-decker bus
  • The investigation of the technical and commercial feasibility of a rapid and cost effective composite processing technology for niche vehicle applications
  • The development of novel carbon/flax hybrid composite components to reduce the weight, cost, NVH and environmental impact of vehicle body structures
  • The creation of a proof of concept fuel efficient solution for small low cost leisure vehicles
  • The development and testing of a novel structured baffle exhaust system for niche military vehicles
  • A proof of concept modular hybrid electric drivetrain specifically for adoption within the niche vehicle sector
  • The demonstration of a prototype turbo-expansion Air Charge Cooling system
  • The design, manufacture and demonstration of an affordable composite chassis
  • The creation of a “smart” low carbon powertrain and connected vehicle technology
  • The development of hybrid material assemblies for lightweight chassis
  • The manufacture of a hybrid driveline system for vehicles with manual gearboxes


All of the projects will receive 50% of their project costs, and cover the balance of the project costs with their own resources. All of the projects are collaborative between at least three UK-based companies active in the low carbon vehicle technology sector.

Further details of all successful projects can be found on the Niche Vehicle Network website at

The Niche Vehicle Network provides innovation and networking support to UK low volume vehicle manufacturers, such as premium brand sports cars and specialist commercial vehicles, and their suppliers.

Up to £1.3 million was available for early market low carbon technology demonstration projects through the Niche Vehicle R&D Competition and a further £1 .15 million supporting £2.35 million of project investment to take existing projects from demonstration to production readiness through the SME & Supply Chain Development Competition.

Announcing the winners at LCV 2016 today, Simon Edmonds, Director of Manufacturing and Materials at Innovate UK, said:

“Our continued support for the Niche Vehicle Networks’ R&D programme with our partners at OLEV and the Advanced Propulsion Centre is an important part of our overall programme of activity for low carbon vehicles.

Congratulations to this year’s winning companies, many of whom are showcasing their technologies at this year’s LCV 2016.


Ian Constance, Chief Executive Officer at the Advanced Propulsion Centre, announcing the winners for the SME & Supply Chain Development competition, added:

“The UK has exceptional capabilities in our SME’s and it is important that we continue to support them. This funding can offer a helping hand towards commercialisation for many SME’s, who without it may struggle to make their innovative ideas a reality.”

Programme Manager for the Network, Rob Anderson, said:

“We are excited about this round of funded projects and would like to thank our sponsors Innovate UK, OLEV and APC who continue to provide funding for our projects and networking activities. Our R&D programme plays unique role in supporting UK SME-led vehicle innovation, which results in transformative technologies that can be applied to both the niche and volume vehicle sectors.”



Build, Buy, Or Retrofit? 3 Green Housing Considerations



green housing techniques

Green housing is in high demand, but it’s not yet widely available, posing a serious problem: if you want to live an eco-friendly lifestyle, do you invest in building something new and optimize it for sustainability, or do you retrofit a preexisting building?

The big problem when it comes to choosing between these two options is that building a new home creates more waste than retrofitting specific features of an existing home, but it may be more efficient in the long-run. For those concerned with waste and their environmental footprint, the short term and long term impacts of housing are in close competition with each other.

New Construction Options

One reason that new construction is so desired among green living enthusiasts is that it can be built to reflect our highest priorities. Worried about the environmental costs of heating your home? New construction can be built using passive solar design, a strategy that uses natural light and shade to heat or cool the home. Builders can add optimal insulation, build with all sustainable materials, and build exactly to the scale you need.

In fact, scale is a serious concern for new home buyers and builders alike. Individuals interested in green housing will actively avoid building more home than they need – scaling to the square foot matter because that’s more space you need to heat or cool – and this is harder to do when buying. You’re stuck with someone else’s design. In this vein, Missouri S&T’s Nest Home design, which uses recycled shipping containers, combines the tiny home trend with reuse and sustainability.

The Simple Retrofit

From an environmental perspective, there’s an obvious problem with building a new home: it’s an activity of mass consumption. There are already 120 million single-family homes and duplexes in the United States; do we really need more?

Extensive development alone is a good enough reason to intelligently retrofit an existing home rather than building new green structures, but the key is to do so with as little waste as possible. One option for retrofitting older homes is to install new smart home technology that can automate home regulation to reduce energy use.

Real estate agent Roxanne DeBerry sees clients struggle with issues of efficiency on a regular basis. That’s why she recommends tools like the Nest Thermostat, which develops a responsive heating and cooling schedule for the home and can be remotely adjusted via smartphone. Other smart tools for home efficiency include choosing Energy Star appliances and installing water-saving faucets and low-pressure toilets. These small changes add up.

Big Innovations

Ultimately, the most effective approach to green housing is likely to be aggressive retrofitting of everything from period homes to more recent construction. This will reduce material use where possible and prevent further aggressive land use. And finally, designers, activists, and engineers are coming together to develop such structures.

In the UK, for example, designers are interested in finding ways to adapt period houses for greater sustainability without compromising their aesthetics. Many have added solar panels, increased their insulation levels, and recently they even developed imitation sash triple glazed windows. As some have pointed out, the high cost of heating these homes without such changes will push these homes out of relevance without these changes. This is a way of saving existing structures.

Harvard is also working on retrofitting homes for sustainability. Their HouseZero project is designed for near-zero energy use and zero carbon emissions using geothermal heating and temperature radiant surfaces. The buildings bridge the gap between starting over and putting up with unmanageable heating and cooling bills.

It will take a long time to transition the majority of individuals to energy efficient, green housing but we’re headed in the right direction. What will your next home be like? As long as the answer is sustainable, you’re part of the solution to our chronic overuse – of land, energy, water, and more.

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How the Auto Industry is Lowering Emissions



auto industry to clean air pollution

Currently, the automotive industry is undergoing an enormous change in a bid to lower carbon emissions. This has been pushed by the Government and their clean air plans, where they have outlined a plan to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040.

Public Health Crisis

It is said that the levels of air pollution lead to 40,000 early deaths in the UK, with London being somewhere that is particularly bad. This has led to the new T-Charge, where heavy polluting cars will pay a new charge on top of the existing congestion charge. Other cities have taken action too, with Oxford recently announcing that they will be banning petrol and diesel cars from the city centre by 2020.

Eco-Friendly Vehicles

It is clear that the Government is taking action, but what about the auto industry? With the sale of petrol and diesel plummeting and a sharp rise in alternatively fuelled vehicles, it is clear that the industry is taking note and switching focus to green cars. There are now all kinds of fantastic eco-friendly cars available and a type to suit every motorist whether it is a small city car or an SUV.

Used Cars

Of course, it is the cars that are currently on the road that are causing the problem. The used car market is enormous and filled with polluting automobiles, but there are steps that you can take to avoid dangerous automobiles. It is now more important than ever to get vehicle checks carried out through HPI, as these can reveal important information about the automobile’s past and they find that 1 in 3 cars has a hidden secret of some kind. Additionally, they can now perform recall checks to see if the manufacturer has recalled that particular automobile. This allows people to shop confidently and find vehicles that are not doing as much damage to the environment as others.

Public Perception

With the rise in sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles, it is now becoming increasingly more common to see them on UK roads. Public perception has changed drastically in the last few years and this is because of the air pollution crisis, as well as the fact that there are now so many different reasons to switch to electric cars, such as Government grants and no road tax. A similar change in public opinion has happened in the United States, with electric car sales up by 47% in 2017.


The US is leading the way for lowering emissions as they have declined by 758 million metric tons since 2005, which is the largest amount by far with the UK in second with a decline of 170 million metric tons. Whilst it is clear that these two nations are doing a good job, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in order to improve the air quality and stop so many premature deaths as a result of pollution.

With the Government’s plans, incentives to make the change and a change in public perception, it seems that the electric car revolution is fully underway.

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