Niche Vehicle Network

Stream 2 - Innovative Charging Solutions / 2021

Modular Megawatt Charging


HGV EVs typically have battery packs up to 500kWh, which can be fully recharged in 2 hours with 300kW DC charging. However, this is too slow for many small fleet operators considering converting to an EV fleet. 1MW+ DC charging offers much faster charging, but many small depots are not served by sufficient grid power supply and DNO upgrades will be costly and slow.

This feasibility study investigates modular HGV EV charger designs at a range of power levels, including potential modular power buffer storage to compensate for insufficient grid power supply.

Stream 2 - Innovative Charging Solutions / 2021

HiSine - Unidirectional AC CCS


The HiSine project is a collaboration between EVSE specialist Indra and niche vehicle OEM Morris-Commercial.

The project takes existing mature, low cost, unidirectional AC charging hardware and overlays a novel approach to enable advanced communication based on the CCS charging standard typically used in expensive DC charging stations.

The project will demonstrate high level communications between vehicle and charger systems enabling direct (not cloud) communication of vehicle state of charge, secure identification and additional comms to enhance troubleshooting. These are of particular use in a fleet environments.

The project enables future productionisation of charging hardware and define vehicle side hardware/software.

Stream 2 - Innovative Charging Solutions / 2021

VHF wireless power transfer to improve charging opportunities for niche vehicles


Existing commercial systems for wireless power transfer (WPT) is insufficient for many heavy-duty niche applications. However, WPT performance can be substantially enhanced by increasing the operating frequency. The frequency standard for EVs is 85kHz. Inductive Power Projection Ltd is working on a novel, very high frequency (VHF) WPT method that increases power density to a point where heavy-duty applications such as fleet, heavy goods and special purpose vehicles can be wirelessly charged.

This project aims to explore practical management of VHF-WPT electromagnetic emissions, allowing accelerated development of our charging solution to support increased uptake of zero-emission, on-road UK niche vehicles.

Stream 2 - Innovative Charging Solutions / 2021

Accelerating Ultra-Rapid Charging For Electric Refuse Vehicles In Non-Urban Areas


Levistor is developing an innovative energy storage system for spot-reinforcing the grid to provide the high power needed for fast-charging electric refuse collection vehicles. It is difficult for many local authorities to replace diesel vehicles due to EV range anxiety and the difficulty of providing rapid-charging infrastructure in rural locations, where it may never be economic to upgrade the grid. Our system can be installed where required on pre-determined refuse collection routes, charging from the existing grid in advance and then providing the hundreds of kilowatts needed by the vehicle at key locations to be back on the road fast.

Stream 2 - Innovative Charging Solutions / 2021

Project Nectar: an e-bike smart charging solution that retrofits into existing cycle infrastructure


Honeycomb will adapt its innovative e-scooter charging system for e-bikes. Honeycomb chargers use cutting-edge research to improve battery lifetimes. This study lays the foundations for a proof-of-concept solution to support the already-large UK market of over 474,000 e-bike users. This will take the form of a smart charger retrofitted onto existing cycle-storage infrastructure. Honeycomb e-bike charging could avoid 318,000tCO2 and 398tNO2 by year-5 (2027) through supporting a modal shift of 7% of car journeys to e-bike and e-cargo-bike trips. Even when factoring in all life-cycle energy vectors, e-bikes emit 92% fewer emissions than fossil fuel cars over the same distance.

Stream 2 - Innovative Charging Solutions / 2021

SharEV co-operative charging for taxi's, minibuses and light commercial vehicles


SharEV is a co-operative charging point for ad-hoc charging of fleets of vehicles where the time on charge is random and energy supply limited. The SharEV charging point monitors the number of vehicles connected to it and within the limits of the supply current manages the charge being sent to the vehicles on charge. This enables the largest number of vehicles charging at the same time with limited energy supply available. Supporting taxi ranks, minibus hubs and LCV distribution centres.

Stream 1 - Range Extension & Improved Efficiency / 2021

ELSA -Electric Lightweight Skateboard Architecture


Morris Commercial is set to revive the historic British iconic brand "Morris" with zero emission vehicles. The first vehicle under development is a 2.5ton GVW battery electric van, Morris JE, with a lightweight carbon fibre body and a lightweight chassis. ELSA will explore a unique, modular and ultra-lightweight EV skateboard chassis platform architecture using multi-materials to achieve an optimised weight, cost, and durability with a manufacturing approach that will be suitable for both low and high volume production. The project will be focused on design for manufacturing and utilisation of advanced materials developed in the UK and UK supply chain.

Stream 1 - Range Extension & Improved Efficiency / 2021

CHiDES - Configurable Higher Density Energy Storage : Future Hydrogen Storage


Hydrogen storage is a key enabling technology for the advancement of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. CHiDES is a project conceived and managed by Carbon ThreeSixty Ltd to determine the feasibility of a revolutionary storage architecture for Hydrogen fuels.

It is proposed that the use of carbon fibre 3D woven fabrics to produce arrays of lined, reinforced pocketed structures, will enable configurable geometries and higher volumetric efficiency for Hydrogen storage. Current storage solutions are bulky large cylindrical vessels that significantly compromise vehicle design. CHiDES will lead to the offer of a completely new storage solution.

Stream 1 - Range Extension & Improved Efficiency / 2021

Application of fuel cells for a volumetric mixer


Fair Air are a niche vehicle technology organisation accelerating the development of zero emission and low carbon vehicle technologies. Our preparatory work includes building and testing alkaline fuel cells (AFCs) under license for incorporation into vehicles. Currently we have only tested fuel stacks capable of providing electric power to batteries on small vehicles.

However, this scalable alkaline fuel cell technology lends itself to applications that require larger power requirements, such as HGVs.

This study will investigate the unique opportunity presented by AFCs over PEMs, manufacturing large electrodes (1m2) for propulsion and operation of HGVs, with a focus on volumetric mixers.

Stream 1 - Range Extension & Improved Efficiency / 2021

DEsign of NExt generation HYdrogen Pressure VEssels- DENEHYPE


DENEHYPE is a simulation-based feasibility study investigating the benefits of manufacturing niche vehicle Hydrogen-Pressure-Vessels (HPVs) using Rapid-Tow-Shearing (RTS); the world’s first automated composites tape-laying technology that can fibre-steer without defects. In specific, a structural analysis tool appropriate for modeling the structural behaviour of fibre-steered HPVs will be developed and implemented to investigate a set of different design configurations. A business case will be developed in order to analyse the structural integrity, weight savings, manufacturing and material costs of the suggested solution.