Niche Vehicle Network

Feasibility Study: 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.

Feasibility Study: 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.

Feasibility Study: 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.

Feasibility Study: 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.

Feasibility Study: Range Extension & Improved Efficiency / 2021

Zero Emissions for Low Volume (ZELV)


Replacing a production car with a zero emission equivalent is extremely difficult but, for a large manufacturer, can be achieved within a conventional vehicle body and package. For niche manufacturers, whose products are usually extremely lightweight, of unconventional design, tightly packaged around an ICE drivetrain and offering high performance at a competitive price point the move to zero emissions will represent a fundamental rethink of their vehicles. In their transition to zero emissions it is vital that the core values of the niche sector are not lost. This Feasibility Study will establish the route necessary towards achieving this goal.

Feasibility Study: Range Extension & Improved Efficiency / 2021

VO VOXI Solar Taxi : Range Extension For Production


VO VOXI Solar Taxi is a lightweight EAPC city solar powered taxi for 2 people and cargo with removable mains chargeable battery needing no new charge-point road infrastructure.

VO VOXI embodies the best attributes of car and cycle travel. Legally permitted to use cycle lanes, VO VOXI travels at a capped speed of 15.5mph, effectively faster than a car’s average 11.3mph through cities.

VO VOXI's zero-emission, ultra lightweight design enables solar power to be reliable and sufficiently powerful for city travel. This project will develop the solar-roof for production which extends range on average 1/3 from 100 to 150 miles.

Feasibility Study: Range Extension & Improved Efficiency / 2021

Coated Cell Battery Design


Rockfort Engineering Limited have some novel ideas with regards to cylindrical cell battery pack manufacture which will improve the safety and thermal management while at the same time reducing parts count, complexity and manufacturing effort. The result will be a pack which is lighter, safer and lower cost bringing inherent improvements in the power and energy densities which can be achieved without compromising safety or reliability.

Feasibility Study: Range Extension & Improved Efficiency / 2021

Hy-cap Hydrogen fuel cell supercapacitor drivetrain


Hy-Cap is a feasibility study for the operation and performance of a lightweight, low voltage supercapacitor charged from a hydrogen fuel cell and providing zero emissions power to a low cost synchronous motor drivetrain.

Supercapacitor and motor contain very small amounts of rare earth metals and majority of fuel cell materials are fully recoverable at end of service life.

Feasibility Study: Range Extension & Improved Efficiency / 2021

Digital Composite


The objective of this study is to explore the deployment for graphene enhanced resin systems distributed within a carbon composite. This creates a conductivity platform which can be deployed in an automotive application without compromising the signal strength, the mechanical properties of the composite and without deploying additional cabling within said structure producing a light weight multi-functional structural product.

Feasibility Study: Range Extension & Improved Efficiency / 2021

Dynamic Electric Vehicle Powertrain


Electric vehicle batteries have a number of drawbacks: high battery weight reducing range, high battery voltages introduce safety risks, and powertrains not optimised for a wide power band. Collins Limited has developed a dynamic, or ‘smart’, battery concept to mitigate against these deficiencies.

Battery packs are manufactured in well-established ways, but which bound a vehicle’s performance capability and range. The dynamic battery concept removes this restriction, creating opportunities to improve these weaknesses whilst adding performance.

In particular, this concept can reduce battery mass by up to 50%, almost completely eradicate electrical safety issues and improve performance across the speed range.