Niche Vehicle Network

Early Stage R&D / 2021

Adaptable EV Conversion Kit


This early-stage R&D project will develop an adaptable Electric Vehicle conversion kit, designed to fulfil the requirements of specialist converters of ICE vehicles. It will also provide a suitable solution for new build vehicles including the G40-R EV. The project will build on the innovative PowerPod Battery Pack Production readiness project completed by Brace Technology and scale up the technology from its original intended use within motorbikes and small L-Cat vehicles. Ginetta Cars will bring their expertise in vehicle design and development aside Raceway Motorsport’s manufacturing and testing expertise for the vehicle conversion.

Early Stage R&D / 2021

FlexiMod: Highly Flexible Battery Module for Black Cab EV Retrofit and Other Niche Vehicles


A highly flexible, liquid-cooled battery module shall be created that supports multiple series-parallel configurations for a wide range of niche vehicle applications. The first shall be a working prototype of an affordable, fully electric retrofit for the TX4 taxi, using British-made cells, BMS and HV junction box. The vehicle shall have >50kW rapid charging capability and a range of 120+ miles per charge. Chassis reuse mitigates approximately 10 tonnes of CO2, whilst performance shall exceed that of today’s market-leading plug-in hackney carriages. A 58% reduction in purchase cost vs a new vehicle shall enable more drivers to electrify their taxi.

Early Stage R&D / 2021

High strength low density material integration into an EV Battery


A skilled team consisting of Trelleborg’s applied technologies operation in Rochdale, Far-UK, Engenuity and Great British Sports Cars are applying novel syntactic composite materials to a niche automotive electric vehicle (EV) application. A dual role assembly to form a battery enclosure, and the front-end structure of a sports car will be developed by creation of a suitable material system, precise material characterisation, and finite element analysis optimisation for minimum mass. Significant weight savings over a conventional separate metallic chassis and battery housing arrangement will lead to vehicle range improvements, rationalisation of part count and subsequently lowering of overall manufacturing costs.

Early Stage R&D / 2021

Development of transaxle powertrain for electric pedal-assist quadricycle.


E-cargo trikes and quadricycles designed primarily as last mile delivery vehicles, utilise standard e-bike powertrain components, combined creatively. However, these components were not designed for these heavier duty applications, where durability is paramount.

This project will establish the technical and commercial feasibility of a fully integrated transaxle powertrain for EAV’s electric pedal-assist cargo quadricycle.

A prototype vehicle will be built, based on Intra Drive’s innovative 8 speed gearbox & motor unit, with increased motor torque, and modified to incorporate a differential. A transaxle arrangement simplifies installation, and reduces maintenance/OPEX: making ultra-low carbon transport more affordable and dependable.

Innovative Charging R&D / 2021

Rural Transport E-Shelter


Small towns and rural communities are not currently well served in terms of EV charging infrastructure. We aim to support those rural communities by developing an innovative, safe, user-centric charging and access point for e-bike hire and e-cargo bikes, powered by on-site renewable energy. We aim to encourage the uptake of e-bikes and e-cargo bikes for use around small rural towns and nearby villages.

Innovative Charging R&D / 2021

EV-to-charger metadata communication for service fleet, user-friendly and shared-access smart charging at distributed sites


Hypervolt is the UK’s leading innovator in smart home & workplace charging, vertically integrated across software and hardware for seamless UX and rapid innovation.

Electrification of commercial vans is constrained, but no longer for lack of viable models. Facilities management EVs (~838,000 in the UK) face a specific pain point without radial-site charging solutions: hub/depot charging is inconvenient/inefficient, whilst distributed charging with low utilisation is capex intensive.

In tandem, EV uptake in social and rented accommodation with shared parking (1.8m homes; 8%) is constrained.

Hypervolt proposes an innovative, distributed fleet charging solution based on EV telematics, Plug&Charge and shared-access.

Innovative Charging R&D / 2021

Project Pollen: a secure universal e-scooter charging network


Project Pollen will scale-up a universal e-scooter charging network deployed in smart lockers across cities in the UK. The project is led by Honeycomb, a start-up focused on battery charging optimisation of e-scooters, and TZ, a market leader in smart lockers. This project will develop our proof-of-concept, which includes a smart protocol to optimise battery health, energy efficiency and manage grid demand. NVN funding will also support negotiation of a pilot study in a regulatory-approved city in the UK in April 2022.

Deployment of Honeycomb in UK cities could avoid 464tCO2 annually by 2025, converting 33% of journeys under 5-miles.

Late Stage R&D / 2021

Aerodynamic First Responder Hybrid Motorcycle (WMC300FR-H)


Building upon the NVN PoC project and further “real-world” development throughout the APC TDAP Programme, advancing the technical/manufacturing readiness of an aerodynamic energy efficiency concept, to be delivered on a first responder hybrid motorcycle application.

Proven, on high speed demonstrator, to be 69% aerodynamically more efficient than the best production motorcycle the concept significantly improves range.

The collaborators will develop, document and productionise a city motorcycle incorporating the patent granted aerodynamic concept and bolt on hybrid, accelerating the supply chain and manufacturing processes toward full production readiness. The motorcycle will progress to market in 2022 following successful project completion.

Late Stage R&D / 2021

MACE (Morris All Carbon Electric)


The MACE project builds upon previous successful feasibility study and proof of concept research projects to deliver an ultra-lightweight solution for producing complex, feature rich load bearing structural panels reinforced with recycled carbon fibre. The project will further develop the materials and production processes for cost effectively manufacturing panels capable of being used in structural and semi-structural applications. Production approaches catering for niche to high volume requirements will be considered. A full carbon fibre production readiness BIW of optimized weight, cost and performance will be built and demonstrated on a prototype zero emission Morris Commercial Van, the Morris JE.

Late Stage R&D / 2021

CREATION: Independent 4-CorneR Electric ActuaTION


In this project Domin, Aston Martin and Cranfield aim to demonstrate at high technology readiness level (TRL6) key enabling technology to move to a truly optimised 4-corner electric vehicle actuation system. Whilst there has been significant investment in electric motor technology, other key systems (eg braking, suspension, steering) remain undeveloped and reliant on central hydraulic systems. We will demonstrate on-vehicle a highly innovative and integrated solution for a full active suspension and brake-by-wire system, with the potential to unlock significant benefits for a full electric vehicle architecture, including ~10% range extension across a WLTC.