Automotive research project to drive progress on lightweight vehicles

Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya

Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) and Jaguar Land Rover are teaming up on Project Tucana, a research project on delivering stiffer and lighter vehicle structures that has received £18.7m of Government funding.

WMG will receive £4m through the Advanced Propulsion Centre at the University of Warwick to drive the development of innovative lightweight vehicle and powertrain structures, building on the UK’s leading-edge capability in this area.

Prof Lord Bhattacharyya, chairman and founder of WMG, said: “It is vital that research and development, in the automotive sector, supports the UK’s Industrial Strategy and the move towards increasing the number of electric vehicles.”

The research will develop world-leading cost effective, scalable carbon fibre composite solutions, with the view to boosting the performance of electric vehicles. The CO2 benefit of the project is estimated to be 4.5m tonnes between 2023-2032.

As part of Project Tucana WMG will manufacture the carbon fibre components in its new Materials Engineering Centre.

Prof Dr Gero Kempf, chief engineer at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “With the grant awarded to Project Tucana, we can take an industry leading role in the development of next generation technologies specifically, lightweight body structures.”

Other partners in the project are Expert Tooling & Automation, Broetje-Automation UK, Toray International UK, CCP Gransden and Magna Exteriors (Banbury).

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