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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T005548/1
Title: Dyson Future Powertrain Lab
Principal Investigator: Mecrow, Professor BC
Other Investigators:
Atkinson, Dr GJ Armstrong, Dr M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Dyson Ltd and Dyson Technology Ltd
Department: Sch of Engineering
Organisation: Newcastle University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 23 March 2020 Ends: 22 March 2025 Value (£): 2,359,497
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Electric Motor & Drive Systems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Transport Systems and Vehicles
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
06 Feb 2020 Prosperity Partnership Round 3 - Dyson assurance Announced
16 Jul 2019 Prosperity Partnerships RD3 Interview Panel 2019 Announced
04 Jun 2019 Prosperity Partnerships RD3 Prioritisation Panel Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form

The world stands at the cusp of a transport revolution. We are about to enable the mass adoption of electric vehicles which offer much greater driving ranges and reduced charging times at an affordable cost. This trend will accelerate when combined with widespread Government legislation that will enforce the obsolescence of combustion engines in passenger vehicles in the coming 10-20 years.

This research partnership focuses upon the underlying research needed to produce the next generation of electric drive units for electric vehicles. A drive unit consists of an electrical machine, a power electronic converter which instantaneously controls the current fed into the motor, and a control system which manages the complete unit.

Our ambition is to make the UK the world leader in automotive electric powertrain design by creating the most power dense and efficient integrated Electric Drive Units that deliver higher performance than ever thought possible, at a low enough cost to enable mass uptake. Our vision to achieve this focuses on performing the underlying research in integrated design, materials usage, modelling and control of full systems and manufacturing innovation to have more efficient use of resources, management of losses and reduction in cost.

We will deliver the above through the creation of a multidisciplinary team of academics and industry experts, as part of the Future Powertrain Lab embedded in Newcastle University with an intense focus and clear targets. The team will integrate fundamental research streams into a combined Electric Drive Unit more effectively and faster than if they were at separate locations.

Electric vehicles represent numerous challenges and opportunities for the UK and specifically businesses that produce energy storage and conversion systems. James Dyson has recently announced his intention to enter this sector, based on a long term desire to reduce the impact of vehicle emissions. Dyson aims to deliver a "radically different" vehicle utilizing his company's key strengths of product design and power system engineering. Newcastle University is a world leader in the research of electric drive units: through Dyson and Newcastle coming together in this focused partnership, they are ideally placed to rise to the challenge.

We will move beyond the benefits of reducing redundant mass and components to create a coupled design process that maximises the performance of all systems simultaneously. Our unique approach will consider the full system from the beginning, including interaction with the battery pack, road and user. We will utilise our expertise in system level simulation and design to maximise overall improvements in efficiency, size and performance.

Key Findings
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.ncl.ac.uk