New £70m clean powertrain research centre
Designed for collaboration
A new £70 million powertrain research and innovation centre is nearing completion in the UK. Led by The University of Bath, the Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (IAAPS) is designed to both accelerate the pace of innovation across companies of all sizes and to increase the supply of engineers with the skills needed to develop the next generation of electrified vehicle powertrains.
Expertise will be drawn from the university’s team of more than 40 academics who are active in relevant areas of research, alongside collaborations with vehicle manufacturers, Tier 1 technology suppliers and specialist innovation businesses. The University of Bath is already recognised as one of the UK’s leading centres of expertise in next-generation automotive propulsion technologies, with commercial research programmes across a wide range of fields. IAAPS will also contribute new development processes and simulation techniques and is designed to encourage collaboration between innovators and those who can help realise their ideas.
To provide the industry with technology-agnostic physical development systems, the 11,300 m2 green-field facility will include high transient engine and chassis dynamometers, laboratories for combustion research and pressure charger research, and a substantial investment in systems for the development and testing of electrification technologies. IAAPS will be one of the first independent research facilities to include test cells designed specifically for the development of high-voltage battery packs, supercapacitors, new battery cell designs and other high-energy electrical storage technologies.
Two 4WD powertrain cells will offer full hybrid test capability with up to 750 kW of battery emulation at 1,200 V and an ability to replicate highly dynamic operating conditions for traction control calibration. There are seven facilities for E-machine development, covering power absorption levels from 250 kW to 750 kW.
Collaboration facilities will allow automotive development teams to work together efficiently from different locations, eg electric powertrain specialists in France working with Internal Combustion Engine specialists in Germany and software calibration specialists in Italy or Spain, or at any location worldwide, to develop ultra-low emissions hybrid vehicles, next-generation electric