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City joins £3 million research consortium to drive electric vehicles forward

The development of cheaper, more efficient electric vehicles (EVs) is the subject of a four-year, collaborative research project beginning at City University London and nine other institutions in October.
by Luke Nava

Funded with £3 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Vehicle Electrical Systems Integration (VESI) project aims to overcome the two main barriers to mass market adoption of EVs - the high cost and low power-to-weight ratio of the electrical drive system.

VESI will break the problem into six key themes, with researchers at City examining how to develop more effective cooling systems for the electrical components used.

Professor Keith Pullen, who will lead City's input, says: "We will conduct fundamental research on cooling flow and heat transfer including the development of novel cooling technologies for electric motors and electronic drives. Our research will help designers create energy efficient EVs, which can compete with traditional vehicles on cost and performance, thus attracting mainstream consumers."

Minister for Business and Enterprise, Mark Prisk, announced funding for the project earlier in 2011 at its lead institution, the University of Warwick. Commenting on VESI, he said: "This highlights UK success as advanced manufacturers of low carbon vehicles and the research grant will help ensure that the UK remains a world leader."

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.