Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


Electric Vehicles and Advanced Propulsion

Our Electric Vehicles and Advanced Propulsion research focuses primarily on zero and low carbon vehicle propulsion systems. Through experimental and computational studies, we conduct research that leads to enhanced understanding relevant to industrial partners including Caterpillar, Ford Motor Company, AVL and Jaguar Land Rover.

The main aim is to develop and improve new technologies for the next generation of zero and ultra-low emission vehicles. We have extensive expertise in batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, hybrid powertrains and ultra-low emission combustion systems. We have had significant successes in hydrogen fuel cell commercialisation, combustion of sustainable fuels, exhaust after-treatment systems, and combustion modelling using Large Eddy Simulation (LES).

Activities are supported by two world class facilities:

Battery and Fuel Cell Research Laboratory:
The battery and fuel cell laboratory is a dedicated facility for studying electrochemical energy conversion and storage devices from fundamental development to system level. Within the laboroatory, research focusses on understanding how devices such as batteries and fuel cells perform in real-world environments and how to improve their performance and design. This includes lifetime testing, novel diagnostic techniques, thermal management, control and the use of fuel cells as sensors. Facilities include:

  • Multi-channel climatic battery cell degradation testing
  • Battery module testing
  • Battery specification environmental chamber (EUCAR 6)
  • Lab scale battery manufacturing
  • Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
  • Hydrogen fuel cell testing with climatic chamber.
  • Hydrogen combustion
  • Solid Oxide Fuel Cell testing and sensor development.
  • Fuel cell manufacturing facilities

Loughborough Powertrain Facility
The Powertrain facility (LPF) is a unique research and development laboratory consisting of eight purpose-built test cells, with a capacity of 12 engines, a chassis dynamometer and electrified test cell with 100 kW battery emulator.

This modern facility consists of 'state of the art' engine test equipment including AVL transient dynamometers with PUMA test cell controller, Ricardo-Schenk transient dynamometer, Froude dynamometers, Horiba and Cambustion emissions gas analysers.
The facility benefits from Lotus optical engine and AVL Single Cylinder Research Engines and Test Bed for development of engines, components, alternative fuels and lubes; with transparent access into the combustion chamber.
There is also capability for Hardware-in-Loop testing and simulation.

  • Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Technology:
  • Zero constraint free piston energy converter
  • Real-world duty cycle for hybrid powertrain optimisation

Associated research capabilities, centres and groups

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