Powering ultra low carbon technology from North East England
North East England is leading the UK in the development of electric vehicles and has an international reputation in the field. It was officially designated a Low Carbon Economic Area in ultra low carbon vehicles in 2009 and it is envisaged that the sector and its related supply chain could soon be worth over £1 billion in the area.
Leading companies operating within this sector in North East England include Nissan, Sevcon, Avid and Smith Electric Vehicles (the world?s largest volume manufacturer of road-going commercial electric vehicles). Vehicle trials are taking place, a network of charging points is being installed and open-access testing infrastructure is being developed. One trial involves a range of electric vehicles being road tested at a state-of-the-art research and development centre in Sunderland.
Another has involved Cenex, the UK?s Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell Technologies, giving hundreds of people the chance to experience driving electric cars. Part of North East England?s strength comes from the accessibility of specialised expertise through advanced knowledge networks and research institutes, which include Centres for Excellence for the commercialisation of science and technology in the renewables and low carbon sector. At Sunderland, Durham and Newcastle Universities, research facilities and specialist courses have been established while Gateshead College has a £5.5 million Skills Academy for automotive manufacturing and engineering.
CASE STUDY: TECH/OPS SEVCON - MATT BOYLE
Sevcon is a world leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of electric motor control systems for electrically powered vehicles. The company operates worldwide from its headquarters in Gateshead, North East England, and now has offices in France, Japan, Korea, Poland and the USA. It supplies components for many well-known customers including Ford, Toyota and Hyundai in a wide range of applications ? one of which is Electrobike, which holds the current land speed record for an electric powered motorcycle.
President and CEO Matt Boyle has lived and worked all over the world. A passionate advocate of North East England, he oversees all of the company?s intellectual property, R&D, new product development, testing, sales and service from the Gateshead HQ.
Matt says: ?The North East has recently been awarded Low Carbon Economic Area status. I believe that it is enormously important not only for the sector but also for the region in attracting new people, new technologies and new companies and using it as a way of exporting North East England around the world.?
Find out more about North East England?s pioneering work in energy and low carbon technologies at www.northeastengland.co.uk/lowcarbonvehicles
CASE STUDY: NISSAN EUROPE - TREVOR MANN
North East England?s status as a Low Carbon Economic Area for ultra low carbon vehicles is enhanced by Nissan?s Sunderland plant. Already one of the most efficient automotive plants in Europe, the site is now set to commence manufacture of the batteries that will power the nextgeneration of electric vehicles.
It?s just part of a multimillionpound investment into low carbon vehicle technology that also sees Nissan working with One North East on the installation of 1,300 charging points throughout the area by 2013. ?All of this will place the roots of green electric vehicle technology firmly in the North East,? says Trevor Mann, Senior Vice President, Manufacturing, Purchasing and Supply Chain Management. ?We?re very proud of that.?
Born in Lancashire, Trevor moved to the North East with his family at the age of 15 and joined Nissan in 1985. ?I like the people here,? he says. ?There?s a buzz about the area, with a great business community that really wants to push forward and progress.?
?Nissan is investing £200 million to establish Sunderland as its European mother plant for electric vehicle battery production. This represents yet another strong vote of confidence in the workforce and North East England.?
Trevor Mann, Senior Vice President, Manufacturing, Purchasing and Supply Chain Management, Nissan Europe
Productive, dynamic businesses are built by positive, motivated people: people who enjoy an equally inspirational quality of life both at and outside of work. North East England has been acclaimed as ?the most exciting, beautiful and friendly region in the whole of England? by the Lonely Planet Bluelist. It?s an intensely rewarding place to live and spend quality leisure time, with its vibrant cities and beautiful countryside. The quality of its schools and healthcare are excellent and salaries are competitive too. It also benefits from having a large number of leading companies in its growing low carbon and renewable energy sectors.
Businesses enjoy excellent support from major sector specialists such as the Regional Training Centre for Sustainable Manufacturing and productivity as well as close ties to the area?s universities, cultivating an area-wide hotbed of innovation. The map opposite illustrates just some of the investors that have chosen to develop their business in North East England and also shows the excellent infrastructure and support network, all easily accessible due to its compact nature and central location.
For further information about investing and working in North East England, visit:
Passionate about low carbon vehicles
Added the 19 April 2010 in category Innovation UK Vol6-1