New £20M Facility Under Construction after APC UK Awards Funding for e-MOTIF Project

New £20M Facility Under Construction after APC UK Awards Funding for e-MOTIF Project

A new high-volume manufacturing facility will deliver products developed for the collaborative e-MOTIF project (electric MOTor, Inverter, Flywheel). Utilising the manufacturing capability of Shield Engineering Group, the project will employ EMPEL’s e-Motor and PUNCH Flybrid’s “F-Boost” Flywheel Energy Storage System.

Based in Warwickshire, the facility will be initially capable of producing 25,000 units per year and is expected to be operative from May 2023.

The consortium, led by Shield, including EMPEL Systems, PUNCH-Flybrid, and PFS Manufacturing have committed to a £13.3m project accelerated with £5.63m of funding from the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC). The consortium was one of three applicants to be awarded APC-17 funding as part of a £54M joint industry and government investment in R&D. Funding for the project is accelerating the UK automotive industry capability and supports the transition to net-zero emissions. This is achieved by reducing power usage across a range of vehicles with a combination of electric motors, integrated power electronics, flywheel energy storage systems and integration of these into customer drivetrains.

The e-MOTIF project has opportunities to work with additional OEMs developing evaluation vehicles to test the latest e-MOTIF systems. If interested, please contact

“Our insight shows an opportunity upwards of £24bn in the UK supply chain as the industry transitions to electric vehicles, £12bn of that in electronics and electric motors,’ said Zoe Hall, Head of Competitions and Projects, Advanced Propulsion Centre. “As well as supporting green jobs, the e-MOTIF project will help accelerate innovation in low-carbon technology to achieve net-zero transport ambitions.”

The manufacturing facility will enable EMPEL’s electric motor and inverter to deliver fast, high-performance power to commercial electric and hybrid vans, passenger cars, and top-end supercars. In addition, the propulsion technology aims to generate exceptional efficiency and performance to transport, aerospace, robotics, marine, construction, and Greentech sectors, wherein the e-MOTIF benefits will be realised:

• Delivering >15kW/kg power density, the e-Motor solution achieves double the 2035 Automotive Council targets.
• Scalable speeds up to 50,000rpm.
• All variants available with optional, fully integrated 48V, 450V & 800V silicon carbide inverter.
• For Hybrid ICE applications up to 25% CO₂ emissions improvements from fuel savings and brake energy recovery.

Enquiries have since risen after the announcement of e-MOTIF. With 30 client proposals submitted in 2021, the project has already surpassed that figure in 2022.

EMPEL Co-Founder and Director, Jason King, said: “Increasing EMPEL’s speed and capacity for manufacture, this new facility will benefit our team in applying their expertise across the UK supply chain to revolutionise the electric vehicle sector.”

Regarding the new facility and e-MOTIF, Ben Silverstone, Head of the National Electrification Skills Framework initiative, is hopeful for new opportunities: “This is a once in a generation shift in technologies that will create huge numbers of career prospects in the UK. It will be critical to ensure that highly skilled staff are developed here, and that we provide them with the opportunities to grow and develop. The National Electrification Skills Framework is very pleased to support this expansion and the career opportunities it will create.”

Chris Shield of Shield Engineering Group said: “We at Shield are delighted to be involved with this market leading investment into electric motor manufacturing. By working closely with our collaboration partners, we have been able to develop motor products to meet many customers’ technical applications at a highly competitive price with the highest quality componentry and assembly.

The initial capacity of 25,000 units is easily upscaled when required after the completion of the initial manufacturing lines. It is predicted 7,500 units will be sold in the first year.

EMPEL Systems partners with Cenex and Romax Technology on project to develop autonomous vehicles of the future

A consortium of businesses is developing an electric powertrain that will meet the demands of future vehicles.

Electric powertrains (motor, inverter, gearbox, battery) will need to be more robust and durable in order to withstand the strenuous duty cycles that connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) will cover in their lifetimes.

Current vehicle powertrains are typically designed for a lifetime of 150,000 miles, however the CAVs of the future will be heavily utilised in cities achieving that mileage in under a year. Therefore, there is a need to design ultra-durable powertrains to cater for this heavy-duty drive cycle.

Cenex, EMPEL Systems and Romax Technology, funded by Innovate UK’s Smart Grants competition, will collaborate on project RUBICON – ultRa-dUraBle electrIC pOwertraiNs – to design a novel powertrain by considering its entire economic and environmental “cradle-to-grave” life cycle.

Cenex will provide driver data sets and explore the unique differences between CAVs and existing passenger vehicles. This will involve investigating their commercial usage, high-utilisation mechanical drive cycles within autonomous mobility services and the increased emissions and costs of manufacture.

EMPEL’s expertise in electric motor design and power electronics combined with Romax’s 30 years of experience in performance simulation, testing and design will allow the consortium to improve on the current state-of-the-art powertrains, that have suboptimal life cycles, by taking this innovative and integrative system approach to the design.

Victor Lejona, Technical Specialist at Cenex, said:

“Autonomous vehicles in cities will be a reality in five to ten years. These driverless vehicles will have to withstand high utilisations of around 200 to 400 thousand km per year, which would deplete the powertrain life of current vehicles in under a year if they were designed as today. Therefore, there is a need to research the feasibility and benefits of designing powertrains for these heavy-duty drive cycles.

“We are delighted to participate in this Innovate UK project with Romax and EMPEL to characterise the use cases and driving cycles for autonomous vehicles and powertrains of the future. It is key to research the environmental and economic implications for the whole life cycle of these vehicles and not just their well-to-wheel impact.”

Henry Tanner, Principal Engineer (R&D) at Romax, said:

“It is understood that future of mobility will be Electric, Shared, Connected and Autonomous. However, what is not understood is exactly how these trends will impact vehicle powertrains from an economic, environmental or design perspective. This project is an exciting opportunity to explore new ways transport will be consumed in the future and understand how these new usage archetypes can be used to optimise powertrains for the next generation of passenger cars.”

Jason King, Founder & Director at EMPEL Systems, said:

“EMPEL Systems is looking forward to working with Romax and Cenex as part of this Innovate UK project, supporting with jointly developed analysis tools to better understand how future electric motors and inverters designs will need to evolve.”