Jaguar Land Rover targets emissions reductions through faster, lighter electric vehicles
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will steer a consortium-led initiative to make electric vehicles (EVs) lighter while also enabling larger batteries to be fitted to increase range.
JLR will help deliver the Tucana project - a four-year programme that will replace some aluminium and steel components of EVs with composites such as carbon fibre. It is believed that these composites will be able to handle increased torque generated by bigger batteries while reducing the overall weight of the car – improving efficiency and reducing carbon emissions as a result.
The project states that more than 4.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions could be prevented between 2023 and 2032.
JLR’s research manager Marcus Henry said: “The development of new lightweight body structures to complement the latest zero-emissions powertrains will be key as the electrification of our vehicle range continues.
“This project will allow the true environmental credentials of electric vehicles to be realised by enabling wider adoption of the technology and will propel JLR and the UK supply chain into a world-leading position in low-carbon technology.”
The consortium, led by JLR, brings together academic and industry partners including the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), Expert Tooling & Automation, Broetje-Automation UK, Toray International UK, CCP Gransden and The Centre for Modelling & Simulation (CFMS).
The project will explore how vehicle weight can be cut by 35kg without impact EV performance or increased carbon emissions.
By 2022, JLR expected to have de eloped the first prototype fleet of Tucana EVs.
It is the latest in a long-line of low-carbon innovation projects championed by JLR. Last month, for example, JLR’s venture capital and mobility services arm invested in a blockchain technology scale-up that will help it to make supply chains for battery materials more sustainable.
Called Circulor, the blockchain platform uses a combination of GPS, biometrics and QR codes to create a tamper-proof trail of audit for raw materials. The platform tracks compliance with environmental and social regulation and company pledges in these fields, while also calculating the carbon footprint of the materials.
The automotive giant also believes that its ongoing project to recover and reuse aluminium from drinks cans and end-of-life vehicles into new car products could reduce its carbon emissions by up to 26%. The REALITY project aims to recover aluminium from existing JLR vehicles and reform it so the material can be used to help create new vehicles.
JLR uses 180,000 tonnes of aluminium annually; globally, around 80 million tonnes are produced each year. Between September 2013 and March 2020, JLR has reused around 360,000 tonnes of scrap back into vehicles.
Each project forms a key part of the Destination Zero climate strategy. JLR has reduced operational emissions per vehicle by 50% since 2007 and reached a target of carbon-neutral operations two years ahead of schedule.