At the end of each month on our website we’ll feature a roundup of the news that’s grabbed our attention from across our industry. We might not cover all of our sectors every month, but watch this space!
Amazon could make it rain with EV maker Rivian
Amazon is leading a $700 million investment into electric truck maker Rivian Automotive LLC, in what could be the biggest milestone in the electric vehicle industry since Tesla went public in 2010. Amazon’s move is likely to unsettle its competitors in the market and extends beyond investment into electric vehicle manufacture: it also plans to have half its shipments carbon neutral by 2030. Meanwhile, Amazon’s stock has climbed 9.2% in the last three months, in comparison to Tesla’s 13% slump over the same period.
Red Bull & Honda - the honeymoon continues
It’s great to see the relationship between Red Bull and new powertrain partner Honda going so well. Pre-season testing at Barcelona has seen the two Honda-powered teams, Red Bull and Toro Rosso, complete nearly 1,000 untroubled laps between them.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has described the installation of the Honda engine into the chassis as “probably the best one we have ever had,” describing the integration as a “thing of beauty” that “looks like a Swiss clock” in the back of the chassis.
Meanwhile, Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost has stated he is convinced the Red Bull team will win races this year.
Manufacturing & Technology
Sheffield-based hub to spearhead UK manufacturing electrification expertise
A new University of Sheffield-led hub is aiming to put the UK at the leading edge of the electrification revolution.
The £28million Future Electrical Manufacturing Hub will drive UK expertise in the manufacturing techniques required to design and develop the electrical systems that drive developments across the automotive, aerospace and renewable sectors.
The hub is led by the University of Sheffield’s Faculty of Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and will see researchers working with partners including Rolls Royce, Airbus, Siemens, Dyson and more, solving the challenges that will enable UK industry to manufacture electrical machines at an appropriate cost and quality.
Breakthrough in sustainable electronics manufacture
Researchers are developing an eco-friendly 3D printable solution for producing wireless IoT sensors that can be used and disposed of without contaminating the environment. Simon Fraser University is collaborating with Swiss researchers to develop a wood-derived cellulose replacement for the plastics and polymeric materials currently used in electronics.
The development is seen as a significant advancement in green electronics as it prevents the hazardous waste from printed circuit boards. Instead, 3D-printed cellulose sensors can wirelessly transmit data during their life, and be safely disposed of.
This is a story that resonates with us because it represents the crossroads of future technology and sustainable advancements in science. The future is sustainable!
Executives and Leaders
Geely continues to strengthen within UK
Long-term Jaguar designer Wayne Burgess has left the brand to join Geely Auto Group in a move that signifies positive news for Coventry, once considered “the Detroit of the UK” in the automotive industry.
The veteran designer had spent 17 years in senior roles at Jaguar and helped shape the F-Type and F-Pace models. He will now act as Vice President of Geely Design UK, a new unit for the automaker as it builds a global network of design centres to take its brands into the future.
He will lead a team of 100 designers and support staff from a new Coventry-based facility, where they will work on projects for Geely brands which include Volvo, Lotus, Lynk and CO and Proton.
Peter Horbury, executive vice president of design for Geely, has described the move as showcasing Geely’s commitment to the UK and “Britain’s leading position in the areas of creativity and design.”
Bath University to host Centre of Doctoral Training focusing on future auto tech.
Bath University is set to see more exciting investment into future technologies as it hosts a new Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) focused on the automotive technologies of the future.
The CDT is backed by £5million of funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the UK's main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences. It will operate within Bath’s Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems, which is scheduled to open in 2020.