Low-Carbon Range Extender Study Wins NVN Grant

September 14, 2017
Low-Carbon Range Extender Study Wins NVN Grant

A fascinating feasibility study for low-carbon technology has received the green-light today by the Niche Vehicle Network (NVN) who have awarded AIE and collaborative partners a £75,000 grant to conduct valuable research into hybrid power systems.

The announcement was welcomed by the consortium partners, AIE (UK) Ltd, Hypermotive Ltd (lead) and Sunamp Ltd when it was revealed at the UK’s premier low-carbon vehicle event, Cenex-LCV 2017.

The research will meet the aim of the NVN in supporting low carbon developments in the UK’s niche vehicle sector, by seeking to reduce complexities and overall weight of a hybrid power system using existing innovative technologies. It is hoped that proof of concept will offer a stepping stone to improve the adoption of electric vehicles and positively impact the reduction of CO2 emissions.

Advantages of a Thermally Efficient Rotary Range Extender

The collaborative project will bring together the skills and technological innovations of each partner. Using AIE’s lightweight rotary range extender, evaluations will begin on the viability of developing a hybrid system using integrated thermal energy management, for improved engine start-up, increased range, better efficiencies and fast cabin heating.

The funding will enable the partners to run simulation, modelling and physical tests to evaluate a number of areas including; elimination of the DCDC converter (resulting in both weight and cost reduction); the best efficiency of hydrocarbon fuel to keep CO2 emissions low and the effects of Sunamp’s innovative heat battery on overall system efficiencies.

The commercial realisation of a novel thermally efficient rotary range extender would clearly prove that the concept of a small-form rotary engine, integrated with cutting-edge thermal technology, is an efficient and cost-effective alternative to the bulky piston engines that are currently used to drive electric generators in hybrid vehicles. The future technology can then be developed and used to alleviate the ongoing concerns over ‘range anxiety’ as well as improve the adoption of hybrid-electric vehicles.

For further details on the progress of the NVN thermally efficient rotary range extender (TERRANE) project, connect with AIE on LinkedIn or visit their news page online.



Partner Information:

Niche Vehicle Network:


(NVN) is a free to join networking and support organisation focused on enabling UK low volume vehicle manufacturers and design and engineering companies to research and develop innovative low carbon vehicle technologies.  The Network is funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, Innovate UK, the Advanced Propulsion Centre and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy


Hypermotive Ltd


Hypermotive is an engineering services business focused on the delivery of systems integration, electronics and software design, electrical design and manufacturing to enable low and zero carbon vehicle technologies.


Sunamp Ltd


Sunamp develops, manufactures and sells compact, highly efficient advanced thermal storage technology called ‘Heat Batteries’ that can be used to store heat for a number of applications. The heat batteries help to reduce emissions, improve air quality and address vehicle thermal management challenges such as engine and cabin warm up, catalytic converter temperature fluctuation and battery thermal conditioning and HVAC systems.



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