Automotive

Europe’s largest automotive research and development facility opens in UK | #UKmfgFocus

This week saw the opening of one of Europe’s largest automotive research and development facilities, the National Automotive Innovation Centre, at the University of Warwick, in Coventry. HRH The Prince of Wales cut the ribbon to declare the centre open for business.

It’ll create future vehicles, but will also be looking at personal mobility solutions as well as delivering the skills required to keep the UK globally competitive.

The government in the UK says it wants to bring forward a ban on the sale of all petrol, diesel and hybrid cars to 2035, or even sooner. So the centre has seen Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Motors and WMG showcase sustainable future
mobility projects, including their most recent electrified and autonomous vehicles.

Jaguar Land Rover demonstrated its latest advanced autonomous research concept vehicle as the next stage of its Destination Zero mission.

That’s the company’s stated ambition to make societies safer and healthier and the environment cleaner. The company is focussing is on achieving a future of zero emissions, zero accidents and zero congestion – across its facilities, and through its products and services.

JLR completed a zero-emissions tour of its UK manufacturing and product development facilities to celebrate its operations being certified as carbon neutral for the second consecutive year.

The centre which covers 33-thousand square metres is designed for hundreds of academics, designers, researchers and engineers to work in collaboration.

Lotus will build the Evija all-electric hypercar is in its last stages of preparedness.

Final prototype production is imminent and the full production and first customer deliveries of the all-electric two-seater will begin in the summer.

The facility is situated at Lotus’ historic home of Hethel, in Norfolk, and has been built trackside, next to the company’s 2.2-mile circuit which has hosted testing and shake-down sessions with many Formula 1 legends such as Ayrton Senna, Emerson Fittipaldi, and Jim Clark.

Lotus will hand-build up to 130 examples of the Evija at the facility. The first year’s production allocation is already designated to customers around the world.

Work on the new factory began in summer 2019. The interior has been fitted on three sides with gantries which frame the build stations.

The government says what it describes as low-skilled workers would not get visas under the new immigration plans.

It wants employers to “move away” from relying on “cheap labour” from Europe and invest in retaining staff and developing automation technology. The Home Office said EU and non-EU citizens coming to the UK would be treated equally after UK-EU free movement ends on 31 December.

Almost a year since the Boeing 737 Max airliner was grounded following two crashes within the space of six months
The company’s hopes of getting the plane back in the air suffered another blow this week. Boeing revealed it had found debris inside wing fuel tanks of aircraft that have not yet been delivered to customers.

Although it described the discoveries as “absolutely unacceptable”, Boeing says the issue wouldn’t affect the aircraft’s expected return to service later this year. Tui Airways, which has 15 Max aircraft, has already factored in replacements for the rest of this year.

As part of its ongoing efforts to resolve this, the biggest crisis in its history, Mike Fleming has become vice-president, Boeing 737 Max.

The UK’s first industrial contribution, a communications antenna was part of a consignment of supplies that arrived on a Cygnus freighter.

Made by MDA UK, which is based in Oxfordshire the Columbus Ka-band Terminal will allow astronauts to connect with scientists and family on Earth at home broadband speeds.

It’ll be fixed to the exterior of the ISS in a few weeks’ time and should improve substantially on current arrangements for radio links.

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