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Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle Event 2014 – final preview

bmw-i8-green-car-guideWith just two days to go to Cenex LCV, the UK’s leading low carbon vehicle event for the automotive industry, the main attractions are now confirmed.

Cenex LCV is a two-day event comprising of a conference, an exhibition, and a ride and drive; there is a huge amount going on, here are some of the highlights that visitors can look forward to.


1. Experience the latest low and ultra low emission vehicles: the Ride and Drive

Cars such as the BMW i8 show that ‘green cars’ are at last desirable, and the BMW i8 and BMW i3 are available to drive at LCV, along with other vehicles such as the following:

• Ariel Titanium Atom

• Caterham Seven 160

• Lightning GT

• Renault ZOE

• Renault Twizy

• Renault Kangoo

• Toyota Prius Plug In

• Toyota Auris Hybrid

• Toyota Yaris Hybrid

• Toyota Aygo

• Nissan E-NV200

• Nissan Leaf

• Volkswagen e-Golf

• Volkswagen e-up!

… and there’s even rumoured to be an Aston Martin!

There will also be the unveil of a new variant of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

2. Hear from the people making the low carbon vehicle future: the Conference

The conference at LCV2014 is comprised of speakers who are helping the automotive industry develop low and ultra low emission vehicles. Over many previous LCV conferences the big issue has been the ‘valley of death’. This is the place where great ideas fall when they don’t have the funding or other support to take them forward into final products. But there’s good news, due to the efforts of the car industry and government over the last few years, the UK’s ‘valley of death’ has finally been bridged!

Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC)

For example, Tony Pixton heads up the new Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC). The APC is a £1 billion, 10 year, joint government-industry initiative to help ensure that bright ideas for low carbon vehicles in the UK actually turn into low carbon vehicles.

The Proving Factory

There’s also The Proving Factory. Like the APC, the Proving Factory is also bridging a gap that was previously evident in the UK. Whereas the APC has a broad remit of helping to take ideas to final commercialisation, the Proving Factory is more focused on ‘proving the actual products’.

3. Meet the companies supplying the technology for the cars of the future: the Exhibitors

The technologies that will appear in the cars of the future are on show at Cenex LCV in the exhibition area. We’re talking hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric cars – but there are also companies developing a variety of other technologies ranging from more efficient petrol and diesel engines to hydrogen fuel cells and, of course, non-powertrain products.


For companies that wish to utilise the assistance of the APC or the Proving Factory to commercialise a product, but want to grow into a larger enterprise before doing so, a relatively new company called Vayon can help with this, by combining a number of smaller but expert companies through investment and acquisition.

My Electric Avenue

Historically, there has been the car industry, and there has been the energy industry, and the two haven’t worked together. However we now have electric cars, so energy companies and car makers have to speak to each other. One company that is helping to bring the two areas together is EA Technology, which, with Scottish & Southern Energy Power Distribution, is behind the My Electric Avenue project, which is running an Ofgem-supported trial to discover if the local electricity grid can cope with the recharging of clusters of electric cars, and if not, to test a possible solution.

Northwest Automotive Alliance

Many car buyers assume that the manufacturer of their car makes the car and all of its components. However this is not actually true, as there is a vast range of suppliers that make components for the major manufacturers. There are suppliers throughout the UK, including in the North West. Many of the diverse suppliers in this region are gearing up to serve the low carbon vehicle industry, and some of these companies are being showcased on the Northwest Automotive Alliance (NAA) stand at LCV2014. The following companies represent a typical cross-section of UK suppliers that are developing new products and services to supply vehicle manufacturers developing low carbon vehicles:

ACAL Energy

Making hydrogen fuel cells cheaper, more efficient and more durable

Far Composites

Design and manufacture of composites to deliver tomorrow’s materials today

FDM Digital Solutions

Additive manufacturing and 3D printing to allow the design and testing of parts without the need for high cost tooling

The High Speed Sustainable Manufacturing Institute (HSSMI)

Harnessing the UK’s world-leading research base to provide commercial value and skills for the UK’s manufacturing industry


Developing and manufacturing carbon fibre textiles for composite material applications.

The NAA also manages the Car for Young Drivers and STRIVE projects:

Car for Young Drivers (CYD)

A Technology Strategy Board-supported project to develop a low cost vehicle for young drivers to buy, run and insure

STRIVE (Simulation Tools for Rapid Innovation in Vehicle Engineering)

An AMSCI-funded project to significantly reduce timescales for the development of new vehicles by the use of high fidelity simulation and immersive virtual prototypes.

Niche Vehicle Network (NVN)

The organisations above show that there is a lot of activity going on with the supply chain, and there is also a lot of activity with smaller vehicle manufacturers in the UK. The Niche Vehicle Network (NVN) exists to support such companies, an example of an NVN member being Oaktec, a company that has developed a new one-cylinder PulseR engine concept for burning any conventional fuel or biofuel efficiently.

4. Find out who the low carbon champions are: The LowCVP Awards Dinner

Organisations that have done the most to advance low carbon transport are celebrated at the LowCVP Low Carbon Champions Awards Dinner, being held on the middle evening between the two days of LCV. See the short-listed companies here.

5. Benefit from low carbon vehicle business networking opportunities

Cenex LCV is the place where low carbon vehicle networking is done, and new business relationships are developed. This year UKTI will be hosting a business exchange offering UK companies the opportunity to meet with a number of UKTI exporting partners and a range of international buyers.

Book now for Cenex LCV2014


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See the video from
Green-Car-Guide Live! 2008
, co-sponsored by Cenex





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Other electric and low emission vehicle event reviews:


LowCVP Conference 2013


Niche Vehicle Network Symposium 2013


Motorsport Industry Association Cleaner Racing Conference 2013


The Electric Vehicle Conference 2013