C-ALPS Centre for Advanced Low Carbon Propulsion S...

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C-ALPS Centre for Advanced Low Carbon Propulsion Systems

Operating within Coventry University’s Future Transport & Cities Research Institute, the Centre for Advanced Low-Carbon Propulsion Systems (C-ALPS) is a £30M unique world-class research centre containing powertrain test facilities. A strategic partnership between Coventry University and FEV, the Centre will initially contain four test cells for commercial projects to underpin research in the field of low carbon automotive powertrain technologies.

With a limited number of test-beds available for the sector to utilise in the UK, C-ALPS will drive research into low-carbon automotive propulsion solutions and associated development methods and toolchains. The test cells will allow research and development to improve performance, efficiency, and emissions on a range of different powertrain concepts, including conventional, hybridized, and electric propulsions systems. The facility allows the investigation of different energy carriers covering fossil and alternative fuels. The collaboration allows access to the latest experimental and analytical tools including:

  • Facilities of the wider FEV Group for research purposes.
  • Single-cylinder diesel and petrol engines (thermodynamic & optical).
  • Test benches for powertrain components including turbochargers, catalytic converters, battery systems and electric machines.
  • Industry-standard calibrated simulation models.
  • Access to FEV’s comprehensive and unique databases and software.


The construction of the new building and the research collaboration will see funded projects at Coventry University and staff placements aligning to the Coventry University Corporate Strategy. The research is informed by and aligned with the grand challenges of the UK Industrial Strategy to enable access to funding, and with Coventry University’s current research strategy to achieve high-quality research outputs to contribute to the next REF (2021).

C-ALPS will be located at the Technology Park, near the National Transport Design Centre (NTDC), creating a cluster of transport focused research and development facilities on the university’s Technology Park (see map below). Its excellent strategic position is at the hub of the national motorway network with direct access to the M6, M69 and M40 motorways.  Coventry mainline railway station lies on the main West Coast Mainline and Birmingham loop line, with direct services to London Euston with journey times to London Euston now under an hour. Coventry is also served by Birmingham International Airport, some 8 miles (13 km) to the north.

Phase 1 of the construction of the Centre is in progress for completion by 21st December 2018. It will include four state-of-the-art powertrain test cells, adding to FEV’s global capacity, with operations commencing in Q1 2019 and with the creation of more than 25 new jobs.

Founded in 1978 as an independent, family-owned business, FEV is a German international engineering service provider. It employs over 4,700 employees at over 40 locations operating 190 engine test cells on four continents. FEV’s expertise covers consulting, design and development of innovative powertrain and vehicle architectures from concept through to readiness for serial production. It conducts research and development for major automotive OEMs and has sector expertise in Automotive and Commercial Vehicles, Industrial and Off-Highway, Rail and Aerospace, and Clean Energy and Power Generation.

Coventry University is a dynamic, global and transformational modern university, ranked No.13 UK University (Guardian University Guide 2019). Transport has been a key part of the university and the City of Coventry for over 150 years. The university has a strong tradition in transport design, manufacturing and the automotive business environment, and is recognised internationally for its teaching in engineering and design, as well as its research activities which support innovation in the transport industry. Coventry University has created a multidisciplinary research institute, in Future Transport & Cities, to bring together research initiatives and its transport-related research across its faculties. Coventry University is continually developing and evolving to ensure the university remains at the forefront of innovation in teaching and enterprise.