CLEAN: Clean Logistics for Emerging African Nations
Innovate UK - Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC19)
Value to Coventry University
- OX GLOBAL (Lead)
- Coventry University
- Ricardo UK
01/06/2022 - 30/10/2024
This project accelerates the development of technologies that deliver zero tailpipe emissions, saving 43 million tonnes of CO2, while also unlocking £53m of UK investment (6x ROI) and creating 114 jobs.
According to global management consulting company, McKinsey & Company, 60% of the African population is smallholder farmers, and their biggest supply-side problem is the cost of getting products to market. This market of 700m people is not served by existing auto-OEMs. To access this market there are two enablers for success: a new type of vehicle AND a new business model that suits the market.
OX has developed the purpose-designed 3.5-tonne OX truck and a unique Electric-Transport-as-a-Service (electric-TaaS) business model. By offering transport on a Pay-As-You-Go basis (eliminating up-front capital), it opens up a TAM of 847,000 vehicles. OX is piloting this approach in Rwanda achieving 42% month-on-month growth. By 2030 OX projects revenues to be $2Bn pa.
This project develops the technology to enable this business opportunity by delivering:
- Advanced, affordable EV technology for the OX. Creating the first UK Tier1 high-volume electric drive unit (EDU) manufacturing facility, debuting a new process and approach to delivering volume flex without high CapEx. Manufacturing-ready, energy-dense, long-life, lower-cost battery with a UK cell sourcing-feasibility-study. Development of a world-first lightweight, resilient structure for the OX
- A closed-loop digital ecosystem to optimise Operating Expense (OpEx). By combining a connected vehicle with real-world performance monitoring, off-board digital twins and an automated DVP & manufacturing systems, this project unlocks a 5x acceleration of the design change implementation process vs typical OEMs. This facilitates the transition to Electric Transport-as-a-Service (electric-TaaS) by enabling rapid iteration for OpEx.
The CU contribution to this project will address both academic and industrial knowledge gaps related to the concept of digital twins (DT). This includes: the use of DT across the product life-cycle; definition of DT use-cases; technical implementation of DTs and use of Asset Administration Shells (AAS) in complex nested DT use cases; DT levels of fidelity; DT data ownership challenges related to horizontal integration; and DT integration between multiple virtual entities.
The key CU objectives include:
- To develop a new set of mandatory DT use cases to support OX's e-Mobility-as-a-Service value proposition.
- To develop a novel methodology for capturing and defining the scope of DTs across the product, process, manufacturing, in-use and as-maintained lifecycles.
- To research and develop a novel methodology for the characterisation of physical observable objects using standardised metadata, models and sub-models designed for interoperable DTs.
- To develop appropriate measurement systems and select appropriate technologies for parameter measurement of physical observable objects.
- To develop appropriate models for digital to physical interfaces - Data collection and control.
- To define, develop and configure a novel pilot environment for representative DT trials.
- To execute experiments and trials for each use case running end-to-end scenarios.
- To evaluate results, reiterate design and develop roadmap for future high-fidelity, interoperable automotive DTs.