Changes in the Vehicle Market

Changes in the Vehicle Market

30th of January 2018

The Centre for Global Eco-Innovation, Lancaster University, and Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) hosted the first eco-innovation themed breakfast seminar with Lombard.

This seminar brought together industry leaders, regional business and academics to discuss emerging technologies in the transport sector, including autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, and hybrid engines. There was a huge focus on clean air zones, legislative requirements, and financial tariffs, which is unsurprising given that the UK Government is continually attempting to drive down air pollution through Greenhouse Gas (GHG) based taxation.

The event was opened by Dr Andy Pickard, Manager of the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation, who commented on the "art of collaboration" and described how "projects in partnership with both academia and industry have the ability to advance the development of eco-innovative products and services including electric vehicles."

There were also talks from Martin Reeves, Head of Sales for Lombard Vehicle Solutions,  Andrew Thrower, the Business Development Director at Lombard, and Prof. Harry Hoster, Director of Energy Lancaster at Lancaster University. Martin Reeves described changes in the vehicle market and provided an update on Government plans to reduce emissions, giving an overview of changes in relation to air quality and information on plans for clean air zones in major UK cities. Martin was keen to "arm businesses with the information to ready themselves for change."

Andrew Thrower delivered a talk about a pioneering North West based company, Franklin Energy, which is developing and delivering new products and technologies in the EV charging field. He praised the event and said that "this breakfast seminar brought to life the market trends and developments in carbon reduction driven by UK Government policies, what the industry is doing to provide sufficient infrastructure in the network to enable change, and the great work Lancaster University is doing in leading research on global eco-innovation. I hope it was a useful event for all attendees who were very active in their participation and debate, and hope to welcome many more SMEs, professionals, and academics to join us at the next renewables event provided in partnership between Lombard and Lancaster University in the spring."

Prof. Harry Hoster spoke about his academic research and explained developments in the electric vehicle sector across the USA, Singapore and Germany. He reiterated the point that air quality is the main driver for transport electification and explained how improving local climate should take priority. Prof. Hoster believes that "private cars are not the best use case for electric vehicles and that managed fleets with high utilisation, including stop and go, are the ideal point for electrification."

The Centre for Global Eco-Innovation is part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund and supports the development of new products and services with environmental benefits. This is delivered through R&D projects of up to one year in durations and the Low Carbon Innovation Forum, a six month programme of workshops and peer networking of like-minded businesses delivered by LUMS.

For more information on the Innovation Forum, contact Jane by email at or by phone on 01524 593632.

For more information on R&D opportunities contact Ian by email at or by phone on 01524 593632.