Revolve Technologies

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Revolve Technologies's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Revolve Technologies is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.revolve.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
32 | REVOLVE TECHNOLOGIES
Paul Turner, director
The innovative London taxi, using advanced
light body systems and a plug-in hybrid system
Revolve is an ideas company that develops solutions to their
customers’ challenges through innovative engineering. They
work primarily in the automotive industry, supporting both
large OEMs and smaller niche sector organisations. Revolve’s
traditional engineering skills resided in powertrain engineering
with a heavy focus on engine design and calibration. In circa 2004
they made a conscious decision to steer the company towards
low-carbon technologies. To discuss this and other matters, their
engineering director Paul Turner writes the following article.
Innovation and collaboration
We started by supporting Smith Electric Vehicles with the systems integration
into the Ford Transit followed by the development of the first hybrid buses for
London with Wrightbus. With some fantastic support from Innovate UK, we took
these early forays into the EV sector, and, working with Emerald Automotive
(formerly part of Intelligent Energy and now the Geely group), we conducted
groundbreaking research into electrical vehicle integration with light weighting
technologies, which was further developed into the new London taxi. Further EV
work supporting Ford has led to our involvement with the plug-in hybrid transit van
now being trialled in London, prior to production release in 2019.
Success has come through the development of innovative solutions for our
customers. In the mid-2000s, we developed a hydrogen vehicle for two universities
to conduct research into hydrogen refuelling, and through cost constraints we
innovatively utilised normal petrol engines rather than fuel cells. This project gave
FACTS ABOUT
REVOLVE TECHNOLOGIES
»Engineering director: Paul
Turner
»Established in 1995
»Offices in Brentwood,
Coventry and California
»Services: Innovative
engineering for the transport
industry
»No. of employees: 100
»Not only do we develop low-
carbon technologies, we are
also engaged in defence and
motorsport
Revolve Technologies
33REVOLVE TECHNOLOGIES |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
us the understanding of hydrogen
systems and we have since worked
with two OEMs on fuel cell vehicle
applications. With yet more Innovate
UK support, the concept was
developed into diesel engines and
perfected the use of hydrogen in the
compression ignition engine.
Exploiting this innovation has enabled
us to support our customers with
novel solutions to reduce carbon
emissions. We have helped ULEMCo
Ltd to develop and deploy over 35
diesel/hydrogen applications as well
as several fuel cell ones. Hydra Inc.
of Canada also now has solutions
for 60-tonne road train vehicles and
CMB of Belgium has a hydrogen/
diesel passenger ferry operating on
the River Scheldt – all as a result of our
solutions.
Revolve has developed many of
its greatest innovations in both
hydrogen and electric vehicles with
the support of both Innovate UK
and the Advanced Propulsion Centre
(APC). We are extremely pleased and
thankful to these funding bodies
to allow us to develop many of the
innovations that are now going into
production for our customers. We
have found it challenging to migrate
innovation to product, not only due
to the Valley of Death but through
the intransigents of incumbent
legislation which was written around
the existing technologies and takes no
practical account of new innovations
with extremely little help, or even
obstruction, from the UK agencies
tasked with supporting certification/
approvals. This has caused several
major innovative projects to stop and
has substantially slowed the application
of range-extended and hybrid trucks
and hydrogen use in commercial
vehicles. We do need our legislative
bodies to adapt to new technologies
and support the necessary changes
at both the UK and European levels
to allow the fast pace of innovative
change in the automotive sector to
continue unabated.
Working with others
We are concerned that many of the
changes we require of European
legislation will no longer be possible
Built for ULEMCo of
Liverpool, this first of a
kind has led to a series of
hydrogen co-combustion
refuse collection vehicles
being deployed across
the country
Revolve has
developed many
of its greatest
innovations in
both hydrogen
and electric
vehicles with
the support of
both Innovate
UK and the
Advanced
Propulsion
Centre (APC)
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
34 | REVOLVE TECHNOLOGIES
as we lose our place on the legislative
table, causing the UK innovators
to have a significantly reduced
marketplace.
We have had great success with
our innovative solutions with both
UK and export markets, and are
currently in discussion with a number
of export customers from Australia,
South America and the Middle East.
The diversification from the road to
marine has opened up opportunities
to transfer our hydrogen and
electrification skills into the large
marine sector, and work will soon start
on the developments for hydrogen in
the shipping industry.
Key to doing business has been the
ability to network, something made
possible by the likes of the KTNs,
Innovate UK, APC and other bodies
such as the LowCVP and SHFCA.
Networking has enabled us to build
our company’s profile, engage with
both suppliers and customers, and
understand the market needs.
Networking has enabled us to engage
with our customer base, but this would
be useless without the skills to back
this up. Much of what we do in this
sector is new; it has never been done
before and provides a challenge to our
engineers. Our engineers are our most
precious resource, and they are both
hard to find and heavily sought after
by our competitors and customers.
These engineers do not grow on trees
and certainly don’t come out of the
university sector with all the skills.
Training and mentoring has been key
to growing engineers with innovation
at their core. Our engineers need to
be able to see a problem and devise
solutions quickly, then develop a
process to convert the solution from an
idea to a product.
Revolve invests a lot in R&D projects
primarily through collaboration
supported by either Innovate UK or the
APC. These R&D projects are primarily
used to train our engineers and to
develop new concepts. The output can
sometimes be a potential product, but
for us the most important part of the
collaboration is the ability to learn. This
R&D approach provides the innovation
skills our engineers use to support our
commercial clients.
Networking
has enabled
us to engage
with our
customer
base, but this
would be
useless
without the
skills to back
this up
CMB of Belgium
commissioned this vessel
from the small British
shipyard BWSeaCat. The
14-person ferry has been
specifically designed
for hydrogen and uses
the Revolve-developed
hydrogen co-combustion
technology

www.revolve.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Revolve Technologies. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy