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International EV Batteries 2021...Q&A with Neil Miles, Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company

Institution News Team

International EV Batteries conference, 11-12 November 2021, Kia Oval, London.
International EV Batteries conference, 11-12 November 2021, Kia Oval, London.

Ahead of our sixth annual International EV Batteries conference (9-10 November 2021), we caught up with Neil Miles, Head of Engineering at Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company.

Neil discusses his role and involvement with regards to the conference, industry challenges, what he is looking forward to at the event and why it is important for engineers to attend.

Q: Please could you briefly explain your role, involvement, and experience with regards to EV batteries?

Neil Miles (NM): My role as Head of Engineering is to resource new technologies that are in line to our strategic approach that takes into account clean air ambitions, reducing our CO2 footprint and minimising the impact on climate change, I need to procure a product that meets the operational range demands. To do this we look at all options currently available and as things stand from our research we are limited to hydrogen fuel cell technology but we need to make sure that the batteries storing the charge have a good life cycle with minimal degradation along with considering change, maintenance, and change out packages midlife along with recycling of the batteries.

Q: Many OEMs are pledging to be fully electric by 2030/2035, in light of this what would you say we need next to ensure a mainly electric vehicle presence in the market in the UK?

NM: Greater assistance form the government and a solid lead for us to follow to give us the confidence that we are being supported and are making the right decisions in line with environmental timelines. We also need increased funding opportunities to assist with the environmental timeline to make 2035 a reality for operators.

Q: When it comes to the part of the battery life cycle you are involved in, what considerations need to be taken when it comes to the sustainability side?

NM: Degradation and life cycle along with the maintenance need and costs along the ability to recycle. Also, we would consider the impact that the battery production has on well to wheel data.

Q: What do you think is the main area in the battery lifecycle that needs development to ensure a net-zero carbon lifecycle to match the 2050 target?

NM: Vehicles bought now to get you on the right path to 2035 need to have batteries that will take you reliably and economically to 2035 and beyond.

Q: Regarding new technologies for battery use and operation, what would you say are the ones to watch for the future?

NM: I would say any battery types that are used in conjunction with fuel cells where the efficiency of the batteries reduces the need for as many cells reducing weight and increasing space. Batteries that are on site to store energy either charged at night or by solar energy and used in the day as potential range extenders for fuel cell vehicles minimising the amount of H2 needed and increasing range.

Q: Why is it important for engineers to join the International EV Batteries 2021 conference?

NM: Engineers have to forget their previous internal combustion engine knowledge and stop holding on to the past, to embrace the change that has to happen to improve public health and to clean up our environmental mistakes from the past. EV alone is not an option for us, but it is for many, and if we don’t take today's engineers on the journey and we don’t encourage operators to maintain new technologies themselves, we will end up with a huge skills gap.

This year’s International EV Batteries conference will be taking place on 9-10 November 2021 at Kia Oval, London.

The International EV Batteries 2021 conference will cover:

  • Status updates on UK government investment and projects in battery manufacturing
  • Insight into varying battery materials and requirements for the battery supply chain
  • State-of-the-art battery cell chemistries and design for a cost-effective, stable and energy-dense battery
  • Innovative design for fast charging  and charging infrastructure and technology
  • Understanding of how specific challenges of integrating EV technology into heavy duty applications are being managed by leaders in the field
  • Best practice for thermal management of batteries to ensure optimal temperatures for safe operation
  • Cutting-edge battery testing techniques and technologies to ensure an efficient and safe battery

To book your place, please visit the event website.


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