Vehicle Technology

The Automotive Council has published 11 roadmaps to illustrate the advances that will be made in automotive technology in coming decades.

These were developed through the Automotive Council technology working group and sub-groups and, in some instances, the Automotive Council adopted roadmaps developed by the Zemo Partnership (as LowCVP) and Ricardo in their entirety.

The roadmaps included four vehicle sector roadmaps:

  • Passenger car low carbon technology
  • Commercial and off-road technology
  • Bus technology
  • Motorsport technology

Passenger Cars

Efficiency improvements, driven by EU level tailpipe emissions targets and air quality regulations, underpin the passenger car roadmap. Electric vehicles (PHEVs, BEVs and/or FCEVs) are expected to become a mainstream offer between 2020 and 2030 – assuming energy storage breakthroughs and adequate grid capacity. Development of these technologies is driven by the need to meet the long term UK CO2 targets.

The EC transport goals are also expected to become a driver for Zero Emission Vehicles, e.g. CO2-free city logistics in major urban centres by 2030 and phasing out conventionally fuelled cars in cities by 2050.

Passenger car low carbon roadmap

Trucks, Buses and Off Road Vehicles

As with cars, efficiency gains are an essential part of the commercial vehicle roadmaps and the decade between 2020 and 2030 will see powertrains being increasingly hybridised, with full electric powertrains expected to be suitable for some duty cycles.

However, the roadmap does not include a cross-cutting liquid fuel strategy (e.g. type and blends of biofuels, diesel/gasoline balance), and there is no explicit roadmap for gas vehicles.

commercial off-road technology roadmap

Ricardo was commissioned to undertake detailed technology studies on the buses and HGVs. The resulting roadmaps are shown below and can be downloaded from the hotlinks below:

Bus roadmap


Motorsport is also moving to adopt low carbon technologies and is likely to act as a proving ground for many technologies before their emergence in mainstream vehicles.

The main focus is on reducing loses from transmission, improved aerodynamics, improved energy recovery and the introduction of electric machines.

Other Key Technologies

The Automotive Council has also published seven roadmaps focused on specific technology areas. These are:

  • Lightweight vehicle and powertrain technology
  • Powertrain (internal combustion engine) technology
  • Power electric technology
  • Traction motors and generation technology (<40kW)
  • Traction motors and generation technology (>100kW)
  • Energy storage and Echem technology
  • Intelligent mobility technology

The vehicle technology roadmaps are available online from the Automotive Council and Advanced Propulsion Centre websites.