UCL East


Zero-emission transport a step closer thanks to new UCL-HORIBA partnership at UCL East

20 October 2022

UCL researchers will play a bigger role in accelerating the move away from fossil fuels and towards zero-emission transport through a new partnership with Japanese manufacturer HORIBA.

Electric car charging point with white car behind it

HORIBA will fund a new Chair in Advanced Propulsion Technologies and two PhD students to sit within the UCL Advanced Propulsion Lab (APL), which will be based at UCL East on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The lab will be dedicated to the decarbonisation of the transport sector, specialising in battery and fuel cell electric vehicles. Through the partnership, UCL and HORIBA will develop and champion new, more efficient propulsion technologies for electric vehicles and train the next generation of engineers in the sector.

The APL will develop greener and more sustainable battery and fuel cell technology to lead the way towards a carbon-free future. It aims to provide the best facilities in the world to test vehicle propulsion, fuel cells and batteries – key technologies for zero-emission transport.

The APL will be the first research facility in the world to develop electrochemical technologies that are then integrated and applied to a wide range of mobility and transport modes. It will build on world-leading research taking place in the UCL Electrochemical Innovation Lab (EIL), which has over 70 experts in electrochemical energy storage and power conversion.

Professor Nigel Titchener-Hooker (Dean, UCL Engineering) said: “The transport industry will be transformed over the coming years as we move to electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. I am grateful to HORIBA for their support for the work of the APL and their commitment to working with us to lead this global transformation. UCL and HORIBA have the knowledge, skills, experience and facilities to be at the forefront of this exciting sector, driving forward technologies that are crucial to the future wellbeing of society and the planet.”

UCL's new Marshgate building next to the ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture and river on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

HORIBA is a global leader in vehicle propulsion measurement and testing systems and works in a range of fields, including engine emissions, scientific analysis, innovation for the future of the information society, healthcare and environment monitoring.

Richard Carter, Director, HORIBA UK, said: “Through the provision of many years of technological competence and know-how, HORIBA goes beyond measure to support a cleaner and more energy efficient future. Thanks to the diversity in its technology and its ability to adapt and respond to industries’ challenges, HORIBA is in a unique position to support the world as it evolves and remains committed to the realisation of a sustainable society. UCL is an ideal partner for us to pursue this commitment with.

“UCL is renowned for its globally-leading position in advanced propulsion technologies and, as the automotive industry heads towards an electric and hydrogen fuel cell future, we are delighted to be working in partnership with the APL and supporting the new Chair and PhD scholarships.”

Professor Paola Lettieri (Pro-Provost, UCL East) said: “Research partnerships with industry are crucial to tackling the biggest challenges of our time. They bring together the people with the right experiences, skills, facilities and resources to advance our understanding and capabilities in new areas. They then translate this new knowledge into applications in the real world that deliver life-changing – and often life-saving – benefits for people and communities.”

Angharad Milenkovic (Vice-President, Advancement at UCL) said: “For UCL, philanthropy plays a key role in enabling us to attract talented academics and PhD researchers. These new posts will bring in yet more academic excellence to the existing core of APL researchers and engineers, accelerating us towards a zero-emissions transport system, in line with UCL’s goal to help create a more sustainable world for everyone.”

The UCL APL will open in 2023 on our new UCL East campus.



Find out more: UCL Advanced Propulsion Lab