Coventry University and its successful spin-off firm Microcab are set to show off their zero-emission vehicle expertise at the 2013 Automotive Engineering Show at the NEC in Birmingham next week.

Microcab, which is based at the University’s Technology Park, will take pride of place on one of the show’s main stands where it will exhibit its state-of-the-art H2EV vehicle – a hydrogen fuel cell car, where the only exhaust emission is water.

Two of the University’s leading experts in carbon-free transport will also be speaking at the event, including John Jostins – managing director of Microcab and professor of sustainable transport design – and Bernard Porter, who heads up the institution’s low carbon vehicles programme.

The duo will talk about ‘Life without oil’ and the latest developments in low carbon vehicle technologies, many of which are the subject of joint industry-academic research programmes at Coventry University.

Microcab’s pioneering fleet of zero emission H2EVs – each of which have a 55mph top speed and 180 mile range on a full tank – was recently rolled out into the world’s largest hydrogen fuel cell trial which was launched in northern Europe this summer.

The European Commission-funded SWARM initiative will see 90 hydrogen-powered cars complete a three-year technology development programme in the UK, Belgium and Germany.

As part of the SWARM project, 10 Microcabs will be rolled out onto roads in the Midlands to be trialled in everyday situations by Birmingham City Council, Coventry University and the University of Birmingham.

Bernard Porter, director of low carbon vehicle programmes at Coventry University, said, “We’re delighted to have this opportunity to exhibit at the Automotive Engineering Show with Microcab and to play such a prominent role in showcasing the UK’s cutting-edge expertise in low carbon transport development.”

“It’s appropriate that the West Midlands should be hosting this show given its engineering pedigree and the fantastic research in this field being done by universities like Coventry.”

“Hydrogen and its associated infrastructure have the potential to make a major contribution to the UK’s low carbon economy, so it’s critical that this region remains at the forefront of the push to promote new and clean technologies. There are significant opportunities for businesses on the road ahead.”

The Automotive Engineering Show 2013 will take place at the NEC in Birmingham from Tuesday 12th – Wednesday 13thNovember.

SWARM stands for ‘Demonstration of Small 4-Wheel fuel cell passenger vehicle Applications in Regional and Municipal transport’. The project is funded by the European FCH JU (Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking) and comprises 17 partners including OEMs, research institutes and industrial partners from across Europe.

SWARM will establish a large demonstration fleet of small passenger vehicles that builds on and expands existing hydrogen refuelling infrastructure. Three regions will be participating in this effort: the British Midlands, the Brussels region and Wallonia, and the Weser-Ems region in north-western Germany. In these regions, a total of over 90 vehicles will be put in the hands of real users in a variety of real-life operating environments. They will be monitored throughout the three year demonstration phase of the project (2014–2016). Their reliability, fuel economy and performance will be evaluated, leading to further improvements and market-ready vehicle designs.