The £25M inward investment – by Danish family-owned multinational Danfoss – will be home to Danfoss Editron, which will advance electric and hybrid powertrain systems for heavy-duty vehicles to reduce energy consumption in hydraulic machines radically.
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh supported this next-generation low-carbon technology in partnership with Artemis Intelligent Power Ltd (Artemis), now formally part of the Danfoss group.
The new innovation facility at Shawfair Business Park in Midlothian, which will be carbon neutral in operation, will be the global centre of R&D and manufacturing for two critical technologies on the path to net-zero. The flagship centre will recover the energy used during production and testing, with a heat pump available as a backup if required.
A green power purchase agreement will also cover the building’s electricity consumption. Buccleuch Property is developing the facility, and the ongoing development and commercialisation of the two technologies are being supported by the UK’s Advanced Propulsion Centre and Innovate UK.
The joint university-industry research partnership constituted part of the world-first uses of Digital Displacement® technology with other major transport industry partners. This innovation in engineering has successfully been used in hybrid buses, diesel rail cars and rail passenger carriages enabling significant fuel and emissions savings.
In 2018, together with partner Robbie Fluid Engineering, Danfoss secured £11m from APC towards the company’s £22m Digital Displacement programme, aimed at radically reducing energy consumption in off-road machines.
Brian Kennedy, Director of Operations at Danfoss Scotland, said:
“Scotland is the natural home for this facility. Digital Displacement is a Scottish invention and brings with it a skilled and growing workforce which we aim to increase further in the years ahead.”
Danfoss estimates that global adoption of these two technologies could reduce the lifetime CO2 emissions of excavators alone by 80 Megatonnes (Mt) by 2030 – equivalent to the entire annual CO2 emissions of Scotland and Denmark combined, demonstrating the company’s commitment to becoming CO2 neutral in all global operations by 2030, at the latest.