Transport is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the UK, with the vast majority of emissions coming from road vehicles. To meet the government’s “net zero by 2050” goal, the transport sector must be revolutionised.

Replacing steel in car panels with lighter aluminium halves a car’s weight, meaning a 35% reduction in CO2 emissions and a 35% increase in electric vehicle travel range. Professor Jianguo Lin’s team in the Department of Mechanical Engineering has produced over 100,000 units of aluminium car panels through a spinout company called Impression Technologies Limited.

Professor Ricardo Martinez-Botas’s team of the same department has designed better turbochargers which enable engines to be downsized and improve fuel economy, to reduce CO2 emissions. Imperial designs are in production at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to the tune of 2.2m units, as well as Caterpillar and Daimler AG.

Imperial startup Ceres Power, co-founded by Professor Nigel Brandon, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, and Professors John KilnerAlan Atkinson and the late Brian Steele from the Department of Materials, has also developed a high efficiency, fuel flexible system, currently being deployed to extend the range of electric buses. Ceres Power now has a market capitalisation of £1.3billion.