What is claimed to be the most advanced rolling road system of its kind in the UK is being built in Wales and will be capable of testing pure electric, hybrid electric as well as traditional internal combustion engine components.

The facility at the University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, will be up and running next month and will form the basis of a new centre for alternative powertrain engineering that opens next year. The R&D centre will be dedicated to environmental and applied green performance technology.

It is the latest in a series of investments in the development of alternative energy sources for niche green vehicles in Wales and provides a major boost for this fast growing sector.

The University of Glamorgan has been at the forefront of many of these developments. Earlier this year it opened the UK's first advanced battery development facility and last year pioneered Europe's first clean, green, zero emission minibus bus powered by three different environmentally friendly technologies.

The main focus of the new centre will be working with industry on a range of projects to help businesses in the sector develop innovative new products and processes and get them on sale.

The Welsh Assembly (government) has provided about GBP200,000 funding from the Academic Expertise for Business (A4B) programme to equip the centre.

It will enable research and testing of high power AC and DC electric motors and micro processors, speed controllers, rapid chargers, remote power systems, alternative future energies, electric drivetrains and high capacity energy storage.