Advanced Propulsion Centre backs new wave of electric car, van, and battery projects, as agency predicts UK automotive sector is on 'the precipice of an innovation landslide'
Green car, taxi, and van projects from Newport to Newcastle are set to share in £73.5m of government funding awarded yesterday, with 10 multi-million pound grants announced in support of a range of innovative new zero emission vehicle technologies.
Assigned through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) - the joint government-industry venture tasked with accelerating the shift towards net zero road transport - the funding is expected to help create or secure up to 10,000 jobs while cutting CO2 emissions by almost 60 million tonnes.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said the investment would also boost the automotive sector's recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, with firms benefitting from funding including Ford, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, and the London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC).
The awards follow a report by the APC earlier this week which estimated the UK's electric vehicle sector and associated supply chains could deliver a £24bn boost to the economy within the next five years as the industry targets a phase-out of petrol and diesel car sales by 2035 at the latest.
"Whether it's researching future battery design or creating a lightweight version of the Ford Transit, companies in every part of the UK are leading the world in advanced automotive technology," said Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi. "Not only will this funding ensure automotive companies can play their part in keeping us on the path to net zero emissions by 2050, it will also support thousands of jobs and be a welcome step towards the industry's economic recovery."
The government funding is being shared across 10 projects chosen by the APC to develop cutting edge technology for the next generation of electric taxis, cars, and vans in order to help drive the industry further away from its reliance on fossil fuels, BEIS said.
Among those securing support, LEVC has been awarded funding to support its project to develop a new recylcable high performance battery designed specifically for its electric taxis, while Ford has won backing for its project to develop new lightweight materials for vehicle manufacturing.
A consortium of academics and industry led by Jaguar Land Rover has also secured funding for a project in Coventry to create a new cheaper and lighter electronic system for vehicles, while the car firm has additionally won backing for a separate project to develop a new four-wheel drive 400kW hydrogen fuel cell EV.
Other winning projects include BMW Motorsport's plan to develop more cost-efficient electric powertrains, Costellium's bid to create light weight, crash resistance battery enclosures for EVs, and Tevva's project to design an innovative new axle for 7.5-14-tonne electric commercial vehicles.
Jon Beasley, director of a technology and projects at the APC, said the UK automotive industry was now "on the precipice of an innovation landslide".
"The technology we invest in now is set to make an impact on the next generation of vehicles," he said. "The projects chosen to receive funding will all develop the next iteration of electrification solutions; showing that it is fast becoming the technology of choice for a wide range of vehicles and that it is vital to ensuring a sustainable low carbon future."
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