UK invests £86.9m in net-zero vehicle technologies

The UK government and the automotive industry have announced a joint funding of £86.9m for 20 innovative projects that aim to accelerate the industrialisation of net-zero emission vehicles. The funding marks the 10th anniversary of the Advanced Propulsion Centre UK (APC), which has invested more than £1.4bn into automotive projects since its launch.

APC supports four collaborative R&D projects

The APC has awarded £67.6m to four collaborative research and development (R&D) projects that will support the development of new technologies for zero-emission vehicles. The projects are expected to create or safeguard more than 4,700 jobs in the UK and save nearly 65 million tonnes of CO2 being emitted over the next decade.

UK invests £86.9m in net-zero vehicle technologies
UK invests £86.9m in net-zero vehicle technologies

One of the projects is led by Aston Martin, which is working to accelerate the development of a luxury battery electric vehicle (EV) platform, including vehicle lightweighting, a digital toolchain, and electrification training. Another project is led by Yasa, which is creating an innovative combined electric propulsion and handling system that aims to revolutionise existing EV architecture standards and bring a new level of electrified performance.

The third project is led by Gestamp’s Autotech Engineering R&D UK, which is leading a consortium to create new design methodologies, processes, and materials for a reduced embodied carbon footprint in product designs. The fourth project is led by Perkins, the British engine maker, which is developing a hydrogen-hybrid integrated power system for off-highway vehicles.

ATF funds five scale-up and seven feasibility studies

The Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF) has granted £11.3m to five scale-up projects and £8m to seven feasibility studies that will help businesses in the automotive sector prepare for growth and develop large-scale manufacturing facilities in the UK.

The scale-up projects include Helix’s work to scale-up high power-density and scalable electric motor platforms; Green Lithium Refining’s efforts to build a lithium scale-up plant in Teesside; and Advanced Electric Machines’ work to establish an efficient, scalable UK-based manufacturing process for sustainably produced traction motor systems.

Other successful applicants include Geothermal Engineering, which is working to extract lithium from the United Downs Industrial Park in Cornwall, and Ilika Technologies, which is developing solid-state batteries for EVs.

The feasibility studies will explore various aspects of building a competitive supply chain for net-zero vehicles in the UK, such as battery recycling, hydrogen storage, lightweight materials, and power electronics.

UK aims to be a world leader in zero-emission vehicles

The funding announcement comes as the UK government has set ambitious targets to phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The government has also pledged to invest £2.8bn in supporting the transition to zero-emission vehicles, including £1.3bn for charging infrastructure, £582m for grants, and £500m for battery innovation.

Minister for Industry and Economic Security Nusrat Ghani said: “Together with industry, we’re providing a huge £89 million of funding to drive 20 groundbreaking net zero tech projects which will help grow the economy and create UK jobs in the industries of the future. From net zero tractors to cutting-edge battery projects, we’re taking decisive action to back the UK’s innovators and ensure we remain at the forefront of zero emission vehicle technology.”

APC chief executive officer Ian Constance said: “This latest announcement includes a diverse set of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers that demonstrate the strength of UK automotive. They will further add to our portfolio of innovative projects and continue to drive the UK to deliver on its net-zero ambition.”

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