New funding for low-carbon automotive projects

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The UK government has announced over £91m funding for low-carbon automotive technology through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) Collaborative Research and Development competition.

low-carbon automotive
Image: Adobestock

Four projects will be awarded through the 18th round of funding coordinated by the APC, which collaborates with government and industry to support development of low-carbon emission technologies for cars, buses, heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and vans.

BWM-UK-BEV in Oxford will receive £26.2m to develop an electric battery with a similar driving range to internal combustion engines, whilst Birmingham’s Project CELERITAS will be awarded £9.7m to create ultra-fast charging batteries for electric and fuel cell hybrid vehicles that could charge in as little as 12 minutes.

The Cummins-led BRUNEL project in Darlington will receive £14.6m to develop a novel zero emission hydrogen-fuelled engine to decarbonise HGVs, and REEcorner in Nuneaton will receive £41.2m to redesign light and medium-sized commercial electric vehicles by moving the steering, braking, suspension and powertrain into the wheel arch for increased autonomous capability, storage space and design flexibility.

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“Seizing the opportunities that arise from the global green automotive revolution is central to our plans to build back greener, and these winning projects will help make the widespread application and adoption of cutting-edge, clean automotive technology a reality,” said minister for investment Lord Grimstone.

“The government has already announced the end of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2030, putting the UK on course to be the fastest major economy to decarbonise cars and vans, and is currently consulting on phasing out the sale of new diesel and HGVs by 2040, as set out in the government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan.”

Ian Constance, CEO at the APC said that the winning projects tackle important challenges in the journey to net-zero road transport, commenting: “They address range anxiety and cost, which can be a barrier to people making the switch to electric vehicles, and they also provide potential solutions to the challenge of how we decarbonise public transport and the movement of goods.

“By investing in this innovation, we’re taking these technologies closer to the point where they are commercially viable, which will strengthen the UK’s automotive supply chain, safeguard or create jobs and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.”