New funding heralds UK’s leadership in low-carbon automotive future

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  • £33 million in 12th round of government funding through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) to advance the UK’s low-carbon automotive capability
  • funding is expected to create 2,230 jobs in research and manufacturing across UK
  • projects part of the UK’s development of cutting-edge technology and the modern Industrial Strategy

Companies from across the country are set to benefit from £33 million new government investment through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) to develop the next generation of low-carbon vehicles, helping the automotive sector build a prosperous low-carbon future.

The investment, part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy, is expected to create up to 2,230 jobs in research and manufacturing across UK.

Projects range from the development of high-performance battery packs and electrified construction equipment, to hydrogen-powered engines – as well as helping support the establishment of future supply chains.

To mark the announcement, Business Minister Andrew Stephenson visited McLaren Group in Woking. The company is one of 32 organisations, working in 5 consortia, benefiting from £9.8 million new investment towards its ESCAPE project. This will create a complete end-to-end supply chain for a key component to be used in all electrified vehicles, whether automotive, railway, marine or aviation – a first for the UK.

Business Minister Andrew Stephenson said:

This new investment will enhance the UK’s leading position in the development of the next generation of electric and autonomous vehicles and clean growth. We are committed to building on those strengths to ensure we are a leader in the design and manufacture of automotive vehicles as part of our modern Industrial Strategy.

These projects will build the capacity and capability of UK companies to manufacture low carbon technology and provide high skilled, well paid jobs across the country.

Other successful projects receiving funding are:

  • Tata Motors European Technical Centre Limited: the ZETE project is an ultra-clean engine that reduces emissions in high pollutant sectors including heavy haulage, rail and shipping
  • Unipart Powertrain Applications Limited: the H1perChain project will strengthen the UK’s battery industry by providing a cost-effective route for UK-manufactured batteries into domestic and export markets
  • Caterpillar (U.K.) Limited: A joint project with AVID Technology to develop a fully electrified construction machine
  • YASA Limited: the EV-LIFT project aims to produce a best-in-class Electronic Drive Unit (EDU) for next generation battery electric vehicles (BEVs)

Ian Constance, Chief Executive of the Advanced Propulsion Centre, said:

Supporting the development of cutting-edge low carbon vehicle technology is crucial to ensuring we have a robust supply chain that enables the future of the UK automotive industry.

The wide range of projects awarded funding is proof that there isn’t one answer to reducing transport emissions. We must continue to collaborate across sectors in order to boost innovation in many aspects of the industry so we can take advantage of export opportunities to other markets.

Notes

The winning projects selected through the APC’s rigorous assessment programme create opportunities to secure jobs in research and manufacturing across the UK as well as sharing knowledge across industry and academia.

Further background on projects:

Tata Motors European Technical Centre Limited

Its ZETE (Zero Emissions Tata Hydrogen Engine) is an ultra-clean, low-cost thermal engine. Focused on reducing emissions while delivering cost-effective solutions for truck and fleet operators, its commercial application is of global significance.

Unipart Powertrain Applications Limited

The H1perChain project focuses on the scale-up of the UK’s battery pack manufacturing and supply chain industry, supporting a critical part of the automotive sector and the UK government Industrial Strategy. The project will address the need for significant reduction in battery pack costs by developing the UK’s supply chain capabilities.

McLaren Applied Technologies Limited, part of the McLaren Group

The ESCAPE project is an end-to-end supply chain development for automotive power electronics which are not currently manufactured in the UK. ESCAPE will establish, for the first time in the UK, a complete end-to-end supply chain for a core, high-value component, which can be used in all electrified vehicles (automotive, railway, marine and aviation).

Caterpillar (U.K.) Limited

A joint project with AVID Technology Limited, this venture plans to create a fully electrified construction machine, providing zero tailpipe emissions and low noise solution for off-highway applications. The fully-electric powertrain developed will fulfil demanding environmental conditions and duty cycles required by the off-highway machinery market.

YASA Limited

EV-LIFT is a collaborative APC project between YASA, HSSMI and Coventry University. The project aims to produce a best-in-class Electronic Drive Unit (EDU) for next generation battery electric vehicles (BEVs). The project will utilise class-leading motor, inverter, and gearbox technology that enables significant light-weighting and efficiency improvements for next-generation BEVs.

About the Advanced Propulsion Centre

Our job is to ensure the UK remains competitive in the research, development and production of low carbon automotive technologies, anchoring and growing UK capabilities.

Through a team of hand-picked specialists, we introduce those with good ideas to those who can take them to market, providing mentoring and access to funding along the way.

The Advanced Propulsion Centre funds a wide range of technologies. The key focus areas are:

  • thermal propulsion systems
  • energy storage and energy management
  • electrics machine and power electronics
  • lightweight vehicle and powertrain structures

Born out of the collaboration between UK government and industry, our organisation aims to save 50 million tonnes of CO2, safeguard or create 30,000 jobs in the UK and make £1 billion of match funding, committed by industry and government, available to research and develop low carbon automotive technologies in the UK.

We are now half way through a ten-year programme launched in 2013, and well on our way to achieving our targets. Our 12th competition represents a total investment of £835 million across 49 projects made up of 176 organisations in consortia partnerships, safeguarding or creating a potential 27,828 jobs in the UK, saving a potential 46.4 million tonnes CO2. This is the equivalent of removing 2.6 million cars from UK roads.

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