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£26.5m of funding for three low carbon powertrain developments
As part of a landmark automotive sector deal agreement announced today, more than £26 million funding has been awarded by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), in association with Innovate UK, to three UK-based consortia to develop new low carbon powertrain technologies.
Led by Ford, GKN and Jaguar Land Rover, the projects will deliver competitive e-machine manufacturing capability, re-skilling of workforces and a stronger supply chain capable of producing the next generation of vehicles here in the UK.
The projects, which are worth £53 million including the grant funding through the APC, are forecast to save more than 11 million tonnes of CO2. Each will focus on developing the UK’s e-mobility capabilities, from developing electric powertrain components to advanced manufacturing processes for EV components.
• Ford – A project led by Ford’s UK based Global Manufacturing Engineering team working with machine tool supply chain partners to develop processes and equipment for production of ultra-high volume next generation electrified powertrain systems. This will include the development of new digitisation tools for both the design, operation and monitoring of manufacturing plants.
• GKN – Development of future generation eDrive system platforms, utilising high speed eMachines and advanced high speed power electronics, in conjunction with Nottingham University. This project aims to further grow UK capability in the design and manufacture of eMachines and Power electronics.
• Jaguar Land Rover – Is leading an exciting research project to develop future state of the art electric hybrid vehicle systems, in conjunction with universities and businesses across the UK. The project aims to significantly improve the vehicle system efficiency through utilisation of innovative electronic systems and componentry
Ian Constance, Chief Executive of the APC, said: “The eighth round of APC funding marks our first investment of 2018 and comes at a crucial time for the UK automotive industry – when it must continue to invest in the latest innovations to remain at the forefront of low emission development.
“These projects build upon the current APC portfolio and demonstrate how UK companies are driving greater electrification into future vehicles, while standing to create or safeguard nearly 1,500 jobs supporting next generation electrified powertrains.”
Martin Everitt, Powertrain Manufacturing Engineering Director, Ford of Europe, added: “We are delighted to have secured APC funding to support an important Ford investment significantly contributing to the retention and further development of the Manufacturing Engineering skills base in the UK. The availability of APC funding is instrumental in Ford’s decision to create a unique engineering and innovation capability in the UK to support the transformation to next generation electrified powertrain technology. The project provides significant opportunities for the UK manufacturing engineering supply base in virtual engineering, machine tool development and process visualisation. This collaboration with key supply chain partners Froehlich, Siemens, National Instruments, Signal Noise and HSSMI will contribute to the ongoing development of competence, productivity, enhancement of world class manufacturing technology and the support high value jobs, all in the UK.”
Phil Swash, Chief Executive Officer, GKN Automotive concluded: “This funding will help GKN deliver the next generation of electric driveline systems, driving performance improvements and optimising costs to enable our OEM customers to bring electrification to a broader range of consumers. As an international company based here in the UK, we are extremely pleased that advanced eDrive technologies are now being developed in our UK Innovation Centre in Abingdon, which will benefit the wider UK automotive sector.”
James Gaade, Jaguar Land Rover Powertrain Research, said: “We are pleased to be awarded this funding with academic and industry partners, which builds on our existing positive relationship with APC. As we move to electrify all new Jaguar Land Rover vehicles from 2020, this funding will allow us to achieve critical breakthroughs in next generation of technology, accelerate innovation and deliver a cleaner future. Working collaboratively in this way will strengthen the UK supply chain capability and cement our position as a global centre of excellence for Autonomous, Connected, Electrified vehicles.”