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Automotive industry to benefit from £73.5m government investment
Britain’s automotive industry is set to benefit from a £73.5m government investment to help develop a range of green technologies and safeguard jobs.
Ten projects across the UK will receive a share of the investment to develop cutting-edge technology for the next generation of electric taxis, cars and vans – including recyclable batteries, advanced electrical systems and ultra-lightweight components. Companies set to benefit include Ford Technologies, LEVC, Cummins Turbo Technologies and Jaguar Land Rover.
This funding will contribute to the automotive sector’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic by safeguarding more than 14,000 UK research and manufacturing jobs. It will also enable the manufacture of a greater volume of low emission cars, commercial vehicles and components in the UK.
Nadhim Zahawi, business minister, said: “Whether it’s researching future battery design or creating a lightweight version of the Ford Transit, companies in every part of the United Kingdom are leading the world in advanced automotive technology. 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.”
Successful projects were chosen by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), which seeks to maintain the UK’s position as a centre of excellence for the research and development of low carbon vehicle technology.
Jon Beasley, director of technology & projects at the APC, said: “It’s an exciting time for the UK automotive industry – we are 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.”
Paul Warton, president of the automotive structures & industry business unit at Constellium, added: “The APC’s funding was instrumental to ensuring the ALIVE project will be developed in the UK and we are delighted to have received their support and confidence. Constellium and its project partners expect to deliver the most cost effective solution available for the production of structural aluminium battery enclosures providing far greater design freedom and modularity than exists today to support our OEM partners on the journey to vehicle electrification.”
The ten successful projects are:
LEVC – Electric Vehicle Evolution (Coventry): the London Electric Vehicle Company will develop a new EV technology specifically for its vehicles to deliver increased efficiency and higher performance capabilities.
Constellium – ALIVE (Slough): this project will develop the manufacturing processes for lightweight, crash-resistant battery enclosures. These will be used in ultra-low emission vehicles.
Cummins Turbo Technologies – TRIDENT (Huddersfield): this project will look to develop and manufacture a game-changing energy recovery platform that will deliver fuel consumption improvements.
Ford Technologies – eSHADOW (Basildon): the project will determine the technical, financial and environmental challenges of using advanced, lightweight materials in vehicle manufacturing.
Jaguar Land Rover – Hi-VIBES (Coventry): a consortium of academics and industry will create a new electronic system that will be easier to build, as well as being lighter and cheaper.
Avid Technology – REVO (Cramlington, near Newcastle): this project will help to deliver improvements in electric and hybrid vehicle efficiency.
TEVVA – SANGREAL (Chelmsford): this project will bench-test an innovative design of axle for 7.5 to 14-tonne commercial vehicles. It will improve safety through better impact robustness.
Jaguar Land Rover – ZEUS (Coventry): JLR is developing a prototype hydrogen fuel cell vehicle with its partners. Hydrogen can play a role as a viable fuel in the future across the automotive industry alongside battery electric vehicles.
Magnetic Systems Technology – Magtec (Sheffield): this project will be focused on utilising the most innovative manufacturing process and assembly methods for traction motors.
BMW (Motorsport) – FutureBEV (Warwick & Newport): this project aims to deliver better powertrains that are more cost-efficient.