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£91m of funding awarded for green automotive technology
Electric car batteries with range similar to internal combustion engines, and which can charge in as little as 12 minutes, are among projects awarded over £91m of government and industry funding.
In total, four projects have been awarded funding through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) Collaborative Research and Development competition, which supports the development of innovative low carbon automotive technology. Together, they could save almost 32 million tonnes of carbon emissions, equivalent to the lifetime emissions of 1.3 million cars, and secure over 2,700 jobs across the country.
These innovations will help to address a range of concerns amongst motorists about electric vehicle adoption, including charging times, driving range, affordability and accessibility.
The projects that have been awarded funding are:
BMW-UK-BEV, Oxford: £26.2m to develop an electric battery that will rival the driving range of internal combustion engines, helping with concerns over how far electric vehicles can travel.
Project CELERITAS, Birmingham: £9.7m to create ultra-fast charging batteries for electric and fuel cell hybrid vehicles that can charge in as little as 12 minutes.
The BRUNEL project, Darlington: £14.6m to develop a novel zero emission, hydrogen-fuelled engine to help decarbonise heavy goods vehicles.
REEcorner, Nuneaton: £41.2m to radically redesign light and medium-sized commercial electric vehicles by moving the steering, braking, suspension and powertrain into the wheel arch enabling increased autonomous capability, storage space and design flexibility.
Ian Constance, CEO at the Advanced Propulsion Centre, said: “These projects tackle some really important challenges in the journey to net-zero road transport. 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 emissions.”
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 petrol heavy goods vehicles by 2040, as set out in the government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan.
Minister for investment, Lord Grimstone, added: “By investing tens of millions in the technology needed to decarbonise our roads, not only are we working hard to end our contribution to climate change, but also ensuring our automotive sector has a competitive future that will secure thousands of highly-skilled jobs. 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.”