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3 minute read - 10th May 2023

£77m funding awarded for new zero-emission vehicle projects

Seven projects across the country that will support more than 4,400 jobs over the next decade are to share £77m of joint government and industry funding to develop clean transport technologies.

The schemes include work on battery-powered buses, a hydrogen-powered version of the Ford Transit van, and a project to develop a hydrogen fuel-cell range extender for specialist electric vehicles in demanding roles, such as fire engines and ambulances.

The funding has been awarded through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) Collaborative Research and Development programme, in support of ambitions to build an end-to-end supply chain for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in the UK. The investment includes £38.4m from government, backed by a further £38.7m from the automobile industry – taking the total to just over £77m.

£77m in new funding has been awarded to seven zero-emission vehicle projects, including one to develop a hydrogen-powered Transit van / Picture: Ford of Britain

Nusrat Ghani, industry and economic security minister, said: “Zero-emission cars, vans and taxis are increasingly common, but this cutting-edge work is going to mean clean, green vehicles designed and built in the UK can increasingly take on the toughest jobs too, from life-saving emergency services, to haulage and public transport. Our automotive industry keeps setting the pace globally and seizing the potential of new technologies. Today’s multi-million-pound boost will help them stay ahead of international competition, while delivering on our priority to grow the economy and support high-quality jobs.”

Ian Constance, chief executive of the APC, added: “Investment into these seven collaborative projects continues the work that the UK does very well. Research and development, building the automotive supply chain, pushing the boundaries of clean technology for the road, whilst securing jobs across the country. I’m pleased to have well-known brand names among this £77 million funding round through the APC, as well as innovative SMEs bringing through exciting new developments.”

Joint government and industry funding winners are:

HYER POWER – ULEMCo: £7.9m backing to develop a hydrogen fuel cell range extender for electric vehicles used for specialised and challenging purposes, such as ambulances, fire engines and street sweepers.

HEIDI – Bramble Energy: £12.7m for work to demonstrate a novel fuel cell/battery hybrid powertrain on a double-decker bus, that will be cheaper than the equivalents currently available for large vehicles.

FCVGEN2.0 – Ford Motor Company: £16.3m awarded to design and develop a hydrogen fuel cell-powered version of the Ford Transit van, which will initially be produced at Ford Dagenham.

NEXTGENZEBS – Wrightbus: £12.7m backing for new, market-leading technology to underpin battery and fuel cell electric buses.

EleVAIT – Jaguar Land Rover: Receiving £12.6m to design and develop technology for inverters – a key component in electric vehicles, supporting the continued growth of a UK-based electric vehicle supply chain.

CAVENDISH – BorgWarner: Awarded £9.8m for work to speed up the rollout of hydrogen-burning internal combustion engines, as an alternative to diesel, for use in heavy-duty settings.

ZETTA – Leyland Trucks: A £5.1m investment. By better use of automation and advanced testing, Leyland Trucks aims to increase productivity and step up the production of battery electric trucks.

This latest announcement comes on top of funding also being invested by the government through the Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF) to develop a high-value end-to-end electrified automotive supply chain in the UK. This includes unlocking private investment in gigafactories, battery material supply chains, motors, power electronics, and fuel cell systems. The ATF is being delivered by the Department for Business and Trade in partnership with the APC.

The government has committed a record £211m to battery research and innovation through the Faraday Battery Challenge, to help the sector deliver 100,000 jobs in battery gigafactories and the battery supply chain by 2040. The funding will be delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) with support from the Faraday Institution, Innovate UK and the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC).

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