Electric vehicle

£73m investment pledge to drive forward eco-friendly transport

It has been announced today that £73m worth of funding has been allocated for the development of clean transport technologies, including the world’s first heavy tractor powered by farm waste.

This joint government and industry investment is intended to support projects right across the UK, aiding in the ambitions to provide the UK with an end-to-end supply chain for zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs).

The five successful projects will be supporting the economic growth of the UK through providing 3,300 jobs, whilst establishing new routes to harness renewable fuels, electrified motors and new materials that’ll reduce the auto industry’s carbon footprint.

This funding was awarded through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) Collaborative Research and Development programme, which operates to support the development of innovative low and zero-carbon automotive technology. £36.4m is being provided through the government and supplemented with £36.6m from the automobile industry.

Business Secretary Grant Shapps said:

“Our automotive industry is a world-leader, creating jobs whether in Essex, Somerset or Glasgow. Seizing the potential from new technologies will be a key part of its future success, while also making our roads cleaner, greener and more affordable.

“Today’s multi-million-pound boost – created by government working hand-in-hand with industry – will put these firms in pole position to pioneer these innovations, staying at the cutting edge of the global race for decades to come.”

Joint government and industry funding winners are:

  • HVS, Glasgow - Receiving £30 million to develop a hydrogen fuel cell-powered HGV cab and tractor unit to replace the highly polluting diesel-powered vehicles currently used to transport road freight.
  • CNH Industrial, Essex - Receiving £15.6 million to develop the world’s first liquid fugitive methane-powered, off-road, heavy tractor. It makes use of methane gas produced by waste from farms, which would otherwise escape into the atmosphere.
  • Toyota, Derbyshire - Receiving £11.3 million to develop a hydrogen-fuel cell version of the Hilux pickup truck, ideal for use in isolated settings where electric vehicle charging is impractical.
  • Constellium, Slough - Receiving £10 million to supply new sources of recycled aluminium that could massively reduce the auto industry’s carbon footprint.
  • Electrified Automation, Somerset - Receiving £6 million to up-scale a market-disrupting new method for manufacturing electric motors that are more cost-effective, powerful and efficient than much of the competition.

Chief Executive at the APC Ian Constance said: 

“Supporting vital research and development in the UK, now more than ever, provides an opportunity to invest in transport decarbonisation as well as boost growth in the automotive sector.

“The £73 million of funding announced today furthers world-leading innovation in net-zero technology for the automotive sector and beyond. These five fantastic projects are all collaborative by design, led by high-profile companies with innovative SME and academic partners, representing the best of UK industry.”

Today’s 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. Included in this is the unlocking of private investment into gigafactories, battery material supply chains, motors, power electronics, and fuel cell systems.

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