Coventry’s Advanced Propulsion Centre receives £43.7m funding towards net zero


Coventry-based Advanced Propulsion Centre has received £43.7m in funding for projects accelerating the UK’s journey towards net zero.

The joint investment by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy and the automotive sector looks to continue the UK’s post-pandemic growth and continue the UK’s leading role in the fight against climate change.

Minister for Investment, Lord Grimstone, said: “Ensuring the continued success of the UK auto industry is central to growing the economy that will ultimately help ensure jobs and economic opportunities are created throughout the country.”

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The funding has been split across 21 projects, comprised of 19 Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF) feasibility studies and two late-stage research and development projects.

The ATF feasibility surveys are intended to explore the case for scaling up UK manufacturing in areas such as battery anode and cathode production, fuel cell stack assembly and the viability of UK-sourced critical materials needed for green technology such as lithium extraction and graphite refining.

One of the R&D projects involves the electrification of the Norton motorcycle, a UK racing name dating back to the 1800s. Project ZEN (Zero Emission Norton) has received £8.5m in funding through the APC to develop two-wheeled electric vehicles.

The other is for the eOx all-terrain delivery truck, designed for pay-as-you-go transport in emerging markets. This will enable OX to optimise its electric OX truck currently operating in Rwanda by developing denser, cheaper and longer lasting batteries as well as electronic drive units and a lightweight structure suitable for off-road conditions. They have also received £8.5m in APC funding.

These two late-stage research and development projects are set to safeguard or create hundreds of highly-skilled jobs as well as saving up to 27.6 million tonnes of CO₂ – the equivalent of removing the lifetime emissions of around 1.1million cars.

Ian Constance, Chief Executive at the APC said: “The projects receiving today’s investment highlight the breadth of technologies needed to help the UK accelerate to net-zero emissions. They’re reimagining not just vehicles, but the entire automotive supply chain.”

“From the performance and speed needed to develop an all-electric superbike to the power and resilience needed to drive an off-road vehicle over some of the world’s toughest terrains, this investment in late-stage R&D will support two projects to make a global economic and environmental impact, all radiating from a UK manufacturing base.”

“But to fully decarbonise the automotive sector we also need to transition the EV supply chain. The 19 feasibility studies getting funding today offer solid commercial exploration of opportunities for the UK to rapidly grow manufacturing in some of the most globally advanced and in-demand vehicle technologies, leading to highly-skilled jobs and green growth.”

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