Britain’s automotive industry is set to benefit from a £73.5 million government investment to develop green technologies and safeguard jobs.
Ten projects across the UK, including two from this region, will receive a share of this new investment to develop technology for the next generation of electric taxis, cars and vans – including recyclable batteries, advanced electrical systems and ultra-lightweight components.
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.
The funding boost will aid the development of highly efficient and ultra-lightweight components and help drive the automotive industry further away from its reliance on fossil fuel technologies.
Companies set to benefit include Coventry-based London Electric Vehicle Company, manufacturer of electric taxis, Jaguar Land Rover. The move towards electric transport will be vital in helping the UK meet its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, while growing the economy and creating jobs in greener industries.
The successful projects were chosen by the Coventry-based 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.”
The 4 projects chosen to receive funding will all develop the next iteration of electrification solutions, showing that it is fast becoming the technology of choice for a wide range of vehicles and that it is vital to ensuring a sustainable low carbon future.
Paul Warton, President of the Automotive Structures & Industry business unit, Constellium, a global leader in innovative and high value-added aluminium products and solutions in aerospace, automotive and packaging markets. said: “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 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 Ltd – ALIVE (Slough): this project will develop the manufacturing processes for light weight, crash-resistant battery enclosures. These will be used in ultra-low emission vehicles
- Cummins Turbo Technologies Ltd – TRIDENT (Huddersfield): this project will look to develop and manufacture a game-changing energy recovery platform that will deliver fuel consumption improvements
- Ford Technologies Ltd – eSHADOW (Basildon): this 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 Limited – REVO (Cramlington, near Newcastle): it will help 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
- Magnetic Systems Technology Ltd – Magtec (Sheffield): this project will be focused on utilising the most innovative manufacturing process and assembly methods for traction motors
- BMW (Motorsport) Ltd – FutureBEV (Warwick & Newport): this project aims to deliver better powertrains that are more cost-efficient
- 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
Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi announced the 10 projects at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ virtual International Automotive Summit today.