Oxford MINI secures £26.2M and REECorner Nuneaton £41.2M to develop electric batteries and vehicles

Mini Plant Oxford 2

Electric car batteries with range similar to internal combustion engines and which can charge in as little as 12 minutes are among projects awarded more than £91 million of government and industry funding.

Four projects have been awarded funding through the Coventry-based 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.

Two of the projects are based in Warwickshire and Oxfordshire.

BMW UK in Oxford, which makes the iconic MINI, has been awarded £26.2 million to develop an electric battery that will rival the driving range of internal combustion engines, helping put concerns over how far electric vehicles can travel to rest.

REEcorner, Nuneaton has been awarded £41.2 million to radically redesign light and medium-sized commercial electric vehicles in Nuneaton by moving the steering, breaking, suspension and powertrain into the wheel arch enabling increased autonomous capability, storage space and design flexibility

The other two successful projects are

Project CELERITAS, Birmingham which has been awarded £9.7 million to create ultra-fast charging batteries for electric and fuel cell hybrid vehicles that can charge in as little as 12 minutes and the BRUNEL project in Darlington, which has secured £14.6 million to develop a novel zero emission, hydrogen-fuelled engine to help decarbonise heavy goods vehicles.

CEO at the Advanced Propulsion Centre Ian Constance 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 (HGVs) by 2040, as set out in the government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan. The projects awarded funding will help make the technological developments needed to meet these goals.