Developers of the next generation of electric cars and vans have received a share of £73.5 million Government funding.
Ten projects across the UK will receive a share of the new cash, helping them develop a range of technologies, including advanced electrical systems and ultra-lightweight components.
The funding was announced by business minister Nadhim Zahawi at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ virtual International Automotive Summit, yesterday (Tuesday, June 23).
The Government says it will contribute to the automotive sector’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic by safeguarding more than 14,000 UK research and manufacturing jobs.
It also claimed the cash will enable the manufacture of a greater volume of low emission cars, commercial vehicles and components in the UK.
Zahawi said: “Whether it’s researching future battery design or creating a lightweight version of the Ford Transit, companies in every part of the United Kingdom are leading the world in advanced automotive technology.
“Not only will this funding ensure automotive companies can play their part in keeping us on the path to net zero emissions by 2050, it will also support thousands of jobs and be a welcome step towards the industry’s economic recovery.”
Companies set to benefit include Ford Technologies, BMW Motorsport, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and the London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC), manufacturer of electric taxis.
The successful projects were chosen by the 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 and projects at the Advanced Propulsion Centre, 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 10 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.”
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 – 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 – TRIDENT (Huddersfield): this project will look to develop and manufacture a game-changing energy recovery platform that will deliver fuel consumption improvements
- Ford Technologies – 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 – 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 – Magtec (Sheffield): this project will be focused on utilising the most innovative manufacturing process and assembly methods for traction motors
- BMW (Motorsport) – 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.