Earlier this week, at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ (SMMT) Annual Dinner the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark MP, announced further support for the research and development of low carbon vehicle technologies in the UK through a grant investment of £25m – which will help build the future of two major UK automotive facilities, creating and safeguarding a total of 1,750 jobs in the automotive industry.
Invested through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), the funding will enable three R&D projects run by Jaguar Land Rover, Ford Motor Company and Arcola Energy to drive forward the development of innovative low carbon propulsion technologies and their supply chains – including growing the UK’s capability for the production of electric drive units, a virtual product development process to support the electrification of future commercial vehicles and fuel cell electric powertrains for the bus and commercial vehicle sector.
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark MP said: “Investing in these cutting-edge projects will ensure the UK is a leading destination for the innovation and manufacture of electric vehicle technologies and components.
“Through our modern Industrial Strategy, we are harnessing our globally-renowned automotive heritage and engineering excellence to unlock the economic opportunities future vehicle technologies present to businesses across the country.”
The projects are jointly valued at £54m, including the grant funding through the APC, and will save a potential 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 helping to address issues with air quality caused by commercial vehicles in urban areas and cities.
Jaguar Land Rover’s (JLR) project brings together a consortium of world-leading academic and industry partners with the aim of developing strategies and capabilities to produce electric drive units alongside internal combustion engines at its manufacturing facilities. This project will help to support the future of UK-based engine manufacturing facilities and safeguard workforces as we make a transition to a more electrified future.
A project led by Ford Motor Company will work with a consortium to collaborate on the development of digital engineering tools to pioneer a new engineering process that enables the next-generation electrified commercial vehicle technologies to be developed and brought to market much faster.
The final project, led by Arcola Energy, aims to bring to market complete fuel cell electric powertrains, develop a best-in-class integrated motor drive unit, strengthen UK capability in supply of battery packs, and demonstrate game-changing hydrogen storage technology on a commercial vehicle.
Since the APC was established in 2013, it has invested in 44 UK-based projects collectively valued at £770m, including £368m worth of grants.
All projects have the aim of helping vehicle manufacturers and suppliers to develop innovative, low carbon propulsion technologies. In total, the projects will help to save 42.7 million tonnes of CO2 – equivalent to 2.4 million cars off the road – and to create or safeguard over 25,000 UK jobs.
Ian Constance, Chief Executive of the APC, said: “The development of low carbon vehicle technology is a crucial part of the future success of the UK automotive industry. The 11th instalment of APC funding, and the innovations it will support, will help further establish the UK as a leading destination for the development of low carbon propulsion technology allowing us to remain competitive, creating and safeguarding UK employment.”