£49m uplift drives automotive industry towards green future

Retro electric motorcycles and high-power batteries to help electric vehicles travel longer distances are just two of the concepts receiving a share of £49m government funding today – supporting the automotive sector’s quest to go green and creating thousands of new jobs in the process.

31 projects are receiving a portion of £10m from the government’s Automotive Transformation Fund, to support to development of low carbon emission technologies for vehicles, such as state-of-the-art motors and high-performing batteries for electric vehicles. One winning project, Thurso+, will look at upscaling a battery cell production facility in Scotland – boosting UK battery manufacturing capability.

Meanwhile, £29m is being awarded to six projects through the government’s APC16 competition, with winners expected to create 2,880 jobs and save 15.8 million tonnes of CO2. One project, expected to create over 500 jobs, will develop infrastructure to collect and recycle electric vehicles and their batteries. This will boost UK capability to re-use materials from vehicles at the end of their life, namely electric vehicle batteries and the chemicals within them – with the potential to save vehicle manufacturers thousands of pounds shipping battery packs abroad for recycling.

Finally, 12 projects have been selected as part of the government’s £10m Advanced Route to Market Demonstrator (ARMD) competition, including a project led by Nissan – which will implement automation technologies to quickly charge electric vehicle batteries in the factory, increasing productivity and slashing costs on their electric vehicle production line.

Minister for Business and Industry Nadhim Zahawi said: “The UK is leading the global battle against climate change, and by developing cleaner vehicles, our automotive industry will help make our net zero ambitions a reality.

“Backed by government funding, these trailblazing projects will help Britain to build back better by creating all-important green jobs, ensuring the sector can make further strides towards an electrified automotive future and helping to address one of the biggest challenges of our time: making transport greener.”

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “Today’s £49m investment in projects from retro electric motorcycles to high-power batteries, will boost our transition to zero-emission vehicles, helping us meet our greenhouse gas reduction goals and driving growth by increasing skilled jobs in the UK automotive sector. This funding comes hot on the heels of the £2.5bn support we have announced to encourage the take-up of electric vehicles and enhance chargepoint infrastructure across the wider roads network.”