£54m investment as UK automotive industry accelerates towards net-zero emissions


More than £54m in combined government and industry funding has been committed to three innovative projects for cars, buses, heavy goods vehicles and vans across the UK, co-ordinated by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC).

In Northern Ireland, £11.2 million for the development and manufacture of low-cost hydrogen fuel cell bus technology and a hydrogen centre of excellence with Wrightbus in Ballymena, to further the development of hydrogen technology and drive product sales across the world.

In Wales, lightweight electric powertrains for heavy goods vehicles will be developed in Cwmbran led by Meritor in a £31.9 million programme which will also see a new technology centre built in Scotland.

In Warwickshire, £11.3 million has been committed through Shield Manufacturing Technologies to develop and manufacture an energy recovery system developed in motorsport and integrated with an e-axle and motor, to reduce energy use in cars and vans in a transformational project for the UK’s production of motors and inverters.

Ian Constance, Chief Executive at the APC said: “We are delighted to have guided the latest investment of more than £54 million in the development and production of innovative powertrains to further accelerate the transition of the automotive sector to a net-zero future. The funding will enable the UK to apply its world-class innovation and experience in electrification of vehicles across the supply chain in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

“From fuel cell technology for buses, designed and built in Ballymena, a lightweight electric powertrain for commercial vehicles developed and manufactured in Wales and an integrated motor and energy recovery systems system for cars and vans based on motorsport technology in Warwickshire, today’s announcement secures and creates nearly 10,000 jobs and will cut CO2 emissions equivalent to removing the lifetime emissions of nearly 1.8 million cars.”

Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The UK is leading the world by developing cutting edge technology that will help to tackle climate change and lead to a green, prosperous future for our automotive sector.

“These projects will not only help accelerate the wider application of greener technology in lorries and buses, but will also help generate the high-skilled jobs to level up regions across the UK while ensuring we build back greener.”