£49 million uplift drives automotive industry towards green future

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has allocated £49m for cleantech innovators.

Retro electric motorcycles and high-power batteries to help electric vehicles travel longer distances are just 2 of the concepts receiving a share of £49 million government funding – 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 £10 million 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, £29 million is being awarded to 6 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 £10 million 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 £49 million 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 £2.5 billion support we have announced to encourage the take-up of electric vehicles and enhance chargepoint infrastructure across the wider roads network.

Ian Constance, CEO of the Advanced Propulsion Centre, said:

The investment announced by the Minister today demonstrates the real and ongoing commitment of government and industry working together to advance the UK’s vibrant automotive technology development sector towards a fully electrified future.

The creativity and engineering excellence in organisations receiving the latest matched funding stretches across the automotive landscape including buses, cars, motorcycles, commercial vehicles and components.

The APC continues to provide the forum and resources for stakeholders to access global opportunities such as the UK’s potential £24 billion share of the global passenger car electrification market.

By continuing to support vital research and development, these funding pots will assist the sector in its recovery in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic while further accelerating the transition to zero emission vehicles, help spread prosperity across the UK with the creation of thousands of new jobs, and continue to make the UK a competitive and attractive place to invest.

The UK has a proud history of automotive manufacturing success, and the government continues to support the industry as it develops greener manufacturing processes.

The government’s ambition is for the UK to reach net zero emissions by 2050, and funding of this kind will ensure the UK continues to be a world-leader in securing a prosperous, zero-carbon future.

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