A world-first heavy tractor powered by farm waste is just one of the game-changing projects benefitting from £73 million in new funding for the development of clean transport technologies announced today (Friday 2 December).
The joint government and industry investment will support projects right across the UK, from Burnaston to Bridgwater, in support of ambitions to build an end-to-end supply chain for zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs) in the UK. The five successful projects are set to support 3,300 jobs across the UK, working on new ways to harness renewable fuels, electric motors that are both powerful and highly efficient, and new materials that’ll reduce the auto industry’s carbon footprint.
The funding has been awarded through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) Collaborative Research and Development programme, which supports the development of innovative low and zero-carbon automotive technology, with £36.4 million coming from government. This is backed by a further £36.6 million from the automobile industry – taking today’s total to £73 million.
Business Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Our automotive industry is a world-leader, creating jobs whether in Essex, Somerset or Glasgow. Seizing the potential from new technologies will be a key part of its future success, while also making our roads cleaner, greener and more affordable.
“Today’s multi-million-pound boost – created by government working hand-in-hand with industry – will put these firms in pole position to pioneer these innovations, staying at the cutting edge of the global race for decades to come.”
Joint government and industry funding winners are:
Receiving £30 million to develop a hydrogen fuel cell-powered HGV cab and tractor unit to replace the highly polluting diesel-powered vehicles currently used to transport road freight.
CNH Industrial, Essex
Receiving £15.6 million to develop the world’s first liquid fugitive methane-powered, off-road, heavy tractor. It makes use of methane gas produced by waste from farms, that would otherwise escape into the atmosphere.
Receiving £11.3 million to develop a hydrogen-fuel cell version of the Hilux pickup truck, ideal for use in isolated settings where electric vehicle charging is impractical.
Receiving £10 million to provide new sources of recycled aluminium that could massively reduce the auto industry’s carbon footprint.
Electrified Automation, Somerset
Receiving £6 million to up-scale a market-disrupting new method for manufacturing electric motors that are more cost-effective, powerful and efficient than much of the competition.
Chief Executive at the APC Ian Constance said: “Supporting vital research and development in the UK, now more than ever, provides an opportunity to invest in transport decarbonisation as well as boost growth in the automotive sector.
“The £73 million of funding announced today furthers world-leading innovation in net-zero technology for the automotive sector and beyond. These five fantastic projects are all collaborative by design, led by high-profile companies with innovative SME and academic partners, representing the best of UK industry.”
Today’s announcement comes on top of funding also being invested by the government through the Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF) to develop a high-value end-to-end electrified automotive supply chain in the UK.
This includes unlocking private investment in gigafactories, battery material supply chains, motors, power electronics, and fuel cell systems. The ATF is being delivered by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in partnership with the Advanced Propulsion Centre.
The government has committed a record £211 million to battery research and innovation through the Faraday Battery Challenge, to help the sector deliver 100,000 jobs in battery gigafactories and the battery supply chain by 2040. The funding will be delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) with support from the Faraday Institution, Innovate UK and the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC).
The UK Hydrogen Strategy sets out how government, working with industry, is aiming to develop 10GW of hydrogen production capacity by 2030, for use across the economy. This forms a part of the British energy security strategy for delivering secure, clean and affordable British energy for the long term.