BMW Motorsport, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Westfield Sportscars are automakers awarded a total of GBP62m by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) to develop innovative low carbon technology in the UK.

Other recipients are New Holland Agriculture, Williams Advanced Engineering and Penso Consulting.

The seven collaborative R&D projects, which have been made possible through the sixth round of APC funding since 2013, are forecast to create or safeguard 2,370 UK jobs and keep the APC ahead of its target to save 50m tonnes of CO2 by 2023.

Projects cover a wide range of innovations. They include the development of an affordable hybrid powertrain for niche vehicle applications, such as autonomous pods, as well as a project to address significant gaps in the UK electrification supply chain.

Projects include:

  • BMW Motorsport will collaborate with Delta Motorsport and WMG at University of Warwick to design, develop and produce power dense batteries in the UK, one of the missing links in the global roadmap for the widespread adoption of all kinds of electric vehicles
  • Jaguar Land Rover is leading a consortium of UK advanced manufacturers, technology companies and universities to develop new lightweight vehicle technology, designed to enable reduced emissions while maintaining the performance of exciting new cars and SUVs in the future
  • Ford and its partners will work on a project to develop combined system optimisation which will then be available for wider dissemination within the industry
  • Westfield Sportscars will lead a consortium that will deliver an affordable, compact, hybrid powertrain for niche vehicle applications, which will be engineered and produced in the UK and exported through the company’s global retail network
  • New Holland Agriculture, a brand of CNH Industrial, will bring together a consortium to improve the performance, autonomy and efficiency of the brand’s concept natural gas tractor. This will aim to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of agricultural tractors used on farms and within the wider community
  • Williams Advanced Engineering and partners will develop bespoke, high performance, cost competitive batteries for high performance low to medium volume applications. This project will focus on design for manufacture, recycling and reuse and making significant CO2 savings
  • Penso Consulting will lead a project to anchor complex composite structure manufacturing capability in the UK, forecast to create or safeguard more than 1,250 jobs

Ian Constance, Chief Executive of the APC, said: “The sixth round of APC funding demonstrates the depth of low carbon development that is in the UK. From powertrain, to lightweighting, to energy storage, these new projects will not only lower emissions but secure thousands of jobs, address supply chain gaps, and help the UK become a true global leader in advanced vehicle technology.”

The APC was established as commitment by government and industry to ensure the UK is at the forefront of advanced technology developments in the automotive industry. By 2023, it will have facilitated GBP1 billion of investment in UK automotive projects, with the aim of saving 50 million tonnes CO2 and safeguarding 30,000 jobs.