Britain’s government and industry have awarded GBP91m (US$125m) funding for low carbon automotive technology, including hydrogen engines and ultra-fast charging batteries.

Four projects have secured finance through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) Collaborative Research and Development competition.

The UK’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy maintains collectively, the projects could save almost 32m of carbon emissions, equivalent to the lifetime emissions of 1.3m cars and secure more than 2,700 jobs across the country.

The projects awarded funding are:

  • BMW-UK-BEV, Oxford: – GBP26.2m to develop an electric battery that will rival the driving range of internal combustion engines
  • Project CELERITAS, Birmingham: – GBP9.7m to create ultra-fast charging batteries for electric and fuel cell hybrid vehicles that can charge in 12 minutes
  • The BRUNEL project, Darlington: – GBP14.6m to develop a zero emission, hydrogen-fuelled engine to help decarbonise heavy goods vehicles
  • REEcorner, Nuneaton: GBP41.2m to redesign light and medium-sized commercial electric vehicles in Nuneaton by moving steering, breaking, suspension and powertrain into the wheel arch enabling increased autonomous capability

“By investing tens of millions in the technology needed to decarbonise our roads, not only are we working hard to end our contribution to climate change, but also ensuring our automotive sector has a competitive future that will secure thousands of highly-skilled jobs,” said Minister for Investment, Lord Grimstone.

“Seizing the opportunities that arise from the global green automotive revolution is central to our plans to build back greener and these winning projects will help make the widespread application and adoption of cutting-edge, clean automotive technology a reality.”

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The government has announced the end of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2030. It is also currently consulting on phasing out the sale of new diesel and petrol heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) by 2040, as set out in the Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

“These projects tackle some really important challenges in the journey to net-zero road transport,” added APC CEO, Ian Constance. “They address range anxiety and cost, which can be a barrier to people making the switch to electric vehicles and they also provide potential solutions to the challenge of how we decarbonise public transport and the movement of goods.

“By investing in this innovation, we’re taking these technologies closer to the point where they are commercially viable, which will strengthen the UK’s automotive supply chain, safeguard or create jobs and reduce harmful greenhouse emissions.”