Ten UK automotive projects are to receive a government injection of GBP73.5m (US$81.7m) for the next generation of electric taxis, cars and vans, as well as recyclable batteries, electrical systems and ultra-lightweight components.
The British Department for Transport (DfT) maintains the funding will help the automotive sector’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic by safeguarding more than 14,000 UK research and manufacturing jobs.
“Whether it’s researching future battery design or creating a lightweight version of the Ford Transit, companies in every part of the United Kingdom are leading the world in advanced automotive technology,” said Business Minister, Nadhim Zahawi.
“Not only will this funding ensure automotive companies can play their part in keeping us on the path to net zero emissions by 2050, it will also support thousands of jobs and be a welcome step towards the industry’s economic recovery.”
Companies to benefit include Ford Technologies, BMW Motorsport, Jaguar Land Rover and the London Electric Vehicle Company, manufacturer of electric taxis.
The successful projects were chosen by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), which seeks to maintain the UK’s position as a centre of excellence for the research and development of low carbon vehicle technology.
The successful projects are:
- LEVC – Electric Vehicle Evolution (Coventry): The London Electric Vehicle will develop a new battery designed specifically for its vehicles for higher performance and also to be reused and recycled
- Constellium Ltd – ALIVE (Slough): This project will develop the manufacturing processes for light weight, crash-resistant battery enclosures. These will be used in ultra-low emission vehicles
- Cummins Turbo Technologies – TRIDENT (Huddersfield): This project will look to develop and manufacture an all-new electrical turbo, which has greater efficiency and is for use in fuel cell electric vehicles
- Ford Technologies – eSHADOW (Warwick): This project will determine the technical, financial and environmental challenges of using advanced, lightweight materials in vehicle manufacturing
- Jaguar Land Rover – Hi-VIBES (Coventry): A consortium of academics and industry will create a new electronic system that will be easier to build, as well as being lighter and cheaper
- Avid Technology Limited – REVO (Cramlington, near Newcastle): It will help deliver improvements in electric and hybrid vehicle efficiency
- TEVVA – SANGREAL (Chelmsford): This project will bench-test a design of axle for 7.5 to 14-tonne commercial vehicles. It will improve safety through better impact robustness
- Magnetic Systems Technology – Magtec (Sheffield): Magtec aims to become the UK’s only complete electric drivetrain Tier 1 supplier for commercial vehicles
- BMW (Motorsport) – FutureBEV (Warwick & Newport): This project aims to deliver better powertrains that are more cost-efficient
- Jaguar Land Rover – ZEUS (Coventry): This project will develop a high-performance four-wheel drive 400kW Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV)