£91m funding for green automotive technology innovation

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has announced government and industry funding of £91m for green automotive technology, including hydrogen engines and ultra-fast charging electric vehicle batteries.

The green automotive technology projects to be financed with this impressive £91m funding include electric vehicle (EV) batteries with a range comparable to internal combustion engines, which are capable of charging in 12 minutes.

Advanced Propulsion Centre

Four novel projects have been granted financial support through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) Collaborative Research and Development competition, which was set up to facilitate the development of green automotive technology.

This is the 18th round of funding that has been organised by the APC, which is working to support the development of low carbon emission technologies for vehicles.

Together, the four projects will aid ongoing efforts to further develop a sustainable supply chain for the production of EVs by 2026. Collectively, they could prevent nearly 32 million tonnes of carbon emissions, which is similar to the lifetime emissions of 1.3 million cars. As well as this, the projects could safeguard more than 2,700 jobs across Britain.

These exciting advancements will address consumer concerns regarding EV charging times and bolstering driving range. On top of this, they will aid in the process of developing more cost-effective, efficient, and convenient electric vehicles.

The winning projects

The innovations being supported with this funding are:

BMW-UK-BEV, Oxford

£26.2m has been awarded to create an electric battery capable of contesting the driving range of internal combustion engines, helping to mitigate concerns over how far electric vehicles can travel.

Andreas Loehrke, Head of Research and Design for BMW Motorsport Ltd. UK, explained: “This is a really exciting opportunity to collaborate with world-leading companies to develop high tech battery technology. It strengthens our UK partner base and safeguards and extends our research and design centre.”

Project CELERITAS, Birmingham

£9.7m will be used to finance the creation of ultra-fast charging batteries for electric and fuel cell hybrid vehicles that can charge in 12 minutes.

On the CELERITAS project, Founder and CEO of Sprint Power, Richie Frost, commented: “As we move steadily towards the UK’s ban on new petrol and diesel combustion engine vehicles in 2030, tackling consumers’ concerns on EVs head-on is critical. We are delighted to be leading this pioneering project that will create a step-change in battery charge times, helping to create highly efficient fuel cell vehicles for the future and accelerating the charging time on battery electric vehicles significantly closer to refuelling times on today’s internal combustion engine cars.”

the BRUNEL project, Darlington

£14.6m funding will go towards the development of a novel zero-emission, hydrogen-fuelled engine to support efforts to decarbonise heavy goods vehicles.

REEcorner, Nuneaton

£41.2 million has been granted to drastically revamp light and medium-sized commercial EVs in Nuneaton by moving the steering, braking, suspension and powertrain into the wheel arch, enabling increased autonomous capability, storage space and design flexibility.

Mike Charlton, REE Chief Operating Officer, added: “REE is delighted to have been selected as a recipient of APC funding to support REE investment in the UK automotive ecosystem and we look forward to jointly working with our consortium partners. The UK is an ideal location for a pioneering automotive company like REE, thanks to the country’s commitment to vehicle electrification, which dovetails with our vision towards propelling a zero-emissions, greener future for our generation and those to come.”

Towards a green automotive technology future

Minister for Investment Lord Grimstone commented: “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.

“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.”

CEO at the Advanced Propulsion Centre Ian Constance concluded: “These projects tackle some really important challenges in the journey to net-zero road transport. 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.”

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