More than £70 million to turbocharge the future of clean transport

  • More than £70 million in joint government and industry funding to develop clean transport technology
  • projects expected to support 3,300 jobs and drive economic growth across the UK over the next decade
  • innovations required for hydrogen-powered HGVs, a tractor powered by farmyard waste and more efficient methods of manufacturing electric motors among those awarded funding

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:

HVS, Glasgow
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.

Toyota, Derbyshire
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.

Constellium, Slough
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.

Notes to editors

Funding winners

Toyota – Hilux FC

An £11.3 million project, supported by £5.6 million from government with a further £5.7 million from industry, to develop and pilot production of a hydrogen fuel cell-powered version of the Toyota Hilux pickup truck. This will support more than 250 jobs across the UK over the next decade. Toyota have sites at Burnaston, Derbyshire, and Deeside, North Wales.

Electrified Automation – PIMMS

PIMMS (Process Innovations for electric Motor Manufacturing Solutions) will up-scale a new method for manufacturing permanent magnet electric motors, which are used in a wide range of electric vehicles. This £6.02 million project is being supported by £3.01 million from the government with a further £3.01 million from industry. Electrified Automation are based in Bridgwater, Somerset.

HVS – Hydrogen-Electric HGV Powertrain Development

A £30 million project, supported by £15 million from government with a further £15 million from industry, to develop a hydrogen fuel cell-powered HGV cab and tractor unit, to replace the diesel-powered equivalents currently used across the UK and Europe. HVS are based in Glasgow.

Constellium – CirConAl project

CirConAl, which stands for Circular and Constant Aluminium, is a project aiming to improve how industry manages scrap aluminium. The objective is to provide the auto industry with lower carbon and lower cost sources of recycled aluminium alloys. £5 million in government funding is supporting this £10 million project, with a further £5 million from industry. Constellium’s UK base is in Slough.

CNH Industrial – ATLAS

This £15.6 million project, supported by £7.8 million from government with a further £7.8 million from industry, will develop the world’s first liquid fugitive methane powered, off-road, heavy tractor. This form of methane can be derived from livestock manure, which could be a sustainable source of fuel in agricultural settings. CNH Industrial are based in Basildon, Essex.

About the Advanced Propulsion Centre UK

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) collaborates with UK government, the automotive industry and academia to accelerate the industrialisation of technologies, supporting the transition to deliver net-zero emission vehicles.

Since its foundation in 2013, APC has funded 188 low-carbon projects involving 426 partners, working with companies of all sizes, and will have helped to create or safeguard over 50,000 jobs in the UK. The technologies developed in these projects are projected to save over 312 million tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of removing the lifetime emissions from 12.6 million cars.

With its deep sector expertise and cutting-edge knowledge of new propulsion technologies, APC’s role in building and advising project consortia helps projects start more quickly and deliver increased value. In the longer term, its work to drive innovation and encourage collaboration is building the foundations for a successful and sustainable UK automotive industry.

Link: More than £70 million to turbocharge the future of clean transport
Source: Assent Information Services