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£80 Million Boost For Greener Buses, Cars, Vans and Engines


  • Four new projects awarded grants to develop and manufacture new technology in the UK.
  • Latest investment in 10-year, £1 billion government and industry joint programme in advanced propulsion.

26 March 2015: Projects that will bring fuel cells into van fleets, develop high efficiency transmissions and create the next generation of electric and hybrid buses are among the latest to receive money from the joint £1 billion government and industry fund.

Business Secretary Vince Cable announced £80 million of new investment for the four new projects through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) which include:

  • A new generation of electric and hybrid buses to be developed by Wrightbus and its partners in Northern Ireland who will receive a grant of £4.3m in a £8.6m programme.
  • £6.3m grant for a hydrogen fuel cell range extender for electric light commercial vehicle fleets in a joint £12.7m project led by Intelligent Energy.
  • A high efficiency transmission and electric drive by hofer powertrain UK who receive £16.4m in a £32.8m programme.
  • £13m to develop innovative technologies for UK built diesel engines for off-highway use and exported worldwide by Perkins Engines Company Limited in a £25.1m project with its partners.

Since start-up in 2014, the APC has now committed investment for ten low carbon propulsion projects that will safeguard development and manufacturing jobs in the UK.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

‘Green technology is needed to drive the cars of the future, and British designers and manufacturers must continue to lead innovators in this field.  With projects as diverse as developing high efficiency transmissions to creating a new generation of electric and hybrid buses, the Advanced Propulsion Centre is one of the driving forces behind the development of new technology to fuel the green engines of the future, enabling our car industry to be truly world beating’

The joint industry and government investment through the APC is selected by twice-yearly funding competitions. Bids will soon be welcomed from project teams to access a further £100 million which will be committed in the autumn of 2015.

Chief Executive Tony Pixton said:

‘The Advanced Propulsion Centre is on target to create and secure 30,000 UK jobs over the next decade, cutting CO2 emissions through new technology developed in Great Britain and Northern Ireland to be exported worldwide.

‘The successful collaboration between industry and government through the Automotive Council has created the APC and shows the UK’s commitment to be a global leader in low carbon propulsion systems development and production.

‘We encourage all companies to start discussions with potential partners now in order to be ready for the next round of grant funding available later this year.’


Media Information

Al Clarke                                              Alex Voss
APC Communications                   Press Officer       
07899 843 073                                   02476 528 700

The Advanced Propulsion Centre –

The Advanced Propulsion Centre was formed in 2013 from a commitment between the government and automotive industry through the Automotive Council to position the UK as a global centre of excellence for low carbon powertrain development and production. It is a central pillar of the Industrial Strategy created by the Automotive Council.

The Advanced Propulsion Centre UK Limited (APC) is a private limited company, an industry wide collaboration of innovators and producers of low carbon propulsion systems. It facilitates partnerships between those who have good ideas and those who can bring them to market. The services provided by the APC enable projects which provide profitable growth and sustainable opportunities for the partners involved. Each programme enhances the UK’s position as a Propulsion Nation and contributes to the country’s economic prosperity.

The government and industry have each committed to provide £500 million to the APC during its 10 year programme. The activity in this £1 billion project will be delivered through a small team working across the UK from a central Hub located at the University of Warwick and regional Spoke locations.

The first two rounds of investments by the APC in 2014 covered six project consortia:

  • Ford and their partners will receive a £13.1 million grant for their £100 million programme to upgrade the award winning EcoBoost engine. This will accelerate the introduction of advanced low carbon technologies to deliver improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions.
  • GKN Land Systems and their partners will receive a £7.5 million grant as part of a £16 million project to apply motorsport energy recovery technology for use in buses. The Gyrodrive system is designed to save the braking energy of a bus as it slows to stop and use it to accelerate the bus back up to speed. By avoiding wasting the energy every time a bus stops the system is projected to deliver fuel savings in the order of 25%.
  • Cummins and their partners will receive a £4.9 million grant for a £9.9 million project to deliver significant reductions in carbon emissions from bus engines through the development of new stop-start diesel engine technology. This will improve fuel consumption by 10 to 18%.
  • JCB and their partner Flybrid will receive a £3.3 million grant as part of a £7.3 million project to apply Formula 1 technology for use in diggers. This will reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions resulting in a substantially reduced carbon footprint for construction projects using this machinery. On average, the carbon emissions of a single 20 tonne excavator will be reduced by an estimated 16 tonnes per year.
  • Jaguar Land Rover and their partners will receive £32 million for two new projects to research manufacturing technology for electric motors and develop cleaner internal combustion engines.

The Fourth APC Funding Competition

The competition for the fourth round of investments opens for submissions in early May 2015 with up to £100 million available. The winners will be announced in autumn 2015. Applications are invited from consortia with low carbon propulsion technology projects between £5m and £40 million for technology that is at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 and Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) 4. Companies can register their interest with the APC contact us via

APC Project Consortium Leaders

hofer powertrain, established in Germany in the 1980’s, is a leading global automotive engineering consultancy that employs hundreds of highly skilled engineers across the UK, Germany, Austria, Italy, America and China. hofer works with many of the world’s automotive OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers and automotive technology centres and specialises in the provision of clean sheet to production design / delivery of powertrain components. hofer has a specific focus on the design of light weight and efficient transmission technologies and has been involved in the development of many advanced transmissions hailed as benchmarks in the automotive sector.

hofer powertrain UK media contact: William Hartley, Director, 01926 623410,

Intelligent Energy Holdings plc is an energy technology group which develops efficient and clean hydrogen fuel cell power systems for the global automotive, consumer electronics, distributed power and generation markets – from powering zero-emission vehicles to compact energy packs for mobile devices and stationary power units for the always-on infrastructure.

Working with international companies, Intelligent Energy aims to embed its technology in mass market applications to solve the challenges of continuous power and productivity, by creating everyday energy solutions to power people’s lives. The Group’s intellectual property and expertise is based around proprietary fuel cell technologies, which are the product of over 25 years of research and development.  Its patent portfolio includes more than 400 patents granted (and over 600 patents pending) across more than 300 patent families. The Group also maintains a significant body of confidential know-how and trade secrets.

Intelligent Energy media contact: Lin Collier, Communications Manager, 01509 271271 / 07702 847944

Perkins Engines Company Limited is one of the world’s leading suppliers of off-highway diesel and gas engines in the 4-2000 kW (5-2800 hp) market. Perkins key strength is its ability to tailor engines precisely to meet customers’ requirements, which is why its engine solutions are trusted by more than 1,000 leading manufacturers in the industrial, construction, agricultural, materials handling, electrical power generation and marine markets.

Perkins Engines Company Limited media contact: Annette Ward, Corporate and Marketing Communications Manager, 01733 582 185

Wrightbus Limited makes buses in Northern Ireland for customers around the world and employs more than 1,900 people at its European manufacturing facilities in County Antrim. The company has earned a reputation for innovative vehicle designs, a large and innovative product portfolio and investment in advanced engineering.

Its recent success is underlined by the contract win for the design and build of the prestigious New Routemaster and also considerable accomplishments in many export markets, including Hong Kong, Singapore and Las Vegas.

Wrightbus media contact: Claire Taggart, Marketing Manager, 02825 641 212 / 07957 396 877

Click here to download PDF version of press release: APC Grant Funding 4 Projects Announcement 150326