£2.5 million to accelerate small automotive businesses

14 small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) specialising in clean, green technology have won a share of over £2.5 million in government grant funding through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) Technology Developer Accelerator Programme (TDAP) which helps cutting-edge technology developers bring their innovations to life. 

The 14 innovative businesses will each receive £170,000 in funding support through the programme, which supports ambitious SMEs, start-ups, and spinouts, who have an early-stage transport technology concept and want to accelerate their route to market of their next-generation technology. Along with the funding, they will receive expert business support and mentoring through a comprehensive 17-month programme where they will develop their business acumen to accelerate their innovation to commercialisation.  

The seventh cohort of TDAP projects includes an ‘intelligent forecast engine’ for upcoming EV charging demand, lithium-ion and lithium-sulfur battery technologies, software and intelligence platforms to improve supply chain sustainability and EV charger operational efficiencies through to fully integrated electric hub drivelines for off-highway vehicles and more. 

Josh Denne, APC’s Head of SME programmes, said:

There is a global race to decarbonise transport, and as the UK’s ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel engines grows closer, the APC are on a mission to accelerate high-ambition, high-potential UK-based start-ups and SMEs with great tech concepts that could help reduce harmful greenhouse emissions from road transport. This latest cohort of our accelerator programme is once again a celebration of UK start-up and SME-led innovation and demonstrates how the drive within our ecosystem to develop new net-zero technology businesses is not slowing. Supported by our expert industry panel, the APC has selected these 14 companies from a highly competitive round of applications. We have attracted a fascinating range of tech businesses to this round of TDAP. Alongside some fantastic hardware-based concepts, we are seeing a growth in software-based innovation that can drive carbon and cost out of vehicle development and manufacturing. As our ecosystem shifts its focus towards net zero, we are seeing new process technologies which could help drive emissions out of the supply chain for clean mobility technologies. The team at the APC are excited to work with these 14 companies over the coming months to enable them to forge their routes ahead and accelerate their progress.” 

The TDAP programme which recently reported that businesses from the fifth funding cohort of cutting-edge technology developers raised an extra £27 million of investment into 11 exciting small businesses – in just 17 months is more than grant funding, the programme also includes access to a bespoke package of support – helping them to bring their innovation to life and accelerate their route to market and grow. Previous TDAP alumni say this, together with the networking and collaboration opportunity, is where the real value of the programme lies

And the results are there to see. APC analysis shows that in total, since completing the programme, TDAP alumni have raised over £226m of private investment. This is money directly invested in clean transport technology development through start-ups, spinouts, and SMEs.  

This year’s TDAP cohort are:

Evotrack Ltd, London

Evotrack advanced intelligent forecast engine tracks and characterises key differentiators such as power networks, urban infrastructure, and external factors like changing weather conditions. It uses machine learning technology to predict upcoming EV charging demand (hours ahead and long-term) down to ‘neighbourhood scale’. The intelligence aims to make the charging infrastructure on the ground as effective as possible while ensuring reliable, resilient, and convenient charging access by drivers. The service aims to serve charging providers, energy companies and the automotive industry.

Dr Oytun Babacan, CEO of Evotrack, said: “We are extremely excited to be part of the Technology Developer Accelerator Programme. We are a young software technology company developing exciting new products for the electric vehicle infrastructure and we look forward to progressing our technology and scaling up our business through the training and funding by the Advanced Propulsion Centre.” 

Sention Technologies Limited, London

Sention Technologies is a battery cell intelligence company that applies advanced diagnostic techniques and machine learning to unlock a battery’s full potential at any stage of its life. Optimising performance, reducing cost, and improving safety for any battery, allowing battery manufacturers and cell integrators to implement quality assurance and control measures that ensure the production of high-quality battery cells and battery packs. 

Francis Prime, CEO of Sention Technologies Limited, said: “I am delighted we have been selected for Wave 7 of the TDAP program which will allow Sention to gain a stronger foothold in the UK automotive sector, support our ongoing product development and refine our market offering. It’s a fantastic opportunity to work with TDAP and their partners as we roll out our solutions and expand our company over the coming months.” 

PEDM Ltd, London

To address shortcomings of permanent magnet motors in EV applications and contributing to a net-zero carbon automotive product, PEDM Ltd has designed a completely novel magnet-less synchronous motor to solve environmental impact, long-term sustainability, cost, and safety issues associated with permanent magnet motors in EV applications. 

Ehsan Dehghan-Azad, Founder of PEDM Ltd, said: “We are grateful for being given this funding opportunity by the Advanced Propulsion Centre through TDAP which enable PEDM to scale up our technology within the UK supply chain.”

OXLiD Ltd, Oxford

OXLiD Ltd is the UK’s foremost developer in lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery technologies. It is dedicated to supporting the development and commercialisation of lithium-sulfur batteries for electrified transportation and sustainable energy storage in the Aerospace, Maritime, and Electric Vehicle markets with an aim to establish world-leading R&D facilities on advanced battery technologies in the UK.

Adrien Amigues, Founder and CEO of OXLiD, said: OXLiD is absolutely delighted to have been selected to join the next wave of the programme and we look forward to benefiting from and working with the broader TDAP team. 

StreetDrone, Oxford

StreetDrone’s new technology product is uniquely positioned to provide high-fidelity, real-time, and future-predicted data, either as inputs that can be used as part of a concept study or fed directly from a fleet of deployed vehicles to a cloud platform, which will allow for modelling of energy usage throughout a duty cycle. This data will then be used to present an optimal solution regarding on-vehicle battery capacity vs site charging infrastructure. 

Mike Potts, CEO & Co-Founder of StreetDrone, said: “We are incredibly excited to join TDAP, which will help StreetDrone optimise the charging of electric vehicles in the global supply chain, making them greener and more efficient. We are proud to accelerate progress and innovation in the autonomous logistics space.” 

Anaphite, Bristol

Anaphite uses its skills in chemistry, electrochemistry and chemical engineering to design and manufacture composite materials for cathodes for lithium-ion batteries. Anaphite’s materials improve battery performance and reduce the cost and environmental impact of battery manufacturing. Anaphite’s composites are fully compatible with existing electrode production technology, but this project focusses on accelerating the commercialisation of the application of the composite using new electrode manufacturing processes that require much less energy than existing methods, greatly reducing manufacturing cost and environmental impact.  

Joe Stevenson, CEO of Anaphite Limited said, “We are very pleased that the Advanced Propulsion Centre has selected our project for its latest TDAP programme. The help we will receive from the APC and its experts will enable Anaphite to accelerate the development and commercialisation of new processes for manufacturing cathodes for vehicle batteries. The market for EV batteries is developing and growing very quickly and accelerating our own development will be very valuable.”  

Fuuse, Lancaster

Launched in 2021, Fuuse is the flexible charge point management platform for EV chargers. Built to open standards and compatible with any OCPP chargers, Fuuse is designed to help organisations maximise the value of their chargers. Scalable across settings, Fuuse EV charging solutions can be tailored to the specific needs of installers, fleets and organisations looking to deliver workplace and public charging.  

Will Maden, COO of Fuuse, said “EV rollout is at a crucial tipping point, with fleets holding huge potential to accelerate or slow down progress. We’re working to make EV transition for fleets as seamless as possible, by developing tools to empower fleet operators and facilities managers to work together and run their electric operations in a familiar way to their traditional setup. By combining smart energy management techniques with route planning technologies, we’re taking away the added complexities that electric vehicles bring, to enable fleets to complete their transition confidently and quickly.”

Beacon Battery Design, Bristol

Beacon Battery Design develop bespoke lithium-ion batteries, enabling cell manufacturers to take products to market faster. By integrating cell chemistry and engineering they can reduce the time to get to bespoke cell technology by up to 2 years. 

Ian Hunt, CEO of Beacon Battery Design, said “We are excited to work with the APC to continue developing our business and product offering and are grateful for their support via this grant. 

Infyos Ltd, London

Infyos is an all-in-one digital sustainability platform that helps battery manufacturers to monitor, manage, measure, and improve product and supply chain sustainability and helps manufacturers to be ahead of regulation and remain compliant.  

Sarah Montgomery, CEO and Co-Founder of Infyos, said “We are excited to continue to accelerate the shift to net-zero carbon automotive parts in the UK and globally. This is a pivotal time for the industry and with the support and grant from the Advanced Propulsion Centre, we can further expedite the development of our Infyos sustainability platform.”  

OxDrive Ltd, Towcester, Northampton

OxDrive electric drive hubs (e-hubs) are a range of high torque, fully integrated electric hub drivelines specifically for the rigours of agritech, construction and other off-highway applications that aims to provide reliable drives which shorten vehicle development times, reduce time to market, and enable viable progress to Net Zero robot and vehicle solutions 

Christopher Horton, Managing Director of OxDrive Ltd, said OxDrive is incredibly proud, and honoured, to have been selected. We look forward to working with the Advanced Propulsion Centre and its partners, developing, and commercialising our exciting new e-hub technology. OxDrive drivelines are critical for the agritech and construction sectors’ road to net zero.”  

Hypermotive Ltd, Lutterworth, Leicester

Hypermotive design, manufacture and integrate electrical and hydrogen systems and e-mobility solutions. H:STORE is a Hydrogen Management System (HMS) for hydrogen storage systems, similar in nature and functionality to a Battery Management System. H:STORE will integrate the hydrogen storage tanks, sensing and safety systems to control, monitor and protect the hydrogen storage and supply system for industrial, power and propulsion applications. Using recognised functional safety protocols, H:STORE provides a direct ‘plug and play’ type solution to manage all storage requirements including next-generation Type IV tanks.  

Jeremy Bowman, Chief Technology Officer of Hypermotive, said Hypermotive are proud to be recognised as one of the UKs leading fuel cell and hydrogen systems integrators and delighted to have been awarded a TDAP grant from the Advanced Propulsion Centre. This award will support encapsulating our experience in the development of our innovative hydrogen and fuel cell integration products – focusing on our H: STORE Hydrogen Management System. Products like H: STORE will help accelerate the deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell systems and accelerate our path to zero-emissions propulsion.”  

ECOClassics Ltd, Maldon, Essex 

ECOClassics have been at the forefront of classic car EV conversion for several years. Recently they have leveraged their engineering capability, EV system approach and supply base to grow the business into supplying EV powertrains to a number of niche vehicle manufacturers. They are now looking beyond cars into the motorcycle marketplace and will be working to accelerate progress of their integrated motorcycle EV powertrain.

Dr Nick Mason, CEO of ECOClassics Ltd, said ECOClassics are excited to have been awarded a TDAP grant from the Advanced Propulsion Centre to help us accelerate delivery of our innovative motorcycle propulsion system.” 

Global Nano Network Limited, Coventry, West Midlands

Global Nano Network (GNN) has developed a conductive coating that acts as an interface between the current collector and the active materials inside a lithium-ion battery. Current collectors are a critical component of a battery that directly impact the charge and discharge rate capability, battery capacity and the useful lifespan of the cell. Existing current collectors exhibit multiple inefficiencies including poor adhesion, high degradation, severe corrosion issues, and increased contact resistance. GNN’s HyperFoil® improves the contact and increases capacity extraction at higher discharge rates. 

Ravi Daswani, CEO of Global Nano Network Limited said, “We are delighted to have been selected for the TDAP programme as we are confident that this grant offered by the APC will help Global Nano Network accelerate the development of our innovation and support us with our commercialisation strategy.”  

AutoNeura Ltd, Newport Pagnall, Buckinghamshire

AutoNeura has developed a novel approach of enabling complex testing of vehicle propulsion systems with proprietary software on widely available hardware. This technology applies equally to electric machines and combustion engines (all fuels including hydrogen). 

Andrew Barr, Director of AutoNeura Ltd said “We are honoured to have been selected by the APC. This adventure is bringing great business acumen and vastly helping accelerate the go-to-market delivery of the innovative software built by AutoNeura Ltd.”

Helping to facilitate TDAP business support and mentoring are: 

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