£35 million invested in the development of low carbon automotive technologies

  • £35 million of government funding, through the Advanced Propulsion Centre, for the development of low carbon propulsion technology in the UK
  • Ninth round of APC’s government-industry funding awarded to three projects
  • Creating or safeguarding a potential 1,800 UK jobs
  • Innovative low carbon programmes aim to save over 3m tonnes CO2
  • Part of 10-year programme to make UK a world-leader in low carbon propulsion  technology

The UK is on the path to a cleaner, greener motoring thanks to funding support for new technologies announced today. The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) has awarded £35 million to three UK-based low carbon automotive powertrain projects, potentially creating or safeguarding nearly 1,800 UK jobs. The technologies developed will support aspirations for the UK to be a world leader in zero emissions technology as part of the Industrial Strategy and recently-published Road to Zero strategy.

With a total value of more than £70 million, including both government and industry investment, the projects are expected to enhance the UK’s supply chain and competitiveness in the development of ultra-low emission vehicles as well as upskilling UK workers.

The project consortiums are made up of some of the most-recognised names, including: hofer powertrain, Aston Martin, Ceres Power, Nissan, Artemis Intelligent Power and Danfross and Robbie Fluid, covering a broad range of industries. The projects have the potential to save over 3 million tonnes CO2.

Projects include:

  • Artemis Intelligent Power: in Greater London, non-mobile machinery contributes 10% of all NOx emissions and 11% of all PM10 emissions. This project aims to introduce a disruptive technology to the off-highway vehicle sector, which will re-invent hydraulic power for the digital age. It has the potential to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of some off-highway vehicles by more than 50% when fully developed and will help anchor future R&D and manufacturing capability in Scotland.
  • Ceres Power: battery electric vehicles are among the core technologies that will enable the significant reduction of emission and pollutants in city centers and urban areas. Ceres will lead a project, with the support of Nissan, to develop a compact, high power density, solid oxide fuel cell specifically designed to extend the range of electric light commercial vehicles. This programme addresses commercial vehicles, one of the most challenging to decarbonise aspects of the transport system, and will demonstrate the scalability of the technology to other automotive segments.
  • hofer powertrain along with Aston Martin is developing a new generation of technically-advanced e-axle transmissions, e-motor and inverter modules, which will be manufactured in the UK, for future high-performance vehicles. The project is expected to build the UK’s e-mobility skills base and improve productivity.

Ian Constance, Chief Executive of the APC, said:

The challenge of lowering emissions is shared by the entire automotive industry, and includes all areas of the sector. This latest round of APC funding highlights the broad range of vehicle types that will benefit from developments in low carbon innovation, with successful applicants developing technologies for commercial and off-highway vehicles, as well as the wider e-mobility industry. We expect that this approach will help to create and safeguard jobs across the UK automotive sector.

Richard Harrington, Automotive Minister said:

The ingenuity of the winners in this round of APC funding is testament to the talent of UK innovators and our progress as global leaders in advanced vehicle technology. With clean growth and the future of mobility at the centre of our modern Industrial Strategy, we will continue to unlock opportunities across the country, while cutting carbon emissions for both businesses and consumers.

Supporting quotes from winners:

Niall Caldwell, Managing Director at Artemis Intelligent Power, said:

This UK funding will enable us to develop Digital Displacement technology as a major component in the $3.5 billion off-road equipment market. It’s not enough to invent these technologies in the UK – we also need to manufacture them here and export round the world. This announcement paves the way for the UK to take the lead in a low-carbon technology with global potential.

Phil Caldwell, CEO at Ceres Power said:

This APC-funded project will develop an automotive-specification fuel cell range extender. It is the next step towards increasing the technology and manufacturing readiness of a compact, robust, fast-response SOFC (Solid Oxide Fuel Cell) stack for high volume production. APC funding enables Ceres and its partners, who are responsible for the automotive application, to jointly engineer a SOFC solution that contributes to a low carbon future.

William Hartley, Managing Director at hofer powertrain UK Ltd said:

The grant awarded to hofer powertrain and partners under APC9 enables us to anchor the design and manufacture of advanced electric and hybrid drive units; power electronics and control software in the UK, alongside our transmission design and manufacture capability. It would not have been possible without APC and BEIS support.