How looking back can drive us forward and how the future of green recovery is vital to the UK economy

Ian Constance, Chief Executive at the APC reflects on how far we’ve come.

In 2013, the world looked very different:  the UK was still on a high from the London Olympics, Daft Punk were cool again and ‘pandemic’ was something you only read about in sci-fi books, but most importantly only 4,359 of cars registered that year were ultra-low emission vehicles.

Fast-forward seven years and things look very different, but an incredible 79,747 of cars registered in 2019 were ultra-low emission vehicles. A figure like this is music to my ears and it reminds me of the great strides our nation has already made in the fight against climate change.

Recently, the APC released a report, reflecting on its achievements to date. As the organisation’s leader, it makes for very proud reading and it is recognition of the hard work our team and our partners have put in. In broader terms, it highlights how the UK is continuing its legacy of fantastic automotive innovation, as the industry adapts to a low-carbon future.

When the APC was set up in 2013, it was with a goal to make the UK a centre of excellence for the research, development and production of low emission carbon propulsion technology with an original target of creating or safeguarding 30,000 jobs and reducing COemissions by 50 million tonnes.

At the end of 2019, six years into our initial 10-year lifespan, through collaboration with government, industry and academia our work in funding 113 projects has created or safeguarded over 40,000 jobs and is projected to save over 225 million tonnes of COemissions – the equivalent of removing the lifetime emissions from 8.8 million cars.

As we now enter a vital period of economic recovery, the APC will continue to support the automotive industry as it accelerates towards green technology and more efficient manufacturing processes. We’ll be 100% committed to achieving the 2050 net zero carbon emissions commitment set out by government.

Our focus is to ensure that we fund the research of products and manufacturing processes right across the supply chain which have the best chance of getting to production, industrialisation and full commercialisation.

Our funding will continue to support organisations across the landscape, from SME to OEM and Tier 1 suppliers, with funding for R&D, commercialisation and, with the new Automotive Transformation Fund, industrialisation capital investment.

To date, 150,000 UK-produced vehicles and over 1 million worldwide have benefitted from APC funded technology and I’m excited to see this figure grow exponentially in the next decade.

Looking to the future, I’m heartened by the journey we have made to date, but I know that there is still an uphill climb as we continue to fund developments that will support the delivery of the government’s ambition of net zero emissions by 2050. At the APC we are ready for the challenge and looking forward to working with partners old and new to ensure the UK’s continued pride in having a world-leading automotive industry, backed up by a robust supply chain. With this in place, I truly believe that we have everything we need to lead the charge against climate change.