Low carbon vehicles on the fast track to growth

Leaders from Formula E, the UK government and the automotive industry shared a platform at the LowCVP Conference 2015 in London this week to discuss the road ahead for low carbon vehicles, and in particular how electric motorsport technology can transfer to the vehicles we will want to buy tomorrow.

The event was titled “Can Formula E electrify mainstream motoring?” and included sessions on the future of electric vehicles in the UK and public perception of electric vehicles.

Andrew Jones MP, Under Secretary for State, Department of Transport

Andrew Jones MP, Department for Transport, opened the day with a speech highlighting the growth in sales of electric vehicles in the UK and expecting that the trend will continue. He described the current innovation environment as an exciting time for the UK automotive industry and highlighted specifically the role of the Advanced Propulsion Centre as fundamental in supporting the opportunity for technology to be developed and produced in the UK. A full transcript of the speech is available.

The event included discussions and breakout seminars on the impact of Formula E, transport energy, and mobility in future cities.

Alejandro Agag, CEO, Formula E speaking at the LowCVP Conference 2015

The potential for Formula E low carbon technology to make the transition from racetrack to main stream motoring is also clear. The APC welcomes project proposals from technology developers in consortia who are able to make this a reality and can provide access to resources including grant funding to support this. A current APC project which has taken motorsport technology from the racing circuit to the city street is the GKN Gyrodrive project which is being developed and produced in the UK right now.

Project consortia who have registered for the APC4 competition are now completing their applications for the current grant funding round. The competition has up to £60 million currently available to support low carbon advanced propulsion projects worth more than £120 million.

The competition opened on the 5th May is called ‘APC4 Driving UK Capability and Economic Impact through Low Carbon Propulsion Technologies’ for projects which are collaborative and business-led and include a vehicle manufacturer or a tier 1 supplier and an SME partner. They must also develop the UK’s supply chain in the field of low carbon vehicle propulsion technology. The competition will fund the development of on-vehicle technologies for either on-road or off-highway vehicles.

Consortia must have a clear, demonstrable route to production, and line of sight to market, involving at least one vehicle manufacturer and/or a tier 1 supplier and at least one SME partner.