Vince Cable opens £1 billion centre for cleaner greener vehicles

  • £1 billion Advanced Propulsion Centre opens for business at the University of Warwick.
  • Two new projects awarded £32m to research manufacturing technology for electric motors and develop cleaner internal combustion engines, safeguarding 2,500 jobs.
  • Up to £100m of new funding now available for companies.
  • First APC Spoke announced in London in partnership with Loughborough University.

6 November 2014: Business Secretary Vince Cable today announced a further £32 million for two new projects to research manufacturing technology for electric motors and develop cleaner internal combustion engines, during a visit to officially open the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) headquarters at the University of Warwick.

The two new projects are led by Jaguar Land Rover. They will be part of the projects announced this year that will safeguard 2,500 jobs, in the £1bn industry and government commitment to turn low carbon propulsion technology into products developed in the UK.

The APC projects committed so far will reduce CO2 emissions equivalent to the output of 250,000 cars per year* over the next twelve years.

The Business Secretary also announced today that a further £100 million funding round has opened for businesses as well as a new programme to support small businesses.

Business Secretary, Vince Cable said:

Green technology will drive the cars of the future and UK designers and manufacturers must continue to be leading innovators in this field.  That’s why we’ve collaborated with industry to provide £1billion joint investment in the Advanced Propulsion Centre – one of the driving forces behind our automotive industrial strategy. The APC will be the hub for projects as diverse as using motorsport braking systems in buses, and streamlining the production of electric motors. It’s these kind of initiatives that will enable our automotive sector to raise the bar in innovation, give businesses the confidence to invest and create high skilled jobs.

Speaking at the opening of the APC Hub at the University of Warwick, Chief Executive Tony Pixton said:

“The Advanced Propulsion Centre is now active as an enabler for low carbon propulsion development and production in the UK. Today’s news confirms we are on track to support and create more than 30,000 UK jobs over the next decade, cutting CO2 emissions and driving exports. We are delighted to welcome the Business Secretary and Co-Chair of the Automotive Council, Dr Vince Cable MP to the APC Hub to announce the latest investments and launch the next funding competition in our ten year programme of investments. The APC is leading the development of the UK as a Propulsion Nation as we expand from the Hub with the announcement of the new London Spoke, in conjunction with Loughborough University and adjacent to the proposed Centre of Excellence for Digital Engineering and Test.”

The APC helps forge 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 and contribute to the UK’s economic prosperity.

Loughborough University in London welcomed the news that the first APC Spoke will be located at its premises on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park campus.

Vice Chancellor and President of Loughborough University, Robert Allison, said:

“We are delighted that Loughborough University in London is to host this first, and highly important, Spoke of the Advanced Propulsion Centre. Loughborough University has been training automotive engineers since 1919 and our research in powertrain engineering, propulsion and manufacture is recognised as world-class. Powertrain and propulsion development is a key strategic area for Loughborough: indeed earlier this year we announced a five-year investment of £1.5 million in research appointments, which will help us to develop the new advanced propulsion technologies required for the move to zero emission vehicles. We are therefore exceptionally well-placed to support this very important and hugely exciting development. The Spoke’s location in the Here East development of one of the most dynamic and fast developing regions of the London will also ensure the APC has the visibility and connectivity it requires to achieve its ambitions.”

Announcements about further spoke locations, funding competitions and the development of the APC team will be made in the coming months.

* The CO2 savings achieved as a result of the projects committed by the APC is calculated by government economists at 5 million tonnes over a period of 12 years. Assuming an average CO2 emission of 128.3g/km for a passenger car**, averaging 13,196 km (8,200 miles) *** per year this equates to 1.69 tonnes of CO2 per year per car. Total CO2 savings of 5 million tonnes during a 12 year period averages out at the equivalent of the impact of 246,548 vehicles per year during this time.

** SMMT New Car CO2 report 2014.   *** DfT National Travel Survey published July 2013

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