Showcasing next generation propulsion technology on the international stage is key to driving UK green recovery

03/12/2020

Philippa Oldham, Director of Stakeholder Engagement shares on APC’s International Events Programme.

The development and adoption of ultra-low emission vehicle technology is integral to the UK’s economic recovery post-COVID-19 and will unlock the green revolution required to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. While global CO2 emissions are already anticipated to shrink by at least 2.5 billion tonnes or 5% this year as a result of the pandemic we need a concerted effort to avoid pollutants returning to previous levels as the economy bounces back.

The transport sector accounts for 28% of UK greenhouse gases, almost double the amount produced by housing, with 55% of these transport emissions being directly attributable to passenger cars. Now more than ever, the adoption of ultra-low emission vehicles is crucial to reach net-zero targets. Before the pandemic, there was already significant change taking place across the automotive industry, which now sits on the precipice of a total transformation.

This shift could provide considerable economic benefits, with the electrification of vehicles estimated to present up to £24 billion of opportunities throughout the automotive supply chain by 2025. These are waiting to be seized by UK companies as they scale-up their world-leading innovations in batteries, electric motors, power electronics, and fuel cells. Thousands of high quality and skilled jobs can be created and sustained as the UK builds on its well established reputation for developing and manufacturing green automotive technology.

In 2013, the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) was established as a joint venture between the UK government and automotive industry, with £1 billion of funding to support the development of emerging technologies. After just six years we can already see the results as the 113 low-carbon projects in receipt of funds from APC are projected to save over 225 million tonnes of CO2, equating to the lifetime emissions of 8.8 million conventionally powered cars.

The UK is home to some incredible innovators, who are leading the way in developing the next generation of low carbon propulsion technologies. Many of these companies are SMEs who face considerable challenges in establishing a foothold in overseas markets and so at the APC we playing our part to support them on their journey.

The APC’s International Events Programme (IEP) is now providing these companies with invaluable support, enabling them to reach potential investors and prospective customers across the globe. International trade shows frequently have substantial barriers to entry, preventing SMEs from capitalising on the incredible opportunities they provide, however, IEP participants benefit from a coveted spot on the high-profile UK Pavilion at some of the world’s biggest and most influential events. In addition, APC provides logistics management and holistic communications support, taking the stress away from innovators so they can focus on doing what they do best, promoting their technologies.

Of course, committing to an overseas event in the current climate is not an easy decision for any company, especially for smaller enterprises who will often be working with limited budgets for events. In recognition of this, the APC team has been working closely with IEP participants to manage their requirements and unlock potential funding streams, while accepting that business conditions and travel advice can change rapidly. Regular conversations with event organisers mean that plans are put in place to ensure the safety of everybody at shows, so that exhibitors can achieve maximum impact from the experience.

In recent months, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has committed to investment that puts APC at the forefront of the UK’s commitment to a greener automotive future. On 6th October, the Prime Minister followed up, making clear that a green industrial revolution is key to economic recovery in the post-COVID era with his announcement of increased targets for offshore wind power generation from 30 to 40 gigawatts, pledging “Your kettle, your washing machine, your cooker, your heating, your plug-in electric vehicle – the whole lot of them will get their juice cleanly and without guilt from the breezes that blow around these islands.” The publication of a ten point plan for a Green Industrial Revolution reinforces that low carbon technologies are at the heart of the Government’s economic strategy.

The government’s ambition for this industrial revolution to “create hundreds of thousands if not millions of jobs” will only be realised if we continue to support the SMEs that are building the next generation of green technologies. We need to continue to provide the opportunities they need to get noticed on the world stage, allowing them to secure the international investment critical to their growth. We can be proud that the APC’s IEP is doing just that.

Five companies have already registered to participate in the 2021 International Events Programme. Autocraft Solutions Group, Brill Power, Eatron Technologies, Samuel Taylor Limited, and TWI Ltd will occupy five of the six available slots on the UK Pavilion at The Battery Show Europe.

In 2021, the APC International Events Programme will be exhibiting at:

  • The Battery Show Europe (18-20 May)
  • JSAE Spring congress (Society of Automotive Engineers) (26-28 May)
  • The Battery Show North America (14-16 September)
  • SIAT (Symposium on International Automotive Technology) Pune, India (29 September – 1 October)
  • COP26 (1-12 November)

Companies interested in participating can find further details here and should contact Catherine Prothero via email at catherine.prothero@apcuk.co.uk to discuss how to get involved.