Scooter company wins share of £1.1m research funding

A Stockport scooter maker is one of four UK companies to win a share of £1.1m in funding.

The support will back the four niche vehicle technology projects and was announced by The Niche Vehicle Network (NVN), in conjunction with the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), marking a successful end to the NVN 2023 Production Readiness Competition.

The competition, sponsored by the APC and supported by Innovate UK, provides a platform for collaborative research and development for organisations active in the UK zero emission niche vehicle technology sector.

Swifty Scooters will use the funding to address three common problems with the e-scooter industry – rider safety, battery safety concerns and product lifespan.

The project will accelerate the development of the new UK-made electric scooter which is optimised for superior rider safety, as well as development of a new battery featuring LFP (also known as LiFePO4 or Lithium Ferro Phosphate) chemistry.

The design and engineering by Swifty Scooters also guarantees a long product lifespan by way of premium build quality and enabling fix and repair within both the scooter design and battery design.

These factors offer significant benefits in terms of net zero at vehicle level, at consumer level, and for the e-scooter industry as a whole.

The competition provides a springboard for niche automotive SMEs, providing them with crucial financial support and expertise in navigating the final stage of developing new technologies to a production readiness standard.

Scott Thompson, programme director for the Niche Vehicle Network, said: “It’s great to see such a diverse and exciting range of projects being funded again this year, as part of a niche sector that is embracing the move to zero emission vehicles and a net zero future.

“We’re delighted to continue supporting these collaborative partnerships which are leading the way in sustainable cutting edge technology design and delivering highly desirable vehicles.”

He added: “These Production Readiness projects will allow the participating companies to build on their previous concept level projects, pushing them towards commercial reality by advancing the technology and manufacturing readiness levels.”

Josh Denne, head of SME Programmes, APC, said: “This crucial competition provides grants from UK SMEs and their supply chains to take existing low carbon vehicle technologies from demonstration through to production readiness in a compressed timescale, leading to significant economic benefits whilst reducing CO2 emissions.

“The quality of innovation coming from the niche vehicle sector is wonderful to see. The journey to net zero must span the whole automotive sector, and these cutting-edge, highly innovative niche vehicle technologies will help the UK reach its climate targets.”