Region’s major automotive companies to share in £73.5m boost
A host of the region’s automotive firms are set to benefit from a £73.5m government investment to develop green technologies and safeguard jobs.
The chosen projects will receive a share of the cash to develop technology for the next generation of electric taxis, cars and vans – including recyclable batteries, advanced electrical systems and ultra-lightweight components.
The companies involved include Ford Technologies in Warwick, Coventry-based Jaguar Land Rover and the London Electric Vehicle Company, the manufacturer of electric taxis. also based in Coventry, and Warwick-based BMW Motorsport.
The government says the move towards electric transport will be vital in helping the UK meet its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, while growing the economy and creating jobs in greener industries.
Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi said the funding will contribute to the automotive sector’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic by safeguarding more than 14,000 UK research and manufacturing jobs. It will also enable the manufacture of a greater volume of low emission cars, commercial vehicles and components right here in the UK.
Zahawi said: “Whether it’s researching future battery design or creating a lightweight version of the Ford Transit, companies in every part of the United Kingdom are leading the world in advanced automotive technology.
“Not only will this funding ensure automotive companies can play their part in keeping us on the path to net zero emissions by 2050, it will also support thousands of jobs and be a welcome step towards the industry’s economic recovery.”
The successful projects were chosen by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), which seeks to maintain the UK’s position as a centre of excellence for the research and development of low carbon vehicle technology.
Jon Beasley, director of technology and projects at the APC, said: “It’s an exciting time for the UK automotive industry – we are on the precipice of an innovation landslide. The technology we invest in now is set to make an impact on the next generation of vehicles.
“The four projects chosen to receive funding will all develop the next iteration of electrification solutions, showing that it is fast becoming the technology of choice for a wide range of vehicles and that it is vital to ensuring a sustainable low carbon future.”
The successful projects are:
LEVC – Electric Vehicle Evolution (Coventry): The London Electric Vehicle will develop a new battery designed specifically for its vehicles for higher performance and also to be reused and recycled
Constellium Ltd – ALIVE (Slough): This project will develop the manufacturing processes for light weight, crash-resistant battery enclosures. These will be used in ultra-low emission vehicles
Cummins Turbo Technologies Ltd – TRIDENT (Huddersfield): This project will look to develop and manufacture an all-new electrical turbo that has greater efficiency and is for use in fuel cell electric vehicles
Ford Technologies Ltd – eSHADOW (Warwick): This project will determine the technical, financial and environmental challenges of using advanced, lightweight materials in vehicle manufacturing
Jaguar Land Rover – Hi-VIBES (Coventry): A consortium of academics and industry will create a new electronic system that will be easier to build, as well as being lighter and cheaper
Avid Technology Limited – REVO (Cramlington, near Newcastle): It will help deliver improvements in electric and hybrid vehicle efficiency
TEVVA – SANGREAL (Chelmsford): This project will bench-test an innovative design of axle for 7.5 to 14-tonne commercial vehicles. It will improve safety through better impact robustness
Magnetic Systems Technology Ltd – Magtec (Sheffield): Magtec aims to become the UK’s only complete electric drivetrain Tier 1 supplier for commercial vehicles
BMW (Motorsport) Ltd – FutureBEV (Warwick & Newport): This project aims to deliver better powertrains that are more cost-efficient
Jaguar Land Rover – ZEUS (Coventry): This project will develop a high-performance four-wheel drive 400kW Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV)