Britain awarded £110 million to help boost manufacturing of electric vehicle batteries, including a project to build the country’s second purpose-built electric battery plant and another to make the technology more powerful.
The funding for 38 projects, including £62 million for low-emission cars and £31 million for self-driving vehicles, will help protect almost 2,400 jobs, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said yesterday. The cash is part of an effort to identify and nurture industries of the future as the UK pulls itself out of the European Union, putting at risk trade ties to its closest neighbours.
Among recipients were Williams Advanced Engineering, the technology arm of Formula 1 team owner Williams Group. The company received funding from the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) and will make batteries for automakers such as Aston Martin.
“The project will further develop and make available battery systems in order to overcome significant supply chain gaps in the UK,” said the APC’s Director of Technology and Projects Jon Beasley.
MINI and JLR are considering where they will make their new generation of EVs and the UK investment and promise to support the industry, may encourage them to base those investments in the UK.
The Advanced Propulsion Centre has awarded £62 million funding to projects led by BMW Motorsport, New Holland Agriculture, Jaguar Land Rover, Williams Advanced Engineering, Penso Consulting, Ford Motor Company and Westfield Sportscars, to develop innovative low carbon technology in the UK.
The seven collaborative R&D projects, which have been made possible through the sixth round of APC funding since 2013, are forecast to create or safeguard 2370 UK jobs and keep the APC ahead of its target to save 50 million tonnes by 2023.
Projects cover a wide range of innovations, which will help the UK to become a global leader in low emissions technology. They include the development of an affordable hybrid powertrain for niche vehicle applications, such as autonomous pods, as well as a project to address significant gaps in the UK electrification supply chain.
Ian Constance, Chief Executive of the APC, said, “The sixth round of APC funding demonstrates the depth of low carbon development that is in the UK. From powertrain, to lightweighting, to energy storage, these new projects will not only lower emissions but secure thousands of jobs, address supply chain gaps, and help the UK become a true global leader in advanced vehicle technology.”
- BMW Motorsport Ltd will collaborate with Delta Motorsport and WMG at University of Warwick to design, develop and produce power dense batteries in the UK, one of the missing links in the global roadmap for the widespread adoption of all kinds of electric vehicles
- New Holland Agriculture, a brand of CNH Industrial N.V. will bring together a consortium to improve the performance, autonomy and efficiency of the brand’s concept natural gas tractor. This will aim to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of agricultural tractors used on farms and within the wider community
- Jaguar Land Rover is leading a consortium of UK advanced manufacturers, technology companies and universities to develop world-beating new lightweight vehicle technology, designed to enable reduced emissions while maintaining the performance of exciting new cars and SUVs in the future
- Williams Advanced Engineering Limited and partners will develop bespoke, high performance, cost competitive batteries for high performance low to medium volume applications. This project will focus on design for manufacture, recycling and reuse and making significant CO2 savings
- Penso Consulting Ltd will lead a project to anchor complex composite structure manufacturing capability in the UK, forecast to create or safeguard more than 1250 jobs
- Ford Motor Company and its partners will work on a project to develop combined system optimisation which will then be available for wider dissemination within the industry.
- Westfield Sportscars Limited will lead a consortium that will deliver an affordable, compact, hybrid powertrain for niche vehicle applications, which will be engineered and produced in the UK and exported through the company’s global retail network.