Electric car batteries with a range similar to internal combustion engines and which can charge in as little as 12 minutes are among projects that have been awarded more than £91 million of government and industry funding to develop the latest green automotive technology.
Through the Advanced Propulsion Centre Collaborative Research and Development competition, which supports the development of innovative low carbon automotive technology, four projects have been awarded funding. Together, the four projects could save almost 32 million tonnes of carbon emissions, equivalent to the lifetime emissions of 1.3 million cars, and secure over 2,700 jobs across the country. The innovations will also help to make electric vehicles more affordable, efficient and convenient.
The four projects to have received the funding are BMW-UK-BEV, Project CELERITAS, the BRUNEL project, and REEcorner.
On the battery front, BMW-UK-BEV, in Oxford, has been awarded £26.2 million to develop an electric battery that will rival the driving range of internal combustion engines. Birmingham-based Project CELERITAS has also received £9.7 million to create ultra-fast charging batteries for electric and fuel cell hybrid vehicles that can charge in as little as 12 minutes.
Projects have also been awarded funding for work on engines and vehicles themselves.
Further north, in Darlington, the BRUNEL project has received £14.6 million to develop a novel zero emission, hydrogen-fuelled engine to help decarbonise heavy goods vehicles. REEcorner, in Nuneaton, has been awarded £41.2 million to radically redesign light and medium-sized commercial electric vehicles by moving the steering, braking, suspension and powertrain into the wheel arch, enabling increased autonomous capability, storage space and design flexibility.
“These projects tackle some really important challenges in the journey to net-zero road transport. They address range anxiety and cost, which can be a barrier to people making the switch to electric vehicles and they also provide potential solutions to the challenge of how we decarbonise public transport and the movement of goods,” said Ian Constance, CEO at the Advanced Propulsion Centre.
“By investing in this innovation, we’re taking these technologies closer to the point where they are commercially viable, which will strengthen the UK’s automotive supply chain, safeguard or create jobs and reduce harmful greenhouse emissions.”
The government has already announced the end of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2030, and is currently consulting on phasing out the sale of new diesel and petrol heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) by 2040, as set out in the government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan.
This is the 18th round of funding coordinated by the Advanced Propulsion Centre, which supports the development of low carbon emission technologies for cars, buses, heavy goods vehicles, and vans. These projects will help further the UK’s ongoing efforts to develop a sustainable supply chain for manufacturing electric vehicles by 2026.
The announcement comes after Zap-Map and carbon data science company Advanced Infrastructure won £540,000, funded by OZEV in partnership with InnovateUK, for their joint proposal to create a new low carbon route planner for EV drivers, called Zap-Zero.