Projects that will bring fuel cells into van fleets, develop high efficiency transmissions, and create the next generation of electric and hybrid buses in the UK have this week received a fresh funding boost.
The projects are among the latest to receive money from a joint £1bn government and industry fund.
Business Secretary Vince Cable announced £80m ($120m approx.) of new investment for four new projects through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC).
These include a £6.3m grant for a hydrogen fuel cell range extender for electric light commercial vehicle fleets in a joint £12.7m project led by Intelligent Energy, and a new generation of electric and hybrid buses to be developed by Wrightbus and its partners in Northern Ireland, who will receive a grant of £4.3m in a £8.6m programme.
APC Chief Executive Tony Pixton said in a statement, ‘The Advanced Propulsion Centre is on target to create and secure 30,000 UK jobs over the next decade, cutting CO2 emissions through new technology developed in Great Britain and Northern Ireland to be exported worldwide.”
‘The successful collaboration between industry and government through the Automotive Council has created the APC and shows the UK’s commitment to be a global leader in low carbon propulsion systems development and production. We encourage all companies to start discussions with potential partners now in order to be ready for the next round of grant funding available later this year.”
Cable emphasised the Government’s backing for greener technologies, adding, “Green technology is needed to drive the cars of the future, and British designers and manufacturers must continue to lead innovators in this field. With projects as diverse as developing high efficiency transmissions to creating a new generation of electric and hybrid buses, the Advanced Propulsion Centre is one of the driving forces behind the development of new technology to fuel the green engines of the future, enabling our car industry to be truly world beating.”
“The joint industry and government investment through the APC is selected by twice-yearly funding competitions. Bids will soon be welcomed from project teams to access a further £100m which will be committed in the autumn of 2015.”
Since its start-up in 2014, the APC has now committed investment for 10 low carbon propulsion projects that will safeguard development and manufacturing jobs in the UK.