£1bn green vehicle research hub opens for business

Vince Cable has announced funding of £32m for two new low-carbon vehicle technology projects at the official opening of the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) headquarters at the University of Warwick.

The Business Secretary also opened a £100m funding round for businesses looking to devlop new low-carbon ‘propulsion’ technologies and a special programme to support small businesses when he cut the ribbon at the £1bn APC site earlier today (6 November).

The £32m investment will be used for new projects, led by Jaguar Landrover, to research technology for electric motors and develop cleaner internal combustion engines reducing CO2 emissions by an estimated five million tonnes – equivalent to the output of 250,000 cars – over the next 12 years.

Cable said: “Green technology will drive the cars of the future and UK designers and manufacturers must continue to be leading innovators in this field. That’s why we’ve collaborated with industry to provide £1bn joint investment in the Advanced Propulsion Centre – one of the driving forces behind our automotive industrial strategy. 

“The APC will be the hub for projects as diverse as using motorsport braking systems in buses, and streamlining the production of electric motors. It’s these kinds of initiatives that will enable our automotive sector to raise the bar in innovation, give businesses the confidence to invest and create high skilled jobs.”

‘Propulsion nation’

Speaking at today’s opening, APC chief executive Tony Pixton said: “The Advanced Propulsion Centre is now active as an enabler for low carbon propulsion development and production in the UK. Today’s news confirms we are on track to support and create more than 30,000 UK jobs over the next decade, cutting CO2 emissions and driving exports.”

The first APC Spoke will be located at Loughborough University’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park campus and announcements about further spoke locations, funding competitions and the development of the APC team will be made in the coming months.

Pixton added: “The APC is leading the development of the UK as a Propulsion Nation as we expand from the Hub with the announcement of the new London Spoke, in conjunction with Loughborough University and adjacent to the proposed Centre of Excellence for Digital Engineering and Test.”

The announcements closely follow today’s publication of a damning Transport & Environment report which revealed an increasing gap between the test and real-world performance of vehicles, increasing air pollution and damaging the EU’s climate goals.

INFOGRAPHIC: Impact of the Advanced Propulsion Centre

Lois Vallely

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