Government funnels £91m into ultra-fast charging projects and extended-range EVs

Projects that increase the range of electric vehicles (EVs), create batteries that can charge in as little as 12 minutes and hydrogen-powered heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) have all been awarded a share of £91m from the UK Government.

Government funnels £91m into ultra-fast charging projects and extended-range EVs

The Government claims that together

Four projects that will assist in decarbonising the automotive sector have been awarded funding through the Government’s Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) Collaborative Research and Development competition.

BMW has been awarded £26.2m to develop EVs that rival the driving range of current internal combustion engines, while the Project CELERITAS in Birmingham has been awarded almost £10m to create ultra-fast charging batteries for electric and fuel cell hybrid vehicles that can charge in as little as 12 minutes.

Additionally, the BRUNEL project in Darlington, which aims to develop hydrogen engines for HGVs has been awarded £14.6m and the REEcorner initiative has received £41.2m to redesign light and commercial EVS in Nuneaton to improve autonomous driving capabilities and storage.

The Government claims that together, the four projects could save almost 32 million tonnes of carbon emissions while generating more than 2,700 jobs across the UK.

Minister for Investment Lord Grimstone said: “By investing tens of millions in the technology needed to decarbonise our roads, not only are we working hard to end our contribution to climate change, but also ensuring our automotive sector has a competitive future that will secure thousands of highly-skilled jobs.

“Seizing the opportunities that arise from the global green automotive revolution is central to our plans to build back greener, and these winning projects will help make the widespread application and adoption of cutting-edge, clean automotive technology a reality.”

Decarbonising transport

The funding comes just days after a string of hydrogen transport projects in the Tees Valley region have won a share of a £2.5m Government competition funding pot for research and development.

The Department for Transport announced the winners of the competition, which was aimed at businesses and collaborations in Tees Valley as around 50% of the UK’s hydrogen production capacity is based there. Innovate UK is working with the Department and winners to allocate the funding and record progress.

Another policy package to have been released in recent weeks is the Transport Decarbonisation Plan. Transport is the UK’s most-emitting sector and the DfT had promised a strategy for tackling all modes of mobility by the end of 2020, but work was delayed due to Covid-19.

Included in the Plan are measures to end the sale of all new petrol and diesel HGVs by 2040; support the upcoming ban on new petrol and diesel car sales; phase-out diesel trains by 2040; achieve net-zero domestic aviation by 2040 and international aviation by 2050.

Matt Mace

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