Government and transport industry launch £20m fund for low-carbon innovations

The UK Government and Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) have announced that the next phase of their joint £1bn investment aimed at spurring the development of low-carbon vehicle technologies will open next week.

The Government has collaborated with industry to drive the development of low and zero emission technology

The Government has collaborated with industry to drive the development of low and zero emission technology

The newly announced £20m pot, which will be awarded on a competitive basis, is designed to "accelerate the development of low-carbon propulsion technologies and make the UK a global centre of excellence for low-carbon vehicle development and production".

The competition will see 11 projects across the alternative propulsion systems; electric machines and power electronics; energy storage and energy management; lightweight vehicle and powertrain structures, and thermal propulsion systems, receive funding.

For technology projects to be eligible for the fund, which will open to applications on August 6, they must demonstrate scalability and a “clear route” to market, the Government said in a statement.

“For this competition, APC is particularly looking for projects that support the UK’s long-term capabilities and supply chain in the design, build and manufacture of zero-emission vehicles,” the statement adds.

“This can include technologies such as motors, batteries, power electronics, hybridisation and alternative propulsion systems. These projects must help make those capabilities a permanent part of the UK supply chain.”

The funding announcement comes after a Bloomberg New Energy Finance study predicted that EVs will account for more than half of new car sales by 2040, with its most recent analysis finding that “the EV revolution is going to hit the car market even harder and faster” than it anticipated in 2017.

Supergen to the rescue

In other investment news, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has also revealed that it has collaborated with the UK Government to launch a £16m fund for the development of clean energy research hubs.

The funding will be split across three “Supergen Energy hubs”, which will specialise in research for offshore wind, bioenergy and sustainable energy networks.

Collectively, the hubs will involve 70 stakeholder partners, including 22 from industry, alongside academics from 19 UK universities including Plymouth, Aston, Newcastle and Loughborough.

“As we move towards a low-carbon future we need to explore the fundamental science that can spark new technologies and systems as well as linking researchers to industry to meet their needs,” EPSRC’s executive chair, Philip Nelson, said.

“As the threats from climate change become ever-more apparent there is a pressing need for the UK, and the world, to act collaboratively to address the challenges of clean energy production, distribution and storage.”

Sarah George


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