£109m for driverless and low emissions vehicle development

Transport Minister John Hayes and Business Secretary Greg Clark have announced they are to award £109.7 million of government funding, to be matched by industry funding to develop the next generation of driverless and low-carbon vehicles.

The Department for Transport (DfT) announced that seven projects are to share grants in the latest round of funding from the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), a joint industry / government funding programme.

The projects that have been awarded the money are led by BMW, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, CNH Industrial, Westfield Sportscars, Penso Consulting, and Williams Advanced Engineering.

The schemes include:

– the development of a high power battery suitable for high-performance vehicles
– a project to address gaps in and strengthen the UK supply chain
– the development of the fuelling system for a concept gas tractor technologies to reduce the weight and improve electrification in SUV vehicle platforms

A further seven projects have won funding from the government’s Office for Low Emissions Vehicles (OLEV) to advance the development of a range of ultra-low and zero emissions vehicle technologies in the UK. These projects will be led by Equipmake, Ford Motor Company, Great British Sports Cars, Jaguar Land Rover, Ricardo Innovations, Romax Technology and Wrightbus.

The UK government has also announced today that people buying an EV will still be able to benefit from up to £4500 off an ultra-low emissions car, as well as up to £2500 off a hybrid and £500 toward the installation of a charge point in their homes.

The Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said, “Low carbon and driverless cars are the future and as a Government we are determined through the Industrial Strategy to build on our strengths and put the UK at the forefront of this revolution. Investment in this technology is an integral part of this Government’s efforts, to ensure the UK auto sector remains competitive and world-leading.”

Transport Minister John Hayes added: “I am absolutely committed to improving air quality and reducing pollution in towns and cities, which is essential for people’s health and the environment.

“This government is investing £109 million to support British businesses in developing innovative, important technologies which will greatly reduce our emissions footprint.

“The number of ultra-low emission vehicles on our roads is at record levels and our renewed support for these exciting technologies is yet another significant milestone.”

The government also announced the first set of winners of the second round of its connected autonomous vehicles competition, CAV2 , with projects set to receive a share of up to £31m, match funded by industry.

According to the DfT: “Twenty-four projects demonstrated clear commercial value and identified technical solutions for CAV technology, including how these vehicles will work within the UK transport system. Further successful projects from this competition round will be announced soon.”

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