Fifty-six million pounds are to be invested in 17 big projects aimed at cutting emissions from road transport and accelerating the commercialisation of low-carbon vehicles.
The Office for Low-Emission Vehicles and the Technology Strategy Board will stump up £27 million, with a further £29 million provided by the private sector.
While many of the projects will be led by big vehicle manufacturers such as Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan, a large number of small and medium-sized companies and suppliers will be closely involved in the development work.
It is hoped that the projects will strengthen UK capability by encouraging a reduction of costs in the supply base and a faster adoption of new technologies on the roads. The focus will be on pulling technology through the various stages of the innovation chain.
Transport minister Norman Baker said: “Accelerating the commercialisation of low-carbon vehicle technologies will help to achieve our challenging climate change targets as well as creating jobs, and increasing opportunities for UK businesses on the world stage.
“It is great to see such a positive response from industry to this competition, with the winning projects covering a range of technologies from manufacturers, suppliers and universities.”
Business and enterprise minister Mark Prisk commented: “By working with industry to invest in innovative research and development we are putting the UK at the cutting edge of low-carbon vehicle technology – delivering long-term benefits for the economy and the environment.”
Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said: “We were extremely impressed by the number and quality of the ideas presented to us. These include proposals for development and validation activity that follow on from early-stage projects funded by the board. It is great to see that these ideas will be brought closer to market through this new investment.”
- Development of a complete electric vehicle drive system that incorporates motor, controller and gearbox, cooling and connectors within a single cast plug-and-play package. Led by Ashwoods Automotive.
- Car for Young Drivers project which will produce a quadricycle vehicle for two people with novel hybrid driveline technology, lightweight impact-resistant body and features designed to appeal to young drivers. Led by Mi Technology Group.
- Development of a production-ready flywheel hybrid midibus with a 15% reduction in fuel consumption. Led by Wrightbus.
- Development of ground-breaking woven 3D reinforcement systems for automotive components. Carbon dioxide emissions will be addressed by using lightweight, low-inertia materials, such as aluminium matrix composites. Led by Jaguar Cars.
The funding is managed by the Technology Strategy Board through the Low-Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform which promotes research, design, development and demonstration in the UK. The platform has leveraged £300 million of innovation investment since it was established in 2007.