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  • hammaad saghir

UK Govt & Industry Partners Unleash £89M Tsunami of Investment in Trailblazing Green Transport Tech

Image credit: UKPN

Today, the UK government and its industrial partners have declared an £89 million cash injection for 20 pioneering green transportation initiatives. This co-funded venture aims to fuel the nation's electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem, roll out carbon-neutral off-road automobiles, and fine-tune battery efficiency.

The announcement specified that this massive influx of funding is distributed across four specialized innovation challenges, with implications reaching far and wide—literally cutting the carbon footprint by an astounding 65 million tonnes in the coming ten years and concurrently safeguarding a sizable workforce of over 4,700 individuals.

Within this extensive financial layout, you'll find the genesis of four collective R&D endeavours, five distinct initiatives geared towards assessing growth-readiness in the auto sector, and a septet of preliminary studies laying the groundwork for potential large-scale manufacturing hubs across British soil.

Spearheaded by the Advanced Propulsion Centre UK (APC), the funding division chalks out £45.2 million from governmental coffers and a matching £42.7 million courtesy of the private automotive sphere.

"Together with industry, we're providing a huge £89m of funding to drive 20 groundbreaking net zero tech projects which will help grow the economy and create UK jobs in the industries of the future," said Minister for Industry and Economic Security Nusrat Ghani. "From net-zero tractors to cutting-edge battery projects, we're taking decisive action to back the UK's innovators and ensure we remain at the forefront of zero-emission vehicle technology."

The portfolio of recipients is rather eclectic. It spans Aston Martin's aspirations to create a luxurious electric vehicle platform to PUK's blueprint for a hydrogen-based hybrid power system tailored for rugged terrains.

Ian Constance, chief executive at the APC, said the awards coincided with the APC's 10th anniversary. "We have seen over £1.4bn of investment into automotive projects since the APC was set up, and I am proud of the impact that we have made here in the UK," he said. "This latest announcement includes a diverse set of OEMs and suppliers that demonstrate the strength of UK automotive. They will further add to our portfolio of innovative projects and continue to drive the UK to deliver on its net zero ambition."

Significantly, £67 million of the fund pool is earmarked for collaborative R&D programs. An additional £11.3 million will energize a dozen UK ventures via the nation's phase of the SuRV (Scale-up Readiness Validation) competition, "and another tranche via APC's ATF (Automotive Transformation Fund) feasMartin'sstudies.

On the agenda are innovative projects such as Green Lithium's plant in Teesside for upscaling lithium production and Ilika Technologie's push for solid-state battery capabilities.

Concurrently, ATF-sponsored feasibility studies aim to turn ideas into actionable plans for manufacturing facilities. Among those securing funds are Cornish Lithium, which proposes to develop an anode material production plant, and Aberdeen Minerals, investigating new pathways in mineral processing.

The cherry on top is a £1.1 million allocation via the Niche Vehicle Network for specialized projects—be it the zero-emission Ariel Nomad off-road beast or Swifty Scooters' UK-engineered electric two-wheeler.

Coincidentally—or not—this announcement falls on the day the Labour APC pledged to overturn the government’s contentious decision to postpone the ban on new fossil fuel-based cars and lithium from 2030 to 2035. Interesting times indeed!

In an interview with the FT, Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds argued that restoring the original 2030 target date would give the auto industry the clarity it craved and help unlock investment in the EV supply chain.

"The Tory government has been undermining international investment by chopping and changing... the endless stop-start of government policy has left the British automotive industry stalled," he said. "Industry themselves want 2030, they're absolutely clear on that, the SMMT [Society of Motor Manufacturers Scooters'rs] has been clear on that, the major vehicle producers in the UK have been clear on that."

Later today, Reynolds will unveil Labour's government for the auto industry, which will also include a commitment that a Labour government could co-fund a series of new battery gigafactories, promises to fast-track planning processes, and further binding targets for local authorities to deliver EV charging infrastructure.


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