A joint investment from the UK’s government and industry will support a range of innovative projects aiming to develop new clean transport technology.
The government has awarded £36.4 million in funding through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) Collaborative Research and Development programme, which ‘supports the development of innovative low and zero-carbon automotive technology’. The automotive industry provided the remaining £36.6m to take the total funding amount to £73m.
Ian Constance, APC Chief Executive, said: “Supporting vital research and development in the UK, now more than ever, provides an opportunity to invest in transport decarbonisation as well as boost growth in the automotive sector.”
The total pot will be shared between five companies to support projects that will aid industries like agriculture, as well as manufacturing and logistics.
One of the firms receiving funding is Glasgow-based Hydrogen Vehicle Systems (HVS). The Scottish company has been awarded a £30m grant for a project to develop a hydrogen fuel cell-powered HGV. The funding will be used to support research and development of innovative technologies to improve the electric HGVs of the future.
Chief Executive of HVS Jawad Khursheed stated: “Our mission to decarbonise heavy-duty transport in the UK has reached a major milestone with the help of the APC grant. The UK Government performed rigorous
due diligence in selecting HVS to receive this grant – acknowledging that our advanced technology is
a key innovation towards achieving zero-emission targets.”
He continued, explaining that HVS has “successfully produced [its] first driving fuel cell technology demonstrator vehicle and [is] on track to deliver the UK’s first-to-market hydrogen fuel cell-powered HGV”.
Latest data from the Department for Transport shows that the transport industry was responsible for 24% of domestic greenhouse gas emissions in 2020. Furthermore, HGVs comprised 19% of these emissions despite making up less than 2% of vehicles on the road.
Because of this, the government is planning to significantly reduce sales of HGVs that are not zero-emission by 2035, with a view to preventing the sale of them completely by 2040. Supporting the development of efficient electric HGVs could be key in driving down emissions in the UK in order to meet climate targets.
Other winners of the APC funding include a Toyota project in Derbyshire to ‘develop a hydrogen-fuel cell version of the Hilux pickup truck’, receiving £15.6m, and an Electrified Automation project in Somerset to cultivate a more efficient and cost-effective method of manufacturing electric motors, receiving £11.3 million.
UK Business Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Today’s multi-million pound boost – created by government working hand-in-hand with industry – will put these firms in pole position to pioneer these innovations, staying at the cutting edge of the global race for decades to come.”