The Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, announced today that £24m will go to six innovative projects that aim to support UK’s developing Ultra Low Carbon Vehicles industry. Some of the UK’s leading vehicle manufacturers, working alongside supply chain manufacturers and universities, have secured the Government investment and the total costs for all six projects stands at just under £52m.
Six consortia, led by auto industry giants such as Ford and Jaguar Land Rover, will run innovation projects designed to strengthen the UK’s Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle capability, with a focus on developing the supply chain. In all of the projects large vehicle manufacturers will help to grow the supply chain for a low carbon vehicles industry within the UK by working alongside Small to Medium Sized Enterprises, providing support and a potential route to a growing market.
The businesses, operating as consortia, secured the funding through a competition delivered by the Government-backed Technology Strategy Board in partnership with the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the cross-governmental Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).
Speaking at Low Carbon Vehicles 2010 today, an annual auto industry event held at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond said:
“I congratulate the six winners for their fresh and innovative solutions to the low carbon challenge. These projects represent cutting edge technology which has the potential to transform the way we travel in a way that will stimulate a vital and growing market.
“In short, this is investment that will deliver measurable economic benefits, as well as tangible environmental ones.”
All of the projects are designed to optimise and improve opportunities for companies that manufacture components and systems as part of the automotive supply chain. Each project will work towards ensuring that future component manufacturing opportunities remain within the UK once the technologies that are being investigated reach mass production. LCV IDP 4/ 2010/CC/AB
Business Minister Mark Prisk said: “The winning consortia are all exciting examples of the breadth and depth of the UK’s technical capabilities in low carbon vehicles.
“Collaboration between UK-based vehicle manufacturers, supply chain companies and academia will help Britain become one of the leading centres for the design, development and manufacture of ultra-low carbon vehicles.
“All of these projects had to demonstrate a credible route to market. This is about real business opportunities and high-tech jobs being created from the move to a low carbon economy.”
The projects focus on a range of innovative solutions to the Low Carbon challenge from range extension and hybrid technologies through to lightweight composite materials, engine optimisation and a review of the efficiency of catalyst formulations.
The technology developed in these projects will help the vehicle manufactures stay ‘ahead of the curve’ when it comes to meeting the new low emissions targets due to come into force in 2015.
Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board said:
“The work that we are doing with these six projects reinforces the Automotive Council’s focus on both supply chain and technology. Both these areas will be vital if the mass production of low carbon vehicles in the UK is to become a reality.”
The competition is part of the Technology Strategy Board-led Low Carbon Vehicles Integrated Delivery Programme which aims to integrate the innovation chain from the science base, through collaborative research and development to fleet level demonstration.
The Technology Strategy Board’s challenge-led innovation approach sees the societal, economic and environmental challenges of the future not as threats, but rather as opportunities for innovative solutions that enhance quality of life and increase wealth.