The Transport Secretary Philip Hammond yesterday announced the provision of £24m worth of funding for six Ultra Low Carbon Vehicles projects.
Some of the UK’s leading vehicle manufacturers, working alongside supply chain manufacturers and universities, have secured the Government investment. The total costs for all six projects, some of which are pre-existing, stands at just under £52m.
The consortia partners – Jaguar Land Rover, Lotus Engineering, Nissan Motor Company, Think, Axeon, EVO Electric and Xtrac – 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.
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).
One of the winning projects, The REEVolution programme, is an existing project led by Jaguar Land Rover and Lotus Engineering. The new investment is aimed at further developing the reliability of components fitted to the demonstration Limo Green vehicle, a series hybrid range extended electric Jaguar XJ. The concept demonstrator delivered sub 120g/km tailpipe CO2 emissions with an impressive 30 mile range in EV mode.
Speaking at Low Carbon Vehicles 2010 yesterday, 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.
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.”
According to the TSB 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.