The government has announced another round of multi-million pound grants to support development of electric trucks and hydrogen-powered buses.
Three projects in Cwmbran, Warwickshire and Ballymena will receive more than £54m of funding from UK government and industry.
- £31.9m to develop electric propulsion systems for heavy goods vehicles in Cwmbran, Wales, which could be applied in a range of ways, such as giving lorries greater travel range and better energy efficiency for coaches and construction vehicles;
- £11.3m to develop and manufacture energy-saving technology from motorsport for use in cars and vans from a centre in Warwickshire;
- £11.2m to develop and manufacture low-cost hydrogen fuel cell technology for buses and create a hydrogen centre of excellence with Wrightbus in Ballymena, Northern Ireland.
Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The UK is leading the world by developing cutting edge technology that will help to tackle climate change and lead to a green, competitive future for our automotive supply chain.
“These projects will not only help accelerate the wider application of greener technology in lorries and buses, but will also help generate the high-skilled jobs to level up communities across the UK while ensuring we build back greener from the pandemic.”
Transport minister Rachel Maclean said: “As we look to reduce our carbon emissions, strive towards our net-zero goals and level up right across the UK, the whole transport sector will need to embrace new innovative technology such as green hydrogen and these projects are a fantastic example of doing just that.
“I’m proud to see the UK leading the way in the global transition to zero-emission vehicles. In the next decade, we’ll continue to be at the forefront of their design, manufacture and use as we build back greener.”
CEO at the Advanced Propulsion Centre Ian Constance said: “We are delighted to have guided the latest investment of more than £54 million in the development and production of innovative powertrains to further accelerate the transition of the automotive sector to a net-zero future. The funding will enable the UK to apply its world-class innovation and experience in electrification of vehicles across the supply chain in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
“From fuel cell technology for buses, designed and built in Ballymena, a lightweight electric powertrain for commercial vehicles developed and manufactured in Wales and an integrated motor and energy recovery systems system for cars and vans based on motorsport technology in Warwickshire, today’s announcement secures and creates nearly 10,000 jobs and will cut CO2 emissions equivalent to removing the lifetime emissions of nearly 1.8 million cars.”
By investing in new, greener technology for the UK automotive sector, funding of this kind will help realise the government’s ambition for the UK to end its contribution to climate change by 2050.
Wrightbus executive chairman Jo Bamford commented: “The funding will allow us to realise our ambitions of creating a centre of excellence for zero emission technology in Ballymena, enabling us to produce the next generation of world-leading hydrogen buses at a higher volume and a lower cost than ever before.”