Why the motor industry needs these handouts is not obvious, unless of course the lack of public enthusiasm for electric cars means car makers expect a ‘sweetener’ before doing any related work.
The government has awarded £62 million in funding to low-emissions automotive projects, including the development of electric vehicle batteries to be be produced in the UK, as Silicon UK reports.
The funding was the sixth round to be awarded through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), formed in 2013 to help develop the UK’s low-emissions vehicle manufacturing sector.
Williams Advanced Engineering said it would use its funding to work with partners on building bespoke high-performance batteries for car makers including Aston Martin.
The project, which involves building the UK’s second purpose-built electric battery plant, is to focus on design for manufacturing, recycling and reusing batteries, Williams said.
It said the project would begin in 2018 but didn’t disclose how much funding it had received.
In a separate project, BMW Motorsport is to collaborate with Delta Motorsport and industrial research group WMG at the University of Warwick to design, develop and produce power-dense batteries for electric vehicles in the UK.
Range of projects
Other projects receiving funding include Jaguar Land Rover for work on lightweight vehicles, Penso Consulting for developing the UK’s complex composite structure manufacturing capacity, Ford for combined system optimisation and Westfield Sportscars for UK-based hybrid powertrain manufacturing.
“From powertrain, to lightweighting, to energy storage, these new projects will not only lower emissions but secure thousands of jobs, address supply chain gaps, and help the UK become a true global leader in advanced vehicle technology,” stated APC chief executive Ian Constance.
The APC is planned to facilitate £1bn of investment in UK automotive projects by 2023, and aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 50 million tonnes while supporting 30,000 UK jobs. The latest round is expected to create or safeguard 2,370 jobs in the country, the APC said.