UK government invests in low carbon automotive technology

The UK government recently announced a new strategy for growth and sustainability in the UK automotive sector. One of the major initiatives is a billion pound ($1.5 billion) investment over ten years in a new Advanced Propulsion Centre to develop, commercialize and manufacture advanced propulsion technologies in the UK. Half of the funding will come from industry and half from government. According to the government’s plan, by 2040 almost none of Europe’s new cars will be powered solely by a traditional petrol or diesel engine.

Elements of the program will include priority technology areas:

  • Internal Combustion Engines – reducing vehicle carbon dioxide emissions to near zero
  • Power Electronics & Electric Machines – new types of motors
  • Energy storage
  • Lightweight Vehicle and Power Train
  • Intelligent Mobility – new technologies that transform the operation of road vehicles and users’ relationship with them.

The strategy is clearly designed to maintain and grow the number of automotive industry jobs in the UK through conversion of the industry to a low carbon future. The government believes that the sustainability issues facing the auto industry provides the country with a “once in a lifetime opportunity to increase the UK’s global share of the automotive sector”. In addition to the R&D initiative, the government has also announced other incentives for the automotive sector and states that it will be encouraging the purchase of Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles.

The government expects that most of the funding for the APC will be spent on projects carried out in partnership with external organizations. The APC itself is anticipated to have only a small core staff.

The 86 page policy paper and a 15 page summary are available at

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