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£38m low emission vehicle funding for the UK has been announced for 2016

More than 130 car manufacturers, technology firms and research centres have been awarded a share of £38 million funding towards “innovative” low emission vehicle research projects, the UK government has announced.

Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, HiETA Technologies and Clean Air Power Ltd are among winners of funding which the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) said will “create hi-tech jobs and help Britain become a global leader in exporting state of the art, emission-cutting technology”.

The winning projects were chosen following the launch of the competition in September 2015 encouraging companies to propose innovative ideas to cut vehicle emissions. This funding combines £30 million from OLEV alongside £8.2 million from government agency Innovate UK.

Winning firms and consortia will begin unveiling working prototypes by 2018 with technology potentially featuring in passenger cars from 2020, according to OLEV.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said the investment would “help Britain become a world leader in this exciting and valuable technology sector, creating skilled jobs of the future as part of our long-term economic plan”.

He added: “It will also mean lower running costs for motorists and less fuel consumption, which is good for the environment and our economy.

Jaguar & Nissan

The consortium including car manufacturers Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan has received £1.7 million for developing ‘light weighting’ technology, which will reportedly apply the science behind F1 cars and space satellites to make passenger cars both weigh less and be more fuel efficient.

The results of this work could reduce the weight of steel components in vehicles such as the electric Nissan Leaf by more than half, potentially extending the distance a plug-in car can drive by up to 25%, the consortium said.

International manufacturers currently pay a premium for light-weight materials – such as carbon fibre found in F1 cars – and this investment will support the mass production of an emerging technology that can boost British-made exports across the globe, OLEV said.

Work for this project will be based in the West Midlands, where a total of £7.7 million was awarded to 36 organisations.

Other winners include:

  • Yorkshire and the Humber: £4.4 million across 12 organisations. Sheffield-based Faradion Ltd lead a consortium receiving £1.3 million to significantly reduce the cost of electric vehicle batteries by using cheaper sodium-ion technology, while a collaboration between Magnomatics Ltd and the University of Sheffield will develop a more efficient transmission system using magnets.
  • South-east: £5.6 million across 20 organisations. Ceres Power Ltd in Horsham lead a team receiving £770,000 to test new fuel cells extending the range of electric vans.
  • East Midlands: £7.5 million across 23 organisations. One consortia led by Far-UK in Nottingham is awarded £1.4 million to explore how to replace steel bodies with lighter materials while maintaining the highest safety standards.
  • Scotland: £2.5 million across 7 organisations. Sunamp Ltd near Edinburgh lead a team to transform chilled or frozen food fleets using ‘thermal store’ technology to minimise battery power used up to keep food deliveries fresh.
  • North-west: £1.7 million across 7 organisations. A team including Clean Air Power Ltd in Lancashire will seek to apply greener dual-fuel technology to HGVs, cutting emissions on freight deliveries.
  • East of England: £2.9 million across 15 organisations. Controlled Power Technologies Ltd in Essex leads a consortium of 4 winning £1.8 million to develop a low-cost hybrid system suitable for capturing braking energy and providing an extra boost to smaller city cars.
  • Greater London: £2.2 million across 11 organisations. Advanced Design Technology Ltd will lead a project team to develop thermal recovery kits that capture waste heat from the exhaust and turn it into electricity.
  • South-west: £3.1 million across 16 organisations. HiETA Technologies get £1.7 million to lead a project developing new lighter vehicle components made from advanced aluminium alloys.
  • North-east: £570,000 across 5 organisations including the light weighting collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover.