Government urges automotive firms to fuel drive towards low-carbon motoring

November 12, 2013

A £75m fund has been launched to challenge UK automotive firms to come up with engine technologies that will make cars more energy efficient and ultimately change the way we drive.

The scheme, launched by Business Secretary Vince Cable, is aimed at helping UK businesses make and test low-carbon technologies that will keep the UK at the forefront of engine design and help safeguard up to 30,000 jobs in engine production.

These innovations will be the pilot projects of the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), which was announced in July, and will channel £1bn investment from Government and industry to fund the development of new technologies over the next 10 years.

Swindon’s automotive industry and burgeoning green tech sector positions the town as a key player in low-carbon motoring and the development of alternative fuels for transport. It is already a key player in the use of hydrogen – seen as a possible ‘fuel of tomorrow’ – through work undertaken at Honda’s car and engine plants in the town and by fuel cell pioneer Johnson Matthey, also based in Swindon.

Mr Cable, pictured, said: “By 2050, very few – if any – new cars will be powered solely by the traditional internal combustion engines, so it is important that the UK car industry is at the cutting edge of low carbon technologies.”

He said the Advanced Propulsion Centre, launched as part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy would help to position the UK as a leading innovator while securing jobs and strengthening supply chains.

The APC will be run by the UK’s innovation agency, the Swindon-based Technology Strategy Board. Its chief executive Iain Gray said: “The APC is a key element of the joint Government-industry strategy for the automotive sector. This competition will fund a number of projects that will strengthen UK capability as well as developing the UK’s propulsion systems supply chain. As such the APC represents a new way to embed innovation further into the UK automotive sector, helping us gain a competitive edge in this industry.”


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