Low carbon vehicles get government backing

The Chancellor and the Business Minister Anna Soubry have today (9 September 2015) announced the winner of a £10 million low carbon battery prize.

Speaking at LCV2015, Anna Soubry announced that an automotive consortium led by Warwick Manufacturing Group had won a government backed £10 million Ultra Low Emission Battery Prize, which incentivises the development of the next generation of batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles in the UK.

Together, manufacturers Jaguar Land Rover, JCB, Alexander Dennis and Ariel Motors, successfully demonstrated the ability to build UK capability in the development of high voltage automotive battery packs. It will lay the foundations for a new UK automotive supply chain over the next 12 months.

The Minister also unveiled details of a £20 million low carbon vehicle R&D initiative led by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). The ‘Seeding Tomorrow’s Vehicle Technologies Today’ competition will support the development of new technology for road vehicles aimed at delivering significant reductions in CO2 and other emissions.

The Chancellor said, ‘It’s great news that a British consortium has won £10 million of government funding to develop a world-class ultra-low emission vehicle battery, and yet another demonstration that the UK is a global leader in high-skilled, innovative vehicle technology.’

‘This is part of our plan to invest over £900 million this decade in ensuring that this country is the best place in the world to own, use or build a high-tech, low-emission car – helping to support the 150,000 jobs created by automotive manufacturing in the UK.’

Business Minister Anna Soubry added, ‘Together these projects will help keep the British low carbon vehicle industry at the cutting edge – generating valuable trade and investment opportunities and new highly-skilled jobs. The £20 million competition will springboard some of the UK’s best low carbon vehicle innovations to market and Warwick Manufacturing Group’s battery project will create a new UK supply chain in a field with huge growth opportunities.’

Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, Chairman of WMG said, ‘The global energy storage market will be worth $50 billion by 2020; of this, $21 billion will be in transportation. Automotive is well on its way to displacing consumer electronics as the biggest user of energy storage. This project will play a significant role in the evolution of that market by creating a UK supply chain for battery packs to suit hybrid and electric vehicles requiring volumes from hundreds to thousands of units per year. It will also create a lasting facility at WMG for the development of future battery packs. This will also create thousands of jobs in this field.’