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£38m funnelled into developing greener vehicles

More than 130 car manufacturers, technology companies and research centres across the UK have won a share of £38.2 million to increase efficiency and cut emissions from vehicles.

More than 130 car manufacturers, technology companies and research centres across the UK have won a share of £38.2 million to increase efficiency and cut emissions from vehicles. 

The funding from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and Innovate UK has been given to winning projects from a competition launched in September 2015 to propose innovative ideas to cut emissions from vehicles. 

The projects will begin unveiling working prototypes by 2018 and could feature in passenger cars from 2020.

Local projects

£1.7 million of the funding will go to seven projects in the north west, including over £880,000 for Lancashire-based Clean Air Power Ltd. 

Clean Air Power will use the funding to apply greener dual-fuel technology to HGVs to help cut emissions on freight deliveries. The company has previously worked with Sainsbury’s to retrofit trucks with the technology. 

Light weighting

The largest project in the UK involves a consortium of companies including Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan, which received £1.7 million to apply ‘light weighting’ technology used in Formula 1 to standard and plug-in vehicles.

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

‘Great opportunity’

Andrew Jones, transport minister, said: “Our £38 million investment will 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. It will also mean lower running costs for motorists and less fuel consumption, which is good for the environment and our economy.

“This competition continues our £600 million commitment by 2020 to support the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles, making journeys cheaper and greener, ensuring the nation is fit for the future.”

Roland Meister, head of transport at Innovate UK, described the funding as a “great opportunity” for UK businesses.

“This £38 million of government support means that more than 130 innovative organisations right across the country now have the chance to get their ideas off the drawing board and potentially into the cars and trucks of the future, boosting the economy by at least £532 million in the process.”