£90 million investment for cleaner vehicles

08 May 2008

16 innovative development projects, worth over £52 million, to receive £23 million government investment through the Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform.

Low Carbon Vehicles Integrated Delivery Programme to be developed, speeding up the introduction of low carbon vehicle technology, with further £70 million government investment.

New low carbon vehicles could be on Britain's roads within 5 to 7 years following the decision, announced today, to invest £23 million of Government funding in sixteen innovative new projects.  The investment, which is being made available by the Technology Strategy Board and the Department for Transport through the Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform, will assist companies to take forward research, development and demonstration projects in the UK.  Including investments by the companies involved, the total value of the development projects will be £52 million.

And, in a related development, the Technology Strategy Board today announced its intention to launch in the Autumn 2008 a Low Carbon Vehicles Integrated Delivery Programme - stimulated by a further £70 million of government investment.  This programme will co-ordinate low carbon vehicle activity from initial research through to future procurement opportunities, speeding up the time it takes to get low carbon vehicle technologies into the market place.

The sixteen new research, development and demonstration projects represent the first investment by the Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform since it was established in the autumn of 2007, and follows an open competition launched in September.  The key objectives of the platform are to:

  • accelerate the market introduction of low carbon road transport vehicles over what would be achieved by global market forces alone, and
  • maximise the benefit to UK business of that accelerated market penetration.

The projects to receive funding will be lead by a wide range of organisations from major manufacturers through to small and medium sized companies and University spin-outs.  The research and development will cover technologies such as lightweighting, ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) developments, Fuel Cells, Energy Storage and Aerodynamics.

The aim of the Low Carbon Vehicles Integrated Delivery Programme is to fully map the UK's technological capability in the area and, using the full range of Technology Strategy Board interventions, make the business connections needed to develop an automotive sector capable of delivering the required low carbon products and services required within the medium to long term.

The Technology Strategy Board will manage the programme through its Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform.  The Department for Transport, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Advantage West Midlands have agreed to invest in the programme, while further support will be sought from other Regional Development Authorities and the Devolved Assemblies.

The Low Carbon Vehicles Integrated Delivery Programme is being developed in close partnership with UK-based companies and academic institutions, and it is strongly anticipated that the Government's £70 million investment in the Programme will be matched by funding from industry.

Supporting today's announcements, Science and Innovation Minister Ian Pearson said: "These investments will provide a great opportunity for British companies to mobilise innovation to respond to global climate change challenges and to meet demanding new CO2 standards for new vehicles.  They will also help position British companies to benefit from the growing domestic and international demand for lower carbon vehicles."

Transport Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said: "Developing cleaner and more efficient vehicles is vitally important in our efforts to combat climate change. Road transport contributes heavily to the UK's total emissions, which is why we are investing in low-carbon technology through the Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform.  I hope that this will stimulate further growth in the market and that low carbon vehicles will soon be a common sight on our roads, so that we can continue to push forward reductions in carbon emissions"

"The EPSRC support will provide the activities of the Integrated Delivery Programme with a base of high quality, relevant research", said Catherine Coates, the EPSRC Director of Business Innovation. "Working in partnership with the other funders will ensure a spectrum of government funding for innovation activities within the Integrated Delivery Programme"

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Last updated on Monday 09 June 2008 at 11:12

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