New £75m fund for low-carbon vehicle technologies

7 November 2013
By Edd Gent
Mobile version
Share |
An computer generated image of the new driverless pod project in Milton Keynes

An computer generated image of the new driverless pod project in Milton Keynes

Automotive companies are being offered a slice of £75m to come up with new low-carbon engine technologies.

During a visit to Northampton today, Business Secretary Vince Cable announced a new £75m fund to support a limited number of pre-production projects that will strengthen the UK’s capability and develop its supply chain in the field of low-carbon vehicles.

Those selected will be the pilot projects of the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), which was announced in July, with those entering the competition required to form a group which includes at least one vehicle manufacturer, an SME and at least one supply chain company.

Projects are expected to begin from April 2014 and will have to deliver significant emissions reductions compared to the current best-in-class technologies using primarily on-vehicle powertrain technologies, as opposed to off-vehicle technologies such as charging infrastructure.

Cable 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.

“The Advanced Propulsion Centre, launched as part of our industrial strategy, will help to position the UK as a leading innovator while securing jobs and strengthening supply chains.”

During his visit, Cable also announced £1.5m of government funding for a project in Milton Keynes that will test driverless cars in a pedestrianised area for the first time.

The £2-a-trip battery-powered ‘pods’ will be able to carry two people and reach speeds of 12mph. They will be hailed and paid for via a mobile phone app and will use GPS technology and sensors to steer around objects, people and each other.

An initial batch of 20 pods to be introduced in 2015 will be driver-operated and will run on lanes separated from pedestrians in Milton Keynes city centre, but by mid-2017 100 pods that are fully autonomous will be running on pathways alongside people.

“Driverless cars are another invention that have the potential to generate the kind of high-skilled jobs we want Britain to be famous for, as well as cutting congestion and pollution and improving road safety,” said Cable.

The early collaborators on the project are engineering consultancy firm Arup, Transport Systems Catapult, The Automotive Council, and Cambridge and Oxford Universities.

John Miles, programme director and Arup Consultant, said: “With the continually increasing number of people living in cities, city authorities are facing some real challenges with regards to ensuring future levels of mobility.

“This project has the potential to deliver a truly autonomous low-carbon transport option within the context of a city centre and we’re delighted to be using this funding to take the project into the first stages of design.

The competition to find the pilot projects for the APC opens on 2 December 2013 and will be run by the Technology Strategy Board. Visit the Technology Strategy Board website for more information.

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1607

"As the dust settles after the referendum result, we consider what happens next. We also look forward to an international summer of sport."

E&T jobs

  • Control System Engineer

    United Utilities
    • Lancaster, Lancashire
    • Up to £33415 + Comprehensive Benefits

    Provide ICA maintenance and engineering support to the Water & Wastewater Production

    • Recruiter: United Utilities

    Apply for this job

  • Signal Processing Engineer

    B&W Group
    • Steyning, West Sussex
    • Competitive Salary

    We are looking for a Signal Processing Engineer to support the R&D process on active loudspeaker products.

    • Recruiter: B&W Group

    Apply for this job

  • Principal Mechanical & Electrical Engineer

    De Montfort University
    • Leicestershire
    • Grade G: £36,672 - £46,414 per annum

    Join the Projects Team to develop and manage medium to large projects on the university estate.

    • Recruiter: De Montfort University

    Apply for this job

  • Advanced Commissioning Engineer

    National Grid
    • Nottinghamshire, Nottingham, England
    • £46000 - £57000 per year

    National Grid is at the heart of energy in the UK. The electricity we provide gets the nation to work, powers schools and lights everyone's way home. Our energy network connects the nation, so it's essential that it's continually evolving, advancing and i

    • Recruiter: National Grid

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Design Engineer

    Oxford Instruments
    • Yatton, Bristol
    • Competitive salary plus excellent benefits

    We are looking for an electrical designer to join our engineering design team.

    • Recruiter: Oxford Instruments

    Apply for this job

  • Skilled Electrical Fitter

    MBDA
    • Bolton
    • Competitive Salary & Benefits

    What?s the opportunity?   The Electrical Fitter will carry out manufacturing and test tasks within the electrical department in accordance with product certification procedures, defined workmanship  ...

    • Recruiter: MBDA

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Manufacturing Technician

    MBDA
    • Stevenage
    • Competitive Salary & Benefits

    What?s the opportunity?   As a qualified craftsman with experience in electrical manufacturing, the Manufacturing Technician will report to a Team Leader, receiving day to day ...

    • Recruiter: MBDA

    Apply for this job

  • Consultant Engineer (Electrical Power)

    BAE Systems
    • Cumbria, Barrow-In-Furness, England
    • Negotiable

    Consultant Engineer (Electrical Power) Would you like to play a key role in providing technical direction to the design of power systems on the Successor class submarines, which will replace the current Trident-equipped Vanguard class, currently in servic

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Electrician

    The Bristol Port Company
    • City of Bristol
    • C. £31,729 per annum plus supplements, benefits and overtime

    You’re a good team worker with a strong technical capacity – so bring your talents to a new role with one of the area’s leading employers.

    • Recruiter: The Bristol Port Company

    Apply for this job

  • Supply Restoration Team Manager (HV/SAP)

    SSE
    • Oxford, Oxfordshire
    • Salary: £37,588 to £49,645 + Car (SSE8) Depending on skills and experience

    SSE is looking to recruit a Supply Restoration Team Manager to join our existing team in Oxford.

    • Recruiter: SSE

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T