£43m awarded to develop electric motorbikes and delivery trucks
Image credit: OX delivers
A £43m fund to spur the development of green automotive technology including electric motorcycles and an all-terrain, 4x4 electric delivery truck has been announced by the government.
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said the projects could secure more than 550 jobs across the UK while saving nearly 27.6 million tonnes of carbon emissions.
The projects were awarded funding through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), which collaborates with the UK government and the automotive industry to accelerate the industrialisation of net-zero-emission vehicles.
The APC allocated £8.5m in funding towards Project Zero Emission Norton, based in Solihull, to develop an electric motorbike that delivers a high level of race performance and touring range.
A further £8.5m was allocated to the OX Delivers CLEAN project in Leamington Spa to develop an all-terrain electric delivery truck (pictured below) designed for emerging markets and manufactured in the UK that can withstand tough off-road conditions by using long-life, lower- cost batteries.
19 additional studies are also receiving funding from the APC which could bolster UK lithium production, fast charging technology and a UK-based battery recycling facility.
Other projects to be awarded funding include Livista Energy, which is looking at building Europe’s first standalone refining facility capable of producing battery grade lithium, Nyobolt, a project looking at manufacturing high-power battery technology that enables ultra-fast charging without sacrificing the battery’s lifetime, and LTS Transport Solutions which is exploring the potential of opening a brand-new electric vehicle battery recycling plant in the UK by 2024.
Lord Grimstone, minister for investment, said: “This funding, delivered through the government-backed Advanced Propulsion Centre, will support UK businesses at the cutting edge of the automotive industry to trial the very latest tech, from the development of electric motorbikes to off-road trucks.
“Supporting these strategically important technologies lays the path for our electric vehicle sector to compete on a global scale, driving jobs and growth nationwide whilst also creating cleaner, more sustainable modes of transport.”
Despite falling automotive production in the UK due to a number of factors including the global chip shortage and extra hurdles created by Brexit, the number of battery electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid cars being made soared by over 50 per cent last year as demand boomed.
Ian Constance, chief executive at the APC, said: “The projects receiving today’s investment highlight the breadth of technologies needed to help the UK accelerate to net zero emissions. They’re reimagining not just vehicles, but transport in general.”
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