Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan has won a share of £38 million of government money for use in a project to develop more efficient low emission vehicles.
A consortium including the car manufacturers has received £1.7 million for ‘light weighting’ technology - applying the science behind Formula 1 cars and space satellites to make passenger cars weigh less and be more fuel efficient.
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%.
The project is one of more than 130 car manufacturers, technology companies and research centres across the country to have won a share of the money, announced in the Budget.
Transport minister Andrew Jones 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 £600m 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.”
The winning projects were chosen following a competition launched last September, encouraging companies to propose innovative ideas to cut vehicle emissions.
The funding combines £30m from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) with £8.2m of additional funding from Innovate UK, which will support the schemes.
They will begin unveiling working prototypes by 2018 and could feature in passenger cars from 2020.
Roland Meister, head of transport at Innovate UK, said: “UK businesses have a great opportunity to be at the leading edge of the global drive to increase efficiency and reduce emissions from our vehicles.
“This £38m 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 £532m in the process.”
Winners of the funding also include:
· Yorkshire and the Humber: £4.4million across 12 organisations. Sheffield-based Faradion Ltd lead a consortium receiving £1.3million to significantly reduce the cost of electric vehicle batteries by using cheaper sodium-ion technology, while a collaboration between Magnomatics Ltd and the University of Sheffield will develop a more efficient transmission system using magnets.
· South East: £5.6million across 20 organisations. Ceres Power Ltd in Horsham lead a team receiving £770,000 to test new fuel cells extending the range of electric vans.
· East Midlands: £7.5million across 23 organisations. One consortia led by Far-UK in Nottingham is awarded £1.4million to explore how to replace steel bodies with lighter materials while maintaining the highest safety standards.
· Scotland: £2.5million across 7 organisations. Sunamp Ltd near Edinburgh lead a team to transform chilled or frozen food fleets using ‘thermal store’ technology to minimise battery power used up to keep food deliveries fresh.
· North West: £1.7million across 7 organisations. A team including Clean Air Power Ltd in Lancashire will seek to apply greener dual-fuel technology to HGVs, cutting emissions on freight deliveries.
· East of England: will receive £2.9million across 15 organisations. Controlled Power Technologies Ltd in Essex leads a consortium of 4 winning £1.8million to develop a low-cost hybrid system suitable for capturing braking energy and providing an extra boost to smaller city cars.
· Greater London: £2.2million across 11 organisations. Advanced Design Technology Ltd will lead a project team to develop thermal recovery kits that capture waste heat from the exhaust and turn it into electricity.
· South West: £3.1m across 16 organisations. HiETA Technologies get £1.7million to lead a project developing new lighter vehicle components made from advanced aluminium alloys.
· North East: Will receive £570,000 across 5 organisations including the light weighting collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover.