'Build back greener': Government announces £54m funding boost for electric trucks and hydrogen buses

Three projects across the UK aimed at cutting emissions from heavy transport to share government-led funding

A trio of projects from across the UK designed to slash emissions from the road transport sector have been awarded a share of £54m of new funding, as the government looks to accelerate the development of zero emission trucks and buses.

Announcing the funding award today, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the projects in Cwmbran, Warwickshire, and Ballymena had the potential to secure nearly 10,000 jobs and cut emissions by 45 million tonnes.

“The UK is leading the world by developing cutting edge technology that will help to tackle climate change and lead to a green, competitive future for our automotive supply chain,” Kwarteng said. “These projects will not only help accelerate the wider application of greener technology in lorries and buses, but will also help generate the high-skilled jobs to level up communities across the UK while ensuring we build back greener from the pandemic.”

The new funding, which has been coordinated by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), includes a £31.9m award to the Electric Powertrain Integration for Heavy Commercial Vehicles (EPIC) project, which is being led by South Wales-based Meritor. The funding will also support the construction of a new technology centre in Scotland.

Meanwhile, £11.2m has been provided to the Next Gen FCEV (Fuel Cell Vehicle) in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, where Wrightbus is working to develop hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicle single and double-deck buses. The funding is expected to enable higher volume production at lower cost and create a centre of excellence for zero emissions hydrogen technology to upskill and share knowledge in the UK.

And finally £11.3m has been awarded to the e-MOTIF (e-axle with MOT or Inverter and Flywheel) project in Warwickshire, which is being led by Shield Manufacturing Technologies and aims to combine lightweight energy recovery technology from motorsport with a new motor and inverter for cars and vans so as to cut energy consumption and CO2 emissions. The government said the e-MOTIF project is scalable and cost effective for global manufacturers and could lead to three new manufacturing centres opening across the UK. 

The news was also welcomed by Transport Minister Rachel Maclean, who stressed new technologies would be critical to the UK meeting its climate and economic goals. “As we look to reduce our carbon emissions, strive towards our net-zero goals and level up right across the UK, the whole transport sector will need to embrace new innovative technology such as green hydrogen and these projects are a fantastic example of doing just that,” she said. “I’m proud to see the UK leading the way in the global transition to zero-emission vehicles. In the next decade, we’ll continue to be at the forefront of their design, manufacture and use as we build back greener.”

Read more: businessgreen.com