Funding for Low Carbon Auto Tech Including Hydrogen Engines and Ultra-Fast Charging Batteries

Electric vehicle (EV) batteries with a range similar to internal combustion engines and which can charge in as little as 12 minutes are among projects awarded £91 million of government and industry funding


  • £91.7 million funding announced for green auto tech, including a car battery with a similar driving range to internal combustion engines

  • projects could save nearly 32 million tonnes of carbon emissions and secure over 2,700 jobs across the country

  • funding will help develop technology needed to increase performance and take-up of electric vehicles and build back greener


Electric car batteries with range similar to internal combustion engines and which can charge in as little as 12 minutes are among projects awarded over £91 million of government and industry funding today (18 August) to develop the latest green automotive technology.


Four projects have been awarded funding through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) Collaborative Research and Development competition, which supports the development of innovative low carbon automotive technology. Together they could save almost 32 million tonnes of carbon emissions, equivalent to the lifetime emissions of 1.3 million cars, and secure over 2,700 jobs across the country.


These innovations will address motorists’ concerns about adopting electric vehicles by cutting charge times and boosting driving range. They will help to make electric vehicles more affordable, efficient and convenient.


The projects awarded funding today are:

  • BMW-UK-BEV, Oxford - £26.2 million to develop an electric battery that will rival the driving range of internal combustion engines, helping put concerns over how far electric vehicles can travel to rest

  • Project CELERITAS, Birmingham - £9.7 million to create ultra-fast charging batteries for electric and fuel cell hybrid vehicles that can charge in as little as 12 minutes

  • the BRUNEL project, Darlington - £14.6 million to develop a novel zero emission, hydrogen-fuelled engine to help decarbonise heavy goods vehicles

  • REEcorner, Nuneaton - £41.2 million to radically redesign light and medium-sized commercial electric vehicles in Nuneaton by moving the steering, breaking, suspension and powertrain into the wheel arch enabling increased autonomous capability, storage space and design flexibility

Minister for Investment Lord Grimstone said:

By investing tens of millions in the technology needed to decarbonise our roads, not only are we working hard to end our contribution to climate change, but also ensuring our automotive sector has a competitive future that will secure thousands of highly-skilled jobs.
Seizing the opportunities that arise from the global green automotive revolution is central to our plans to build back greener, and these winning projects will help make the widespread application and adoption of cutting-edge, clean automotive technology a reality.

The government has already announced the end of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2030, putting the UK on course to be the fastest major economy to decarbonise cars and vans, and is currently consulting on phasing out the sale of new diesel and petrol heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) by 2040, as set out in the government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan. The projects awarded funding today will help make the technological developments needed to meet these goals.


CEO at the Advanced Propulsion Centre Ian Constance said:

These projects tackle some really important challenges in the journey to net-zero road transport. They address range anxiety and cost, which can be a barrier to people making the switch to electric vehicles and they also provide potential solutions to the challenge of how we decarbonise public transport and the movement of goods.
By investing in this innovation, we’re taking these technologies closer to the point where they are commercially viable, which will strengthen the UK’s automotive supply chain, safeguard or create jobs and reduce harmful greenhouse emissions.

Notes to Editors

This is the 18th round of funding coordinated by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) which supports the development of low carbon emission technologies for cars, buses, heavy goods vehicles, and vans. These projects will help further the UK’s ongoing efforts to develop a sustainable supply chain for manufacturing electric vehicles by 2026.


About the Advanced Propulsion Centre

The APC collaborates with UK government, the automotive industry and academia to accelerate the industrialisation of technologies, supporting the transition to deliver net-zero emission vehicles.


Since its foundation in 2013, APC has funded 170 low-carbon projects involving 402 partners, working with companies of all sizes, and has helped to create or safeguard nearly 50,000 jobs in the UK. The technologies developed in these projects are projected to save over 288 million tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of removing the lifetime tailpipe emissions from 12 million cars.


Quotes from the Winners

On BRUNEL, Jonathan Atkinson, Executive Director of Cummins On-highway Business in Europe, said:

Confirmation of the strategic support awarded by APC is excellent news for Cummins and our world-class research and development facility in Darlington. This project will significantly accelerate the pace of hydrogen engine development, ensuring that the UK is in the vanguard of this exciting new technology which will play a significant part in de-carbonising the global commercial vehicle fleet.
The APC18 project will maintain and upskill many hundreds of key technical jobs, not just at Cummins and our consortium partners but across our total supply base. In the mid-to-long term it offers major potential to expand our high-value export business, supplying hydrogen engines and sub-systems manufactured in the UK to customers around the world.

On BMW-UK-BEV, Andreas Loehrke, Head of Research and Design for BMW Motorsport Ltd. UK said:

This is a really exciting opportunity to collaborate with world leading companies to develop high tech battery technology. It strengthens our UK partner base and safeguards and extends our research and design centre.

On CELERITAS, Founder and CEO of Sprint Power, Richie Frost, said:

As we move steadily towards the UK’s ban on new petrol and diesel combustion engine vehicles in 2030, tackling consumers’ concerns on EVs head on is critical. We are delighted to be leading this pioneering project that will create a step change in battery charge times, helping to create highly efficient fuel cell vehicles for the future and accelerating the charging time on battery electric vehicles significantly closer to refuelling times on today’s internal combustion engine cars.

On REECorner, Mike Charlton, REE Chief Operating Officer said:

REE is delighted to have been selected as recipient of APC funding to support REE investment in the UK automotive ecosystem and we look forward to jointly working with our consortium partners. The UK is an ideal location for a pioneering automotive company like REE thanks to the country’s commitment to vehicle electrification which dovetails with our vision towards propelling a zero-emissions, greener future for our generation and those to come.