An £80 million investment has been unveiled by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to develop electric vehicles (EVs) as part of its efforts to achieve a target of net zero by 2050.
Hybrid aircraft will also be included for development with the investment, which is part of the modern industrial strategy.
Both industry and academia will lead the development of new technologies known as power electronics, electric machines and drives (PEMD) to help cut carbon emissions across a range of industries, both in the UK and abroad. More than 130 organisations, collectively offering as much as £600 billion, will be supporting the development of PEMD.
The investment, part of the Industrial Strategy Future of Mobility Grand Challenge, will include four “key strands” to help industries move away from using fossil fuels.
These include filling in the gaps in the supply chain for PEMD, creating centres to develop EVs and hybrid aircraft, investing in the UK’s capability to develop the necessary matching tools for new manufacturing techniques and creating low volume, high value supply chains to help just-in-time manufacturers sustain long-term growth.
Business secretary Greg Clark said: “Companies like Jaguar and Lotus are choosing the UK to develop their new electric vehicles, while Easy Jet and Rolls Royce have chosen the UK to develop their hybrid planes – all recognising and investing in the expertise and talents of the UK.
“Building on our Faraday Battery Challenge and Battery Industrialisation Centre this co-investment from government and industry is a key part of our modern industrial strategy, building on our strengths and helping to create the next generation of net zero technologies that will transform entire industries.
“The UK leads the world on combatting climate change and is the first major economy to legislate for net zero.”
In May the government’s climate change watchdog concluded that the UK can cut greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 but only if existing policies are ramped up, including bringing forward the date of the proposed ban on the sale of diesel and petrol vehicles.
And Scotland can meet the net zero target by 2045, sooner than the rest of the UK, because it has “greater potential” to remove pollution from its economy than the UK overall.