Funding will support low carbon developments in the UK’s niche vehicle sector.
Thirty projects will share £3.9 million in grant funding to lead low carbon developments and demonstrations in niche vehicles.
This comes from 2 competitions through the Niche Vehicle Network. These were collectively supported by Innovate UK, the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC).
The winners were announced during this year’s Cenex-LCV event.
Advancing design and development
Winning projects will support the development of:
- clean, extended-range tyres for electric vehicles, made from advanced natural materials
- a carbon-composite motorcycle frame, with an optimised shape design for strength, stiffness and space envelope
- a low-cost, 3-wheeled, multi-passenger, electric vehicle platform
- prototype titanium brake calipers, using a low-cost, high-efficiency manufacturing process
- a high specific output 48 volt electric machine and energy storage system. This will include the design, development, prototyping and testing
- an autonomous road sweeper that uses the latest sensor and mapping technology
- manufacturing processes and design validation of air bearings that will be used to deliver oil-free turbochargers
All of the projects are collaborative and partnered by at least 3 UK-based businesses from the low carbon vehicle technology sector. They will each receive 50% of their project costs.
About the network
The Niche Vehicle Network supports innovation and new product development among low-volume vehicle manufacturers in the UK. This includes premium brand sports cars, specialist commercial vehicles, specialist suppliers and technology companies.
A total of £2.4 million has been awarded for early-market low carbon technology demonstration projects, with a further £1.5 million towards establishing specialised UK manufacturing capability and supply chains for SMEs.
Announcing the winners, Paul Gadd, Head of Automotive at Innovate UK, said:
Congratulations to the winning companies. This important R&D funding for these collaborative niche vehicle projects helps drive innovation across the automotive sector.
Ian Constance, Chief Executive Officer at the APC, said:
The UK is incredibly innovative and we have exceptional capabilities in our SMEs. It is hugely important that we continue to provide support and this latest round of funding will help bring SME’s technologies closer to commercialisation.
Programme Director for the Niche Vehicle Network, Viv Stephens, added:
This is our tenth year of supporting collaborative innovation projects and is the largest competition we have ever held.
The quality of the projects which have been approved is truly outstanding and we look forward to seeing them come to fruition in 2018. The support we have had from our sponsoring organisations has been unswerving and the UK niche vehicle sector is going from strength to strength as a result.