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PM and industry announce more than £600m for zero-emission vehicle R&D


Aston Martin's zero-emission Lagonda Vision concept (Credit: Aston Martin)
Aston Martin's zero-emission Lagonda Vision concept (Credit: Aston Martin)

More than £600m of new investments will create 1,000 jobs, make the UK a global leader in electric cars and help achieve emissions goals, the government has said.

Prime minister Theresa May announced a £106m funding boost for R&D on zero-emissions vehicles, including new batteries and low-carbon technology, at the Zero Emission Vehicle summit today in Birmingham. Companies also announced investments totalling more than £500m in low-emission technology.

The PM highlighted the ban on new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040. She said the investments “will drive the design, use, uptake and infrastructure necessary for cleaner, greener vehicles – and, in doing so, it will help us drastically reduce a major contributor to our global warming emissions, as we seek to meet the Paris Climate Change Agreement”.

Newly announced industry investments included an additional £50m from Aston Martin for its new St Athan facility in Wales, which will become its centre for electrification and the home of the Lagonda brand. The investment will create an additional 200 jobs at the site, and the new plant will bring a total of up to 750 high-skilled jobs to South Wales.

Welsh secretary Alun Cairns called it “a ringing endorsement of what our nation has to offer to the automotive sector… I look forward to seeing the innovation come to life in the months and years ahead”.

Other investments came from Cummins, which will spend £210m on automotive and associated industry R&D over the next three years, and the EV Network, which is developing 200 fast-charging stations throughout the UK.

Seating expert Lear Corporation will create 220 jobs and safeguard another 600 with a £54m investment, including £35m in engineering. Zhuzhou CRRC Times Electric confirmed Birmingham as the location for its new R&D centre focusing on electric vehicles, rail and renewable energy, which will employ more than 150 engineers by 2022.

Content published by Professional Engineering does not necessarily represent the views of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

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