Electric vehicle projects in the North East have been awarded more than £6.4 million in funding.

Three winners working on eliminating greenhouse gas emissions, building a lithium scale-up plant and producing sustainable traction motor systems have been awarded a share of £89 million funding for the development of cutting edge new electric vehicle technologies.

The funding has been awarded through the Advanced Propulsion Centre UK (APC), in support of ambitions to build an end-to-end supply chain for zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) in the UK. £45.2 million of this investment comes from Government, backed by a further £42.7 million from the automotive industry.

Minister for Industry and Economic Security Nusrat Ghani said: “Together with industry, we’re providing a huge £89 million of funding to drive 20 groundbreaking net zero tech projects which will help grow the economy and create UK jobs in the industries of the future.

“From net zero tractors to cutting-edge battery projects, we’re taking decisive action to back the UK’s innovators and ensure we remain at the forefront of zero emission vehicle technology.”

From luxury cars to workhorse excavators, the latest in collaborative R&D support via the APC – worth over £67 million – four projects will accelerate the development of zero emission technology in the UK, safeguarding and creating jobs and supporting investment in cutting edge R&D.

One winner, Newton Aycvliffe based project ERGO-R, led by Gestamp’s Autotech Engineering R&D UK, is focused on identifying how to reduce and eventually eliminate greenhouse gas emissions in vehicle design and production.

The project will look at a vehicle's lifetime to create a true circular economy for the automotive industry, reducing waste and ensuring optimised multiple life reuse to support a NetZero future.

These four R&D projects alone are estimated to create or safeguard more than 4,700 jobs in total and save nearly 65 million tonnes of CO2 being emitted over the next decade as a result of the work undertaken by these four R&D projects alone.

APC Chief Executive Ian Constance said: “This latest round of funding coincides with the APC’s 10th anniversary. We have seen over £1.4 billion of investment into automotive projects since the APC was set up, and I am proud of the impact that we have made here in the UK.

“This latest announcement includes a diverse set of OEMs and suppliers that demonstrate the strength of UK automotive. They will further add to our portfolio of innovative projects and continue to drive the UK to deliver on its net zero ambition.”

£11.3 million has also been awarded to 12 UK-based projects, with two from the North East, funded through the second instalment of the SuRV (Scale-up Readiness Validation) competition and the fourth round of the APC’s Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF) feasibility studies competition.

The ATF’s Scale-up Readiness Validation (SuRV) projects will support scale-up projects to assess if businesses in the UK automotive supply chain are ready for growth and expansion.

Green Lithium plans to build a lithium scale-up plant in Teesside. The plant will support the commissioning and training of a skilled workforce for its full-scale plant in Teesside, which will produce enough refined lithium to enable the downstream production of more than a million electric vehicles.

Project SIMPLE based in Sunderland also aims to establish an efficient, scalable UK-based manufacturing process for sustainably produced traction motor systems in electric passenger vehicles.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “After receiving £978m just last week for transport projects, this investment is further support of our plan to ensure our area is a leading player in the development of new transport technologies.

“These innovative industries will provide the highly skilled, well-paid jobs of the future while delivering a sustainable future for transport across the world.”

Dr James Widmer, CEO and co-founder of Advanced Electric Machines, said: “This funding has the potential to transform the UK’s supply chain by laying the foundations for a significant scale up of sustainable motor manufacturing. The output of this project will help to create skilled jobs in the North East and facilitate further innovation in the UK. We’re delighted that the Advanced Propulsion Centre shares our vision for an environmentally conscious electrification journey, as we seek to help the industry to maximise the sustainability of electric vehicles.”

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The support delivered through the APC is unlocking further private investment and supports the government’s ambitions to build an end-to-end supply chain for zero-emissions vehicles in the UK.

The announcement comes on top of funding also being invested by the Government through the ATF to develop a high-value end-to-end electrified automotive supply chain in the UK.

This includes unlocking private investment in gigafactories, battery material supply chains, motors, power electronics, and fuel cell systems. The ATF is being delivered by the Department for Business and Trade in partnership with the APC.