The government has confirmed a £49 million investment in eco-friendly automotive technology including zero-emission buses and a Scottish battery plant. The Department for Transport (DfT) says the investment will support the automotive sector’s plans to go green and create “thousands” of new jobs.

Some 31 projects are sharing £10 million from the government’s Automotive Transformation Fund, which was intended to support the development of low-emission tech for vehicles. The funding is for electric motors and high-performing battery technology, including the upscaling of a battery production facility in Scotland.

At the same time, £29 million is being awarded to six projects thanks to the government’s APC16 competition, which expects its winners to create 2,880 jobs and save 15.8 million tonnes of CO2. One of these projects, which is expected to create over 500 jobs all on its own, will develop infrastructure to collect and recycle electric vehicles and their batteries.

The remaining £10 million is being shared between 12 projects as part of he government’s Advanced Route to Market Demonstrator (ARMD) competition. Among those is a project led by Nissan, which will implement automation technologies to quickly charge electric vehicle batteries in the factory, increasing productivity and slashing costs on the production line.

Nadhim Zahawi, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said the money would help the UK car industry’s push to go green.

“The UK is leading the global battle against climate change, and by developing cleaner vehicles, our automotive industry will help make our net zero ambitions a reality,” he said. “Backed by government funding, these trailblazing projects will help Britain to build back better by creating all-important green jobs, ensuring the sector can make further strides towards an electrified automotive future and helping to address one of the biggest challenges of our time: making transport greener.”

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Meanwhile Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said the investment would also stimulate economic growth and increase the number of skilled jobs in the industry.

“Today’s £49 million investment in projects from retro electric motorcycles to high-power batteries, will boost our transition to zero-emission vehicles, helping us meet our greenhouse gas reduction goals and driving growth by increasing skilled jobs in the UK automotive sector,” she said. “This funding comes hot on the heels of the £2.5 billion support we have announced to encourage the take-up of electric vehicles and enhance chargepoint infrastructure across the wider roads network.”

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