Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

New partnership boosts green vehicle economy

Zero Carbon Futures, Gateshead College, transport consultants TRL and sustainability experts Tadea have joined forces to form a partnership to grow the region further as an international centre for zero carbon emission vehicles.

The organisations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch the Zero carbon Vehicle Centre of Excellence programme, which aims to increase EV technological development in the region, grow jobs in the sector and become a leader in fuel efficient driver training.

The agreement will see the businesses forming working teams to make significant investments in research and development into the latest innovations in battery development, electric vehicle technologies and hydrogen fuel cells.

Each organisation brings a different strength to the partnership. Headquartered in Berkshire, TRL is a leader in the domain of transport science, research and technical consultancy and brings expertise in a wide portfolio of zero and low carbon related competencies including the use of vehicle simulators for driver training and research applications.

Paul Copping, Corporate Development Director, TRL said: “We firmly believe that the introduction and expansion of electric vehicles is one of the best solutions for reducing C02 emissions from road users and offers significant business opportunities to the UK. We are keen to expand TRL’s skills in this sector and we have chosen Gateshead College’s Skills Academy for Sustainable Manufacturing and Innovation in North East England as our low carbon vehicle base.

Zero Carbon Futures was established in 2011 and has a wide remit to further develop and sustain a low carbon automotive and transport technology cluster in the North East of England picking up on the work of the Regional Development Agency, One North East, to ensure that the region is an international leader in this field.

Colin Herron, Director of Zero Carbon Futures, said: “This signing builds on the recent
announcement by Nissan and Gateshead College which will see the development of a Zero Emission Centre of Excellence in the region.

“The new centre will provide significant opportunities to the region in areas of manufacturing, battery and technology development and this partnership will build on those opportunities.”

Gateshead College is a recognised leader in the development of skills and training in the new
technologies of sustainable transport. The College administers the Government’s Plugged in Places project, through its Charge Your Car project.

Mick Brophy, managing director for business, innovation and development, Gateshead College,
said: “Our aim is to develop a world-leading facility for low carbon vehicle technology that will
attract new businesses and customers to our region. TRL’s decision to make Gateshead College’s Skills Academy for Sustainable Manufacturing and Innovation a base for their low carbon research activity is a real vote of confidence showing that North East England is already recognised nationally for our expertise.”

Billingham-based tadea provides expert, impartial advice and project management services in the field of sustainable energy and carbon reduction, helping to create local jobs and economic growth in these areas. One of the partnership’s key objectives is to build on tadea’s long track record in driver training.

Alan Jones, Business Development Manager of tadea said: “We are very excited about the plans we have as a partnership. Together, we are making strides in making low carbon transport a reality for road users.

“Driver training is crucial for the future success of EVs as it can help drivers travel for
longer distances, and this is particularly important for the increasing number of businesses that are choosing to use electric vehicles for their fleet.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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