Tom Keighley

Multi-million funding to put F1 technology into buses and diggers

The projects sharing in a £133 milion package of funding that promises to put Formula 1 technology into the manufacturing of buses and diggers have been announced by the Business Secretary.

Launching the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) Vince Cable named Ford, GKN, Cummins and JCB as firms who will recieve funding to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

Manufacturers will soon by able to bid for a portion of a further £75 million from the APC, with the launch of its second competition.

Dr Cable said: “The next generation of cars, buses and diggers will be powered by radically different technologies and I want them to be developed here in Britain.

“Over the last few decades the British car industry has been transformed and today a new vehicle rolls off a UK production line every 20 seconds.

“To capitalise on the success of our motor industry these projects will be the first of many to receive funding from the new £1 billion Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) which we set up to turn technologies into products. The Government’s industrial strategy is giving business the confidence to invest, securing high skilled, long term jobs and a creating a stronger economy.”

The competition was run by the Government’s innovation agency, The Technology Strategy Board.

This round of funding is estimated to secure up to 30,000 jobs linked to engine production and its associated supply chain.

The four winning projects are:

  • Ford and their partners will receive a £13.1 million grant for their £100 million programme to upgrade the award winning EcoBoost engine. This will accelerate the introduction of advanced low carbon technologies to deliver improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions.
  • GKN Land Systems and their partners will receive a £7.5 million grant as part of a £16 million project to apply Formula 1 technology from Williams for use in buses. The Gyrodrive system is designed to save the braking energy of a bus as it slows for a stop and use it to accelerate the bus back up to speed. By avoiding wasting the energy every time a bus stops the system delivers fuel savings of 25%t.
  • Cummins and their partners will receive a £4.9 million grant for a £9.9 million project to deliver significant reductions in carbon emissions from bus engines through the development of new stop-start diesel engine technology. This will improve fuel consumption by 15-20%.
  • JCB and their partner Flybrid will receive a £3.3 million grant as part of a £7.3 million project to apply Formula 1 technology for use in diggers. This will reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions resulting in a substantially reduced carbon footprint for construction projects using this machinery. On average, the carbon emissions of a single 20 tonne excavator will be reduced by an estimated 16 tonnes per year.

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