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Government pledge 80m for EVs and electric aircraft

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will spend £80m developing the next generation of electric vehicles as well as hybrid aircraft.

The technologies are known as Power Electronics, Electric Machines and Drives (PEMD) which turn fossil fuel-based systems into electric systems, powered by battery or some other stable electrical source.

Power electronics refers to components used to control and convert electrical power. Electric machines are devices which convert electrical energy into mechanical work, for example, electric motors and generators.

Drives refer to the combined control electronics, software and power electronics used to integrate the systems.

The investment will be backed by industry and academia and supported by over 130 organisations.

The government says PEMD technologies will help road, rail, maritime and aviation networks ‘dramatically’ reduce emissions.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: ‘Companies like Jaguar and Lotus are choosing the UK to develop their new electric vehicles, while Easy Jet and Rolls Royce have chosen the UK to develop their hybrid planes – all recognising and investing in the expertise and talents of the UK.

‘Building on our Faraday Battery Challenge and Battery Industrialisation Centre this co-investment from Government and industry is a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy, building on our strengths and helping to create the next generation of net zero technologies that will transform entire industries.

‘The UK leads the world on combatting climate change and is the first major economy to legislate for net zero.’

The investment will be broken down into four strands.

  • Projects that fill in supply chain gaps for PEMD.
  • Developing factories to built PEMD products.
  • Investing in machinery and manufacturing techniques.
  • Creating ‘low volume, high value’ supply chains.

Dr Will Drury, head of electronics & electric machines products, Ricardo Automotive & Industrial added: ‘Underpinning the drive to reduce our carbon footprint and decrease global reliance on fossil fuels is electrification.

‘This is occurring across every sector of society from energy generation for our homes to how we move about.

‘Driving Electric Revolution challenge will underpin the growth of the UK supply chain critical to enlarge GDP and jobs in Power Electronics, Machines and Drives; an area in which the UK already has global recognition.’

Earlier this month, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced it will spend £37m on ‘transforming’ electric charge point infrastructure, including projects to deliver wireless charging technology and a scheme that will see EVs charged by solar panels.

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