Last reviewed 21 May 2021

Three new projects pioneering the next generation of emissions-cutting trucks and buses could generate up to 10,000 new jobs in the transport sector, BEIS has said.

The projects will focus on developing the next generation of electric propulsion systems for heavy goods vehicles and the manufacture low-cost hydrogen fuel cell technology for buses, which BEIS claims says will save millions of tonnes of carbon emissions.

Transport remains the largest emitting sector, with greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from road transport making up around a fifth of the UK’s total GHG emissions. Unsurprisingly, emissions fell by 24.6% from April to June last year, compared to the year before, following the nationwide lockdown, when many businesses were closed, and people were instructed to stay at home as much as possible. Emissions began to rise again when lockdown restrictions were eased.

Announcing the new low emissions funding, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “These projects will not only help accelerate the wider application of greener technology in lorries and buses but will also help generate the high-skilled jobs to level up communities across the UK while ensuring we build back greener from the pandemic.“

The Electric Powertrain Integration for Heavy Commercial Vehicles (EPIC) project, based in Cwnbran, Wales, is set to receive a £31.9 million to kit out HGVs with smart powertrains (the “muscle” mechanism that transmits drive from the engine to the axle) as part of new electric propulsion systems.

Ken Hogan, Meritor’s Senior Vice President for Truck Europe and Asia Pacific, said: “This grant will put Meritor’s highly-skilled Welsh-based engineering team at the forefront of advanced commercial vehicle technologies, positioning South East Wales as the premier location for companies developing clean transportation and technologies.”

Around £11.3 million will also fund the Warwickshire-based e-MOTIF project to develop energy recovery systems for electric vehicles, with a further £11.2 million allocated to fuel Wrightbus-led research into hydrogen-powered buses in Ballymena, Northern Ireland.

In similar news, the Scottish Government has announced it will renew its Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme, replacing over 200 diesel buses with new battery-electric models.