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New fund to aid development of cleaner van and bus technologies

24 April 2014 #Bus and Coach #CV Sector #News #Policy #Top Stories #Truck #Van

Vans and buses are set to benefit from a new joint £1 billion government-industry fund designed to aid the development of next generation engines and new technologies.

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) will see government and industry invest £500 million each over the next 10 years to facilitate the research and development of future vehicle technologies.

Business Secretary Vince Cable made the announcement at Ford’s Dunton Technical Centre in Essex, and outlined how this venture has the potential to secure up to 30,000 jobs linked to engine production and the supply chain.

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.

“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 APC, which we set up to turn technologies into products.”

Currently four projects, from Cummins, Ford, GKN and JCB, have been allocated funding to carry out research.

GKN Land Systems is looking to utilise Formula One technology from Williams in buses. It will receive a £7.5 million grant as part of a £16 million project to develop its Gyrodrive system, which is designed to save the braking energy and use it to help the bus accelerate back up to speed. This technology has been estimated to deliver fuel savings of more than 25%.

Cummins also will get a grant of £4.9 million to help with its project to develop more efficient diesel start-stop engines for buses in a further attempt to save between 15% and 20% in fuel consumption.

Meanwhile Ford will receive the largest grant of £13.1 million to help it upgrade its already award-winning EcoBoost engine range, which is used in the latest generation Transit Connect and Courier.

Tony Pixton, Chief Executive of the APC, said, “These projects will demonstrate the innovation and expertise that exists in the UK and through real world applications of advanced technology will provide both economic and environmental benefits.”

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