UK Sets Sights as Low-Carbon Transportation Leader

Although you may not think of it as an automotive innovator, Britain gave birth to iconic carmakers including Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar and Rolls-Royce. Now it’s drawing up a roadmap to lead on low-carbon transportation innovation.

Within a decade the government plans to be a leader clean transportation and create at least 30,000 jobs through its new Advanced Propulsion Centre. 

The UK government and 27 automotive companies have agreed to invest about $1.54 billion over the next 10 years in the Center, which is dedicated to researching, developing and commercializing low-carbon transportation technologies.

By 2040, no new cars produced in Europe will rely solely on gasoline or diesel, the government says, giving it a huge business opportunity.

Some of the 27 companies backing the initiative are Bentley, BMW Group, Bosch, Caterpillar, Ford, Lotus, McLaren, Nissan, and Tata Motors.

Among the areas targeted for collaborative research and development are low-carbon liquid fuels, improvements to existing and next-generation energy storage and batteries,  light-weight materials that improve aerodynamics, and intelligent mobility systems that support driver-assistance systems and autonomous control technologies. 

"With the next generation of vehicles set to be powered by radically different technologies, we need to maintain this momentum and act now," says Business Secretary Vince Cable. "Our industrial strategy will ensure we keep on working together to make our automotive industry a world leader."

The effort also includes a multi-million dollar investment in the newly formed Automotive Investment Organization. The agency is aimed at attracting inward investment to create up to 15,000 industry jobs in the next three years – on top of the 7,500 that’s already been created or safeguarded in the past three years.

All of this is part of a broader initiative called "Driving success" – a strategy for growth and sustainability in the UK automotive sector that’s revved up in recent months.

Britain is now the fourth largest vehicle maker in Europe, producing 1.58 million cars, vans, trucks and buses in 2012, of which four out of five were exported. The government has invested $9.22 billion in the sector over the past two years.

The automotive industry is one of 11 sectors the UK government is targeting with a long-term plan for economic growth. It is fostering these industries through competitive tax frameworks, an attractive financing climate, support for export strategies, and investments in training and education.

Read more about the UK’s automotive investment strategy:

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