APC grants funds to Mercedes-AMG and JLR in new competition
The UK’s Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) has allocated eleven million pounds to twelve automotive projects, including a solid-state battery for Mercedes-AMG. The companies matched the funding, adding up to £22.7 m, and pledged to deliver results within a year.
The funding is part of the ‘Advanced Route to Market Demonstrator’ competition (ARMD2), now in its second year.
Few details are known besides the project outlines, ranging from specialised developments to high-performance or off-highway applications.
Also, the competitors’ field comprises established players and smaller companies.
Among the most prominent is Mercedes AMG, which works on the Solid State Battery concept and is the only company working on power packs in the funding round.
Another household name is Jaguar Land Rover, which will develop a Sustainably Optimised Composite Automotive (SOCA) material for automotive applications.
Most other projects concern drive trains or vehicle development.
The Electric Aviation Group will develop the LEAP (Lightweight Electric Automotive Propulsion) electric motor for high-end electric cars.
Protean Electric’s Olympus project also develops lightweight and novel In-Wheel Motors (IWM) for IEMs.
Involution Technologies iaimsto demonstrate an electric drive unit (EDU) for any on/off highway commercial vehicle, while Prodrive Engineering is to build an L7e category ‘last mile’ delivery vehicle.
There are also two-wheeler concepts with White Motorcycle Concepts aiming to commercialise its fast-charging WMC300E+ First Responder Motorcycle. Maeving is developing a new powertrain for their electric motorcycles with removable batteries.
Hydrogen advances have also received some funding. Project ICEBreaker by Viritech will develop and test a fuel cell powertrain for HGVs offering higher efficiency and lighter weight.
The Dolphin N2 HYCULTURE project will demonstrate a farm tractor with an engine fuelled by hydrogen made on the farm from renewables. In contrast, the Wrightbus CoacH2 project will show a next-generation hydrogen fuel-cell bus powertrain.
On a more specialised segment, Parker Hannifin is working on a proprietary hollow fibre membrane technology to develop a novel humidifier for fuel cells for heavy-duty vehicles, maximising fuel cell performance and operational life.
All projects receiving ARMD2 funding will be exhibited at the annual Cenex-LCV exhibition in September 2024.
“In just 12 months, we will see the fruits of this £22.7 million investment from both industry and Government,” said Ian Constance, CEO of the APC. “The Advanced Route to Market Demonstrator competition is a distinct offering from the APC as it sees the development of a new, tangible product in such a short period of time.”
Another funding round in May this year saw APC and industry invest £77 million in e-mobility research.