Written by Kunal Sawhney, CEO, Kalkine
Supporting the persistent objective of achieving net zero status, making the nation more carbon neutral, the government of the United Kingdom has taken another step forward for the development of low-carbon technology that can be equipped with automobiles, effectively making the vehicles more environment-friendly.
Very recently, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has awarded a £91 million funding for the development of ultra-fast charging batteries and low-emission hydrogen engines. The perpetual desire to cut the carbon footprint and actionable intent can comprehensively steer the nation towards a better tomorrow.
The innovative companies will be developing batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) equipped with a similar range as compared to the internal combustion engines. Moreover, the industry is targeting to develop batteries which can be charged in about 12 minutes. The green automotive technology and less carbon intensive projects can significantly help the automobile industry in the collective transformation towards low emission vehicles, functionally paving the way for mass production of such units.
According to the initial estimates, all such projects can help save approximately 32 million tonnes of emissions, nearly equal to the lifetime emissions of about 1.3 million cars, alongside providing state-of-the-art technology to the automakers. The technology-intensive green companies can create more than 2,700 new employment opportunities in the country, potentially lifting up the intake of fresh talent and skilled workforce that is equipped to handle the modern technologies.
As the government plans to scrap the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by the end of 2030 and aims to eliminate all the fossil fuel-powered vehicles by the end of 2035, it becomes very crucial for the automotive industry to make the offerings more lucrative, easy to use and bundled with a lot of features, over and above the extant set of specifications that are available in the conventional vehicles.
Through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) R&D competition, the department has allocated the monetary resources to four projects to help them in attaining considerable breakthroughs, earlier-than-expected, primarily the low-carbon technology. These innovations are likely to address the key challenges and concerns of car buyers while they decide to purchase an EV or a plug-in hybrid vehicle.
Furthermore, all of these projects will help in increasing the effective driving range of the vehicles on different terrains and bringing down the total time taken to fully charge the units. All of these initiatives are likely to improve the overall buying experience, making the EVs more convenient, efficient and affordable to buy and drive.
The automotive industry is reeling under the pressure of low uptake, as a result of low production due to widespread shortages of semiconductors and relatively low consumer spending. It would be a great time to rejuvenate the commercial operations that can withstand the transformational shift towards EVs.
The allocated resources are likely to increase the take-up of electric vehicles, increasing the performance and output of EVs. With the pre-decided target of decarbonising the country, the UK remains on track to be the first major economy to take such transformational steps. The Downing Street administration is presently exploring the opportunities and potential of automakers to phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel heavy duty vehicles by the end of 2040.