£43.7 million investment furthers UK commitment to achieving net zero | Advanced Propulsion Centre

by Nicola Willingham
Advanced Propulsion Centre UK

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) welcomes £43.7 million investment for projects accelerating the UK’s journey to net-zero emissions. 

19 Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF) feasibility studies looking at areas of industrial growth and green job creation across England, Scotland and Wales. 

  • Support for two late-stage research and development projects for an electric motorbike and an electric off-road truck forecast to secure hundreds of highly-skilled jobs. 
  • Joint investment by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy and the automotive sector ensures the UK continues to grow post COVID and leads the global fight against climate change.  


The UK’s role in accelerating the global race to net-zero emissions has been strengthened today, 17 June 2022, after 21 projects received a combined £43.7 million of vital support in the latest round of funding from the Advanced Propulsion Centre.  

Continuing the government’s commitment to levelling up and building back greener after the pandemic, and the automotive sector’s drive to transition to low-carbon vehicle technology, the combined investments through the Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF) and the 19th Collaborative Research and Development competition (APC19) could lead to thousands of highly-skilled jobs and remove millions of tonnes of harmful emissions from the environment. 

They include the electrification of the iconic Norton Motorcycle, a UK racing name that dates back to the 1800s and, in a move that will help lower CO₂ globally, the eOx all-terrain delivery truck designed for pay-as-you-go transport in emerging markets.   

These two late-stage research and development projects are set to safeguard or create hundreds of highly-skilled jobs and are expected to save 27.6 million tonnes of CO₂ – the equivalent of removing the lifetime emissions of around 1.1million cars*.

A further 19 feasibility studies will receive support from the government’s Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF) to prove or enhance the business case for rapid scale-up of UK manufacturing in areas such as battery anode and cathode production, fuel cell stack assembly and the viability of UK-sourced critical materials needed for green technology such as lithium extraction and graphite refining. 

Minister for Investment, Lord Grimstone said: “Ensuring the continued success of the UK auto industry is central to growing the economy that will ultimately help ensure jobs and economic opportunities are created throughout the country.” 

“By investing in projects, such as electric motorcycles, to develop the latest clean auto tech or to investigate the potential for further growth in UK electric vehicle manufacturing, we are not only keeping the UK at the forefront of this vital sector, but also securing potentially thousands of highly-skilled jobs for the future.”   

Ian Constance, Chief Executive at the APC said: “The projects receiving today’s investment highlight the breadth of technologies needed to help the UK accelerate to net-zero emissions. They’re reimagining not just vehicles, but the entire automotive supply chain.” 

“From the performance and speed needed to develop an all-electric superbike to the power and resilience needed to drive an off-road vehicle over some of the world’s toughest terrains, this investment in late-stage R&D will support two projects to make a global economic and environmental impact, all radiating from a UK manufacturing base.”

“But to fully decarbonise the automotive sector we also need to transition the EV supply chain. The 19 feasibility studies getting funding today offer solid commercial exploration of opportunities for the UK to rapidly grow manufacturing in some of the most globally advanced and in-demand vehicle technologies, leading to highly-skilled jobs and green growth.”


The projects receiving funding are:  

Project Zero Emission Norton

£17.2 million total project investment (£8.5 million funding through APC) 

Project Zero Emission Norton will lead the ride towards electrification of two-wheels, enhancing workforce capabilities, local jobs and a competitive UK supply chain. Through the integration of battery, motor and chassis, alongside extensive composite materials for a lightweight solution, this revolutionary motorcycle will simultaneously deliver race performance and touring range. 

Robert Hentschel, CEO Norton Motorcycles said: “Over the last year and a half, we have invested in rebuilding Norton to its innovative, challenging and pioneering heyday. That spirit of innovation will ensure our future electric models provide riders with unparalleled performance that closes the gap between ICE and EV motorcycles by making them comparable in every respect.”

“But we want to lead, not follow and by assembling this team of partners that share our pioneering spirit, we will expand Norton’s capability while gaining knowledge and experience to produce industry-leading electric motorcycles that are designed and manufactured in the UK.”  


OX Delivers CLEAN (Clean Logistics for Emerging African Nations), Warwickshire 

£17.1 million total project investment (£8.5 million funding through APC) 

OX will optimise its electric OX truck for use in its pay-as-you-go transport business model, currently operating in Rwanda. It will do this by developing energy dense, long-life, lower cost batteries, electronic drive units and a lightweight structure suitable for tough off-road conditions with their partners during this project. 

Simon Davis, Managing Director at OX Delivers said: “Developing a truck for Pay-As-You-Go service requires a completely different approach compared to a traditional vehicle. The Advanced Propulsion Centre have been brilliant champions of OX Delivers as we progressed our first electric truck.” 

“As a UK business we are delighted to be awarded further support to work in partnership with large and small-scale businesses and lead the decarbonisation of emerging market transport using the latest Industry 4.0 technology and UK EV expertise. This award reinforces OX’s game-changing vision for emerging markets and is more exciting momentum for our innovative and dynamic automotive start-up.” 


ATF Feasibility Study Round 3 

£9.4 million total project investment (£6.3 million funding through APC) 

The 19 studies, involving 23 companies, will assess the feasibility of scale-up or industrialisation of a number of EV components or processes including anode and cathode materials, battery cell assembly, battery recycling, power electronics and hydrogen fuel cell assembly. They cover a wide geographical spread including The North East and North West of England, West Midlands and East of England, London and the South East, the South West, Wales and Scotland.  


The projects in detail are: 

Batteries Anode


Deregallera LtdCap-Size (Capital Investment in Anode Manufacturing Plant – a Sizing study) – Cardiff, Wales

The APC forecasts a significant deficit in locally manufactured anode material over the next decade and Deregallera stand poised to exploit this opportunity by moving to manufacture their sodium-ion anode material at scale in the UK. Large-scale investment in chemical plant comes with a high level of risk, that this project reduces by exploring ways to expand the top-down and bottom-up parameters on production quantities, identifying the optimum size of the chemical plant and extending the existing techno-economic study out to 10,000 tonnes-per-annum production.


Echion Technologies: SHARP (Sprinting towards High-value Anode Roadmap for large-scale UK Production) – Cambridge, England

Project SHARP (Sprinting towards High-value Anode Roadmap for large-scale UK Production) feasibility study will inform Echion’s high-volume anode manufacturing strategy and prepare a roadmap and business case to grow the UK battery manufacturing supply chain and secure the UK’s international competitiveness in the field of advanced battery materials production.


Nyobolt LtdAMP-UK – Cambridge, England

In this project, Nyobolt are defining the requirements for a large-scale manufacturing facility to produce their high-power battery technology for the automotive sector which enables ultra-fast charging without sacrificing lifetime or safety.


Talga AnodeUK-CSi, Feasibility study for establishing graphite-silicon refining plant in UK – Cambridge, England

This project will look to develop a business case based on feasibility of setting up a downstream graphite-silicon refining plant in the UK.



Batteries – Cathode


Geothermal EngineeringFeasibility study to create the business case for the purchase and installation of a commercial scale geothermal Direct Lithium Extraction unit in Cornwall – Redruth, England

The project will develop the business case for funding Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) units to extract lithium from deep geothermal water in Cornwall.


Livista Energy Limited: Assessment of the viability to build a lithium chemical conversion facility in the UK – London, England

Livista Energy is bringing localised, scalable lithium refining capability to Europe. The Livista lithium hub will produce battery grade lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide both critical to accelerating the energy storage transition in line with global demand.


Northern Lithium LtdNorthern Lithium Feasibility Study at Ludwell Farm, Weardale, Co. Durham – County Durham, England

Northern Lithium (NLi) wants to prove the economic case to invest more than £120 million over the next 5-8 years to establish large-scale, sustainable lithium extraction from brines, processing and supply in the North East of England.


Weardale Lithium LtdGLEBE (Green Lithium Extraction from BrinE) – County Durham, England

The project will identify an investment-ready business case for the extraction of lithium from geothermal brines taken from boreholes located at Eastgate, Weardale, County Durham.



Batteries – Cell Assembly


AMTE PowerMegafactory Feasibility Study

The feasibility study will produce the technical and commercial business case for a high-capacity battery factory.


Industrial Tomography Systems Ltd (ITS) and University of BirminghamUsing electrical tomography to monitor real time LIB production process – Manchester, England

ITS’ patented tomography technology has helped improve the manufacturing efficiency in many industrial sectors. At the end of the project, ITS will have a proven tomography system design that can support battery manufacturing processes, aiming to enhance product quality and overall yields. This project will benefit UK gigafactories in developing an efficient production process.


Nanotech EnergyUK Gigafactory – UK

US-based battery manufacturer Nanotech Energy (NE) will investigate the viability of expanding its battery production facilities of its patented, high-performing, non-flammable Graphene batteries and other graphene-powered products in the UK.


Ilika Technologies Ltd: Economic study; Solid State Battery MWh manufacturing  scale up  – Romsey, England

Ilika and the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre are collaborating in this project to carry out an economic feasibility study to assess the costs of creating a dedicated 100 MWh solid-state battery production line within the UKBIC’s facilities.



Batteries – Recycling


Altilium Metals LtdEstablishing feasibility of a novel industrial plant to recover critical metals from end-of-life EV batteries for re-entry into a circular battery supply chain – Tiptree, England

This feasibility study will accelerate and support the investment decision regarding Altilium Metals developing a new UK greenfield site capable of processing 10,000 MT of end-of-life lithium-ion electric vehicle batteries, gigafactory scrap and electronic waste, enabling 4750 MT of critical cathode metals to be recovered and supplied back into the EV battery industry by 2025. This site is the first of four planned to meet UK demand until 2050.


Talga Anode UK Ltd: RELOAD (Recycled lithium ion battery anode materials for high-value products) – Cambridge, England

This feasibility study will evaluate the reuse of spent graphite anode material to produce high surface area graphite and graphene-like materials and develop a business case for further investment in the concept.


LTS Transport SolutionsEV Battery Recycling Plant – Queenborough, England

LTS Transport Solutions is exploring the commercial viability of opening a brand-new electric battery recycling plant in the UK by 2024.



Fuel Cell – MEA and Stack Assembly


Bramble Energy LtdPCBFC for Range Extender – Crawley, England

The PCBFC ™ Range Extender feasibility study will develop a robust and detailed business case to manufacture the printed circuit board fuel cell (PCBFC) for the automotive sector in the UK.


Jaguar Land Rover Ltd and Johnson Matthey Hydrogen Technologies LtdARES (Automotive hydrogen fuel cell powertrains), the Route to Electrified Supply chains – Coventry, England

The ARES feasibility study project is investigating the potential for a UK automotive supply chain to scale-up and manufacture competitive high-value on-vehicle hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, including the use of semi-finished electrochemical parts produced in the UK.


Adelan LtdAnt Industries Ltd and the Manufacturing Technology Centre: Electric Vehicle Fuel Cell Range Extender – Manufacturing Scale-up Feasibility Study – Birmingham, England

The feasibility study examines the practicalities and cost-benefits of scaled manufacturing of a fuel cell in the UK.



Power Electronics


INEX Microtechnologies LtdS-GAMA (Scaling GaN Advanced Manufacturing for Automotive) – Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England

This project will allow Inex to fully investigate and develop plans for the business that maximise the opportunity available in the automotive sector for a UK-based supplier of Compound Semiconductor devices particularly focused on gallium nitride.


Lifetime emissions have been calculated based on an average annual mileage of 7,400, average CO₂ emissions at 149.6g/km and average vehicle life of 13.9 years.