More than 130 companies and research organisations, which are thinking up new ways to stop the transport sector damaging the planet, have benefitted from this round of pocket money.
What’s particularly satisfying about public money coming back into the public arena this time round, is that it’s not just the big hitters who can put together the biggest lobbying funding, who are getting the cash. It’s the little tiddlers in the pool, the regional Tier Two suppliers, the labs where the science takes place and so on, who are benefitting.
So, yes, a consortium led by Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan will get £1.7m to investigate ways of mass-manufacturing lightweight materials such as carbon-fibre, but Sheffield-based Faradion Ltd (never heard of them, but I’m glad the Department for Transport has) and its consortium got £1.3m to investigate chapter sodium-ion technology, used in electric vehicle batteries. And a company in Horsham, Sussex, called Ceres Power got £7770,000 to test new fuel cells for vans. Sunamp Ltd, a company near Edinburgh, can now lead a team to transform chilled or frozen food fleets using 'thermal store' technology to minimise battery power used to keep food deliveries fresh. Clean Air Power, in Lancashire has got the cash now to apply greener dual-fuel technologies to HGVs, cutting emissions on freight deliveries. And a company called Advanced Design Technology will lead a project team to develop thermal recovery kits that capture waste heat from the exhaust and turn it into electricity.