The prime minister told the Zero Emission Vehicle Summit in Birmingham she wanted Britain to be a ‘leader’ in green technology and announced an investment of £106m towards the research and development of green vehicles, new batteries and low carbon technology.

The funding includes £25m for developing batteries for electric vehicles, £20m towards a hydrogen supply competition and £22m for the Integrated Delivery Programme, supporting universities’ and businesses’ research.

A further £500m of investment in projects relating to low emission technology will come from key industries, creating 1,000 jobs across the UK. These include:

  • JEE is investing around £6 million in the UK to establish an assembly and testing facility in Birmingham, employing around 20 highly skilled people by 2020
  • Aston Martin are announcing a further £50 million investment at its new St Athan facility in Wales, which will become its centre for electrification and the home of the Lagonda brand. The investment will create an additional 200 jobs at the site and, in total, the new plant will bring up to 750 high skilled jobs to South Wales
  • Cummins will invest £210 million in Research and Development in the automotive (and associated) industries over the next three years in the UK
  • The EV Network, UK-based charging station development company, is developing 200 fast-charging stations throughout the UK, representing an investment of around £200 million. The company has joined forces with Leclanché who will be supplying the battery storage solutions to the stations. EVN and Leclanché are announcing an EV Charging Centre of Excellence in Warwick
  • New Williams Advanced Engineering and Unipart Manufacturing Group joint-venture Hyperbat Limited will open the UK’s largest, independent, vehicle battery manufacturing plant in Coventry in early 2019. The site will create around 90 new, high-value, high-tech jobs
  • Zhuzhou CRRC Times Electric Co., Ltd. (TEC), a subsidiary of CRRC, has confirmed Birmingham as the location for its new UK R&D Innovation Centre for EVs, rail, and renewable. The centre will employ more than 150 engineers by 2022, with an overall investment of up to £50 million
  • Lloyds Banking Group, the principal partner of the ZEV Summit, is announcing a new £1 million fund for electric vehicle leases to incentivise zero-emission driving. The fund is for the first 1,000 customers who sign up for a pure electric vehicle from Lex Autolease, the vehicle leasing arm of the group, from January 2019
  • Ryobi Aluminium Casting UK are investing £7 million in melting furnace and die-casting machines, to increase production of precision transmission components
  • Lear Corporation is investing £54 million in its UK seating operations, with £19 million to go into capital and training and £35 million into engineering. The investment creates another 220 jobs and safeguards 600
  • Leading science and engineering company QinetiQ is expanding its Power Sources, Energy Storage & Distribution business, growing its team by 25% and making an initial £2 million investment in facilities in Farnborough over the next 9 months
  • Leoni will be investing £7 million in a new technical centre in South Warwickshire, creating over 100 new design & development jobs, working with major OEMs in developing technologies for the next generation of autonomous and electric vehicles
  • MINTH plans to establish a new facility in UK to service new orders from UK OEMs, and is developing new products to reflect the shift towards light-weight electrification and autonomous driving in the automotive industry


In order to improve air quality standards and ensure a consistent uptake of low emission vehicles, significant investments are imperative, and the government’s announcement is encouraging.

Cooperation is key and NFDA will continue to work alongside the government and other industry partners towards the creation of a favourable retail environment, where our members will meet the growing consumer demand for low and zero emission vehicles.