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Business Secretary launches project to develop low-CO2 engine technologies

Launched at Ford’s Dunton Technical Centre in Essex, the ACTIVE (Advanced Combustion Turbocharge Inline Variable Valvetrain Engine) project is one of a number of initiatives supported by the APC (Advanced Propulsion Centre), which has been set up by the Automotive Council in a move to help the UK accelerate its leadership in advanced propulsion development and production.

Announced last year, the APC will see government and industry each invest £500 million in the sector over the next 10 years to research, develop and commercialise technologies for the vehicles of the future.

Under the ACTIVE project, development will begin on Ford’s 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine to accelerate the introduction of future-generation low carbon technologies, including advanced turbocharging, advanced combustion system development and variable valvetrain technology, targeting substantial CO2 savings.

Project work will be carried out at various partner locations throughout the UK with key activities coordinated from Ford Dunton. Eleven partners included in the consortium are Ford, Continental, Schaeffler, UEES (Unipart Eberspacher Exhaust Systems), University of Bath, Loughborough University, University of Bradford, University of Nottingham, BP and AP Raicam (Automotive Products).

In addition to Ford and its partners, consortia led by GKN, Cummins and JCB have all received funding for projects to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions through the APC.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: ‘The next generation of cars, buses and diggers will be powered by radically different technologies and I want them to be developed here in Britain.

‘Over the last few decades the British car industry has been transformed and today a new vehicle rolls off a UK production line every 20 seconds.

‘To capitalise on the success of our motor industry these projects will be the first of many to receive funding from the new £1 billion Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) which we set up to turn technologies into products.’

Mark Ovenden, Ford of Britain chairman and managing director, said: ‘As well as benefiting UK industry, this project will see direct benefits for consumers through even further improved engine efficiency – reduced CO2 emissions and improved performance.’

The Business Secretary also announced that companies will be able to bid shortly for a further £75m from the APC with the launch of its second competition. The APC will now run bi-annual competitions, which open in April and October each year.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.