BMW has secured £26.2 million ($36 million) in funding from the UK government for a research project into developing a battery pack that can offer a similar driving range to ICEs.
The money will come through the Advanced Propulsion Centre's Collaborative Research and Development program into green automotive technology, whose latest round of funding totals £91.7 million.
BMW’s research project, called UK-BEV, is based at the company’s Oxford plant, the home of Mini. According to the APC, BMW’s project is focused on an EV battery “to rival the range of internal combustion engines,” with the goal being to “develop BMW Group’s largest battery pack to deliver superior performance at competitive costs.” No other details about BMW’s project were released.
The APC’s latest round of investment targets “technology that will make range-anxiety a thing of the past and accelerates the decarbonization of logistics, commercial and high-performance vehicles.”
The largest chunk of the funding program, £41.2 million, was awarded to the REEcorner project led by REE to develop a single compact module for fully flat EV platforms providing more room for passengers, cargo and batteries.
The Brunel project led by Cummins to develop a zero-CO2 hydrogen internal combustion engine for heavy-duty commercial transport got £14.6 million, with £9.7 million awarded to the Celeritas project led by Sprint Power to develop an ultra-fast charging battery that can charge in as little as 12 minutes.
“These projects tackle some really important challenges in the journey to net-zero road transport. They address range anxiety and cost which can be barriers to people making the switch to electric vehicles and they also provide potential solutions to the challenge of how we decarbonize public transport and the movement of goods.”
Ian Constance, Chief Executive at the APC
According to the APC's chief executive, investing in this innovation takes these technologies closer to the point where they are commercially viable, “which will strengthen the UK’s automotive supply chain, safeguard or create jobs and reduce harmful greenhouse emissions.”