Driving the UK’s electric revolution

30/11/2020 | News

• 21 projects across the UK will receive a share of £5.75 million in Government funding to kickstart the UK’s green industrial revolution

• Winning projects will fill gaps and build capability in the UK supply chain for the manufacture of Power Electronics, Machines and Drives (PEMD)

•  This investment will help the UK achieve its net zero ambitions by creating the technology needed for cleaner transport, energy generation and industry

More than 20 innovative projects to help the UK reach net zero, by reducing carbon emissions in the transport, energy and industrial sectors, are to share nearly £6 million in UK Research and Innovation funding.

The projects, involving innovative start-ups, universities and some of Britain’s biggest companies, will receive funding from the Driving the Electric Revolution challenge. The money will help grow the UK’s Power Electronics, Machines and Drives (PEMD) supply chain and increase manufacturing capability to allow future improvements in productivity, quality, capacity or efficiency.

This investment into the PEMD supply chain is vital to making sure that the UK reaches net zero, as some or all these technologies can be found in every electrical item. From mobile phones to hair driers and the motors in electric vehicles and trains, PEMD make them work. As they are such a crucial technology across sectors from transport to energy to agriculture, net zero is not possible without PEMD.

Spread across the UK from Wales to Scotland and the South West to the North East of England these projects will last up to nine months and include a project:

• to create rare earth magnets from scrapped loudspeakers.
• developing electric hub motors for farm vehicles.
• to create a high-performance electric vehicle at a lower cost.

Andrew Hine, Commercial Director of GreenSpur Wind Limited, part of a project looking at developing a new generator for the offshore wind market said “The funding from Driving the Electric Revolution will enable us to work with Warwick Manufacturing Group and key members of a growing UK wind supply chain, to design and develop advanced manufacturing processes. We have developed a highly innovative, rare earth free, permanent magnet generator that will deliver significant cost savings to the offshore wind market. This funding is a critical step in the development of our technology, as it will enable us to demonstrate the capability of the UK supply chain to co-development partners.”

Another project led by RAD Propulsion is aiming to create an electric propulsion system with no external propeller blades for use in marine vessels. Their CEO, Clive Johnson said: “We are delighted to have been awarded a Driving the Electric Revolution Challenge grant which will support us in bringing the first of our quality electric propulsion systems, RAD40, to the marine marketplace. We are confident this robust, intuitive and easy to use 40Kw drive, for ribs and powerboats, will revolutionise customer experience. The Driving the Electric Revolution grant is instrumental by enabling our supply chain and streamlining our production and manufacturing processes and complexities to assist with our goal of bringing a superior product to market in an ambitious timeframe.”

Driving the Electric Revolution Challenge Director, Dr Will Drury said “These projects form a vital part of the UK’s green economic recovery from COVID-19. By focusing on growing the capability of the UK PEMD supply chain and manufacturing we aim to make the UK a global leader in the manufacture of core technologies which underpin electrification. This is crucial in helping the UK reach net zero by 2050.”

Read More on the UKRI Website

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