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U.K. investment will boost hybrid aircraft development

The U.K. government on July 22 announced an £80 million (approximately US$99.5 million) investment to help develop the next generation of electric vehicles and new hybrid aircraft.

UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
The U.K.’s Industrial Strategy Future of Mobility Grand Challenge aims to support clean growth by driving down costs and delivering a volume supply chain necessary to deliver low-carbon technologies. Gov.uk Photo

The investment is part of the Industrial Strategy Future of Mobility Grand Challenge, which will “deliver technologies that will enable the U.K.’s road, rail, maritime, and aviation networks to dramatically reduce emissions,” according to a press release. One of the challenge’s key targets is accelerating the delivery of electric and hybrid aircraft by 2040.

The government said that development of these new technologies — known as Power Electronics, Electric Machines and Drives (PEMD) — will be led by industry and academia and supported by over 130 organizations, collectively offering global reserves of as much as £600 billion.

Investment will be made through four key strands. These include filling identified gaps in the supply chain for PEMD; developing industrialization centers for PEMD products such as electric vehicles and hybrid aircraft; and developing high-efficiency, high-volume supply chains as well as low-volume, high value supply chains to enable new manufacturing techniques and sustain long-term growth.

“Building on our Faraday Battery Challenge and Battery Industrialisation Centre, this co-investment from government and industry is a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy, building on our strengths and helping to create the next generation of net zero technologies that will transform entire industries,” stated Business Secretary Greg Clark.

According to U.K. Research and Innovation chief executive, professor Sir Mark Walport, “Driving the Electric Revolution will strengthen the U.K.’s capability to deliver next generation electric vehicles, hybrid aircraft and smart grids. It will ensure these industries, both large and small, are rooted here in the U.K. attracting inward investment into our manufacturing base.”

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