Automotive News Late October 2023

Estimated reading time 3 minutes

Electric vehicle and systems manufacturer RBW has opened its UK factory in Lichfield, following multi-million-pound investment from California.

Since its foundation seven years ago, RBW continues to pioneer the safe electrification of vehicles. The investment will enable the company to scale-up to meet global demand.

Meson Capital Partners’ £10m investment follows an original £5m and a further £300,000 in UK grants raised for tooling and manufacturing.

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The UK Government has allocated an investment of £200m to bolster innovation and promote the adoption of zero-emission trucks, in a bid to facilitate the decarbonisation of freight vehicles and generate employment opportunities.

This investment will be distributed among four projects designed to collectively introduce up to 370 zero-emission HGVs into the transportation network and develop around 57 refuelling and electric charging sites.

This comes after the Government published its updated zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate, in line with the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s recent pushback on net-zero policies.

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Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch has visited Aston Martin’s HQ in Warwickshire where she met with apprentices and senior leaders and learnt more about the company’s high-performance electrification strategy.

The visit comes after the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) announced almost £9m in government funding through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) to develop Aston Martin’s EV technology – supporting over 2,500 local jobs.

The project will help accelerate the development of a luxury battery EV platform to drive forward a route to net zero, including vehicle light weighting, a digital toolchain and electrification training.

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More than 30 businesses across the UK’s Road freight sector are collaborating on a new initiative intended to support the development of a nationwide charging infrastructure network for electric heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).

Spearheaded by electric vehicle (EV) charging hub developer Gridserve, the Electric Freightway project will run through to 2030 and has garnered support from 33 firms.

They include automakers like Volvo and fleet operators such as Sainsbury’s and Amazon, as well as organisations which own land that could be used for charging infrastructure, like service station operator Moto. Participants are already testing or operating more than 140 e-HGVs collectively.

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Jaguar Land Rover has unveiled a new £250m test facility as part of plans for its "next generation" of pure electric models.  The car maker said the Future Energy Lab at its engineering centre in Whitley, Coventry, had key innovations enabling the rapid testing of electric vehicles (EVs).

The lab is developing Electric Drive Units for JLR's electric Range Rover, Defender, Discovery and Jaguar models.

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