The motor industry in Britain is to receive a £1 billion boost from the government and the sector itself, to improve global competitiveness, create apprenticeships and build low-carbon vehicles.
The announcement was made by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) on Friday. In a statement, the government and auto industry would be investing in an Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC).
It also said that the Automotive Council is aiming to recruit some 7,600 apprentices and 1,700 graduates over the next five years.
In an interview with Sky, business secretary Vince Cable said, “The government is putting in £500m and the private sector will match that.”
He added, “This will be parallel to the aerospace industry – providing technology of the future – particularly low-carbon engines.”
A report published jointly by BIS and the industry, Driving Success, sets out how the UK can develop and sustain the industry over the coming decades.
The report says that by 2040, vehicles will no longer be powered by the petrol and diesel engines as we know them today.
Businesses are being invited to bid for support on innovative collaborative low carbon vehicle projects.
Cable added, “With the next generation of vehicles set to be powered by radically different technologies we need to maintain this momentum and act now. Our industrial strategy will ensure we keep on working together to make our automotive industry a world leader.”
The announcement follows predictions of a surge in the sales of electrically powered vehicles, which are expected to rise to £28 billion by 2020.