The UK government wants to expedite the commercialization of low-CO2 vehicle technologies with an investment amounting to £56 million ($86.9 million) derived from public and private funds, according to the Technology Strategy Board. In a statement, the innovation agency said that over £27 million of public funds and £29 million of private money will be invested in 17 r&d projects led by automakers like Jaguar Land Rover, Ford and Nissan. According to Transport Minister Norman Baker, accelerating the commercialization of low-carbon vehicle technologies will help the government achieve its climate change targets as well as create new jobs, and increase opportunities for UK companies in the international market.
European Commission data show that that the road transportation sector has been increasing its emissions, with a surge of around 26 percent between 1990 and 2008. Carmakers are under increasing pressure to cut their vehicle’s CO2 emissions to comply with regulations set by the European Union, with heavy fines waiting for those who failed to achieve the targets.
Earlier this month, the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, outlined plans to increase the limits on the amount of CO2 new vehicles can emit. Car manufacturers are currently taking on new technologies that would cut vehicle emissions like developing electric vehicles and hybrids.