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Your next car could be designed by space satellites

  • £38 million government fund to help improve fuel efficiency
  • Reducing weight in cars and helping plug-in cars drive further
  • Technology used from Formula 1 cars and space satellites

The use of Formula 1 technology could soon make the typical family car lighter and more fuel efficient, thanks to an innovative research project winning £38.2 million in government funding.

This project is a collective of more than 130 car manufacturers, technology companies and research centres across the UK, with Nissan and Jaguar Land Rover receiving £1.7 million to develop ‘light weighting’ technology for vehicle construction.

By applying the same science used to develop Formula 1 cars and space satellites, passenger cars should see a reduction in weight and become more fuel efficient. Plug-in electric cars should benefit too, with the Nissan Leaf potentially seeing its battery range extended by up to 25 percent thanks to a reduction in use of heavy steel components.

Transport minister Andrew Jones, who backed the fund, hopes the investment will spark a long-term economic plan by creating skilled UK jobs in the process.

“Our £38 million investment will help Britain become a world leader in this exciting and valuable technology sector, creating skilled jobs of the future as part of our long-term economic plan," he said. "It will also mean lower running costs for motorists and less fuel consumption, which is good for the environment and our economy."

Working prototypes from this project will be unveiled by 2018, before being introduced into passenger cars by 2020.

How the £38 million funds will be distributed across the UK

West Midlands: £7.6 million across 36 organisations, including £1.7 million for Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan to develop composite materials making vehicles lighter.

Yorkshire and the Humber: £4.4 million across 12 organisations including £1.3 million for Faradion Ltd to reduce the cost of electric vehicle batteries.

South East: £5.6 million over 20 organisations, including £770,000 to test new fuel-cells for electric vans.

East Midlands: £7.5 million across 23 organisations, including £1.4 million to replace steel vehicle bodies with lighter materials.

Scotland: £2.5 million across seven organisations, including Sunamp Ltd seeking to reduce battery power usage in chilled or frozen food fleets.

North West: £1.7million across seven organisations, including Clean Air Power Ltd seeking to apply dual-fuel technology to HGVs.

East of England: £2.9 million across 15 organisations, including Controlled Power Technologies Ltd seeking to develop hybrid braking systems.

Greater London: £2.2 million across 11 organisations, including Advance Design Technology Ltd looking to develop thermal recovery kits which convert exhaust heat into electricity.

South West: £3.1 million across 16 organisations, including HiETA Technologies looking to develop lighter vehicle components from advanced aluminium alloys.

North East: £570,000 across five organisations including the light weight collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->West Midlands: £7.6 million across 36 organisations, including £1.7 million for Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan to develop composite materials making vehicles lighter.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->Yorkshire and the Humber: £4.4 million across 12 organisations including £1.3 million for Faradion Ltd to reduce the cost of electric vehicle batteries.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->South East: £5.6 million over 20 organisations, including £770,000 to test new fuel cells for electric vans.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->East Midlands: £7.5 million across 23 organisations, including £1.4 million to replace steel vehicle bodies with lighter materials.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->Scotland £2.5 million across seven organisations, including Sunamp Ltd seeking to reduce battery power usage in chilled or frozen food fleets

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->North West: £1.7million across seven organisations, including Clean Air Power Ltd seeking to apply dual-fuel technology to HGVs

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->East of England: £2.9 million across 15 organisations, including Controlled Power Technologies Ltd seeking to develop hybrid braking systems

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->Greater London: : £2.2 million across 11 organisations, including Advance Design Technology Ltd looking to develop thermal recovery kits which convert exhaust heat into electricity.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->South West: £3.1 million across 16 organisations, including HiETA Technologies looking to develop lighter vehicle components from advanced aluminium alloys.

North East:  £570,000 across five organisations including the light weight collaboration with Jaguar land Rover.