APC 18: developing the UK’s low carbon automotive capability

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £25 million for UK-developed late-stage R&D, to support growth in advanced low carbon propulsion capability in the automotive sector and its’ associated supply chain. Interested? Feel free to contact us!


Competition closes: Wednesday 5 May 2021 11:00am

Interview panel: Week commencing 5 July 2021

Applicants notified: 13 August 2021

Project start date & duration: 1 November 2021 and lasting between 18 and 42 months


Projects must demonstrate the development of on-vehicle technologies, (including material, product and manufacturing processes) for on or off-road vehicles.

  • Accelerate the development of technologies capable of low and zero tailpipe emissions, considering their associated ‘cradle to grave’ supply chains, up to and including end of life.
  • Demonstrate a significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions leading to air quality improvements.

Specific Themes

  • alternative propulsion systems
  • electric machines and power electronics
  • energy storage and energy management
  • lightweight vehicle and powertrain structures
  • thermal propulsion systems that deliver substantial improvements
  • significant reduction in vehicle development timescales
  • digitisation for development of low carbon vehicle innovation

Projects that will not be funded

  • are dependent on export performance or domestic inputs usage.
  • focus only on the development of clean fuels.


  • Subsidy Control and State aid funding rules apply.
  • Projects must be a minimum of 50% match funded
  • Projects must be collaborative. The lead organisation must be UK registered business of any size
  • Projects must involve at least one SME and a vehicle manufacturer or tier 1 supplier who supplies parts directly to an original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

Funding Rates

  • Total eligible project costs between £5M and £40M (£25M pot).
  • A 3.5% levy is payable to the APC by all partners on grant received.

Project maturity (up to but not including commercialisation)

Organisation size

Industrial Research (TRL3-5)

Experimental Development (TRL 6-7)

Micro/small business



Medium sized business



Large business



Research organisations in your consortium can share up to 30% of the UK total eligible project costs.

Need help?

Please contact us for further information on the funding scheme, to discuss a project or how we can support you with an application.

More details and other funding opportunities from Innovate UK can be viewed here.