Meritor at Cwmbran in South Wales is the major beneficiary of £54 million of government-led funding for low emissions projects, announced today and expected to secure 10,000 UK jobs. EPIC (Electric Powertrain Integration for Heavy Commercial Vehicles) is a Meritor-led project based at its existing air disc brake facility to develop a driveline unit combining the key elements of motor, inverter, gearbox, differential and brakes in a single lightweight system for commercial vehicles up to 44 tonnes, as well as coaches, off-highway and construction vehicles.
CM recently reported that Meritor had concluded a deal to supply its Blue Horizon 14Xe integrated drive axle for the forthcoming Volta Zero electric truck.
The £31.9 million Meritor funding would also finance the building of a new technology centre in Scotland. The remaining money is split between Wrightbus’ hydrogen fuel cell project in Ballymena, and Shield Manufacturing Technologies in Southam to transfer lightweight energy recovery technology from motorsport to power on-highway cars and vans.
Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said “The UK is leading the world by developing cutting edge technology that will help to tackle climate change and lead to a green, competitive future for our automotive supply chain. These projects will not only help accelerate the wider application of greener technology in lorries and buses, but will also help generate the high-skilled jobs to level up communities across the UK while ensuring we build back greener from the pandemic.”
For Meritor, vice-president and chief technology officer at Meritor, John Bennett, added “With this award, our consortium will develop a game-changing electric powertrain for heavy-duty 4x2 and 6x2 vehicles up to 44 tonnes. This technology will provide commercial vehicle OEMs with the optimal solution to meet EU 2025 CO2 reduction targets, in addition to a host of other product benefits including greater efficiency, reduced weight, longer-range capability, and far greater application flexibility when compared to existing systems.”