Four projects will be the first to receive Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) funding to develop next generation engines using Formula 1 technology. The first projects will see technology deployed in excavators and buses. Around £1 billion (US$1.7 billion) will be invested over the next 10 years.

The APC is funded jointly by the UK Government and the automotive industry. Its aim is to encourage the development, commercialization and manufacture of greener and more efficient engines for the vehicles of the future. The new scheme was announced last year in the Government's Industrial Strategy for the UK's automotive sector.

"By 2050, very few, if any, new cars will be powered solely by the traditional internal combustion engines, so it is important that the UK car industry is at the cutting edge of low carbon technologies," said UK Business Secretary Vince Cable when he announced the scheme last year. "The Advanced Propulsion Centre, launched as part of our Industrial Strategy, will help to position the UK as a leading innovator while also securing jobs and strengthening supply chains."

The period for funding requests opened in December 2013 and closed in February this year. Awards up to £75 million were offered. The first four awards have been given to Ford, GKN Land Systems, Cummins and JCB.

Ford will receive £13.1 million towards a £100 million program to work with partners on updating its EcoBoost engine. The funding will help to accelerate the rate at which low carbon technologies are introduced as a means of delivering improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.

GKN Land Systems will receive £7.5 million towards its £16 million project to develop and deploy the "Gyrodrive" system in Buses. Gyrodrive aims to recover the braking energy of a bus as it decelerates and use it to power subsequent acceleration. It uses technology developed by the Williams Formula 1 team.

Another project for buses, by Cummins, will receive a £4.9 million grant towards its total £9.9 million project cost for developing new stop-start diesel engine technology to reduce emissions. JCB, with its partner Flybrid, will receive £3.3 million as part of a £7.3 million project to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of diggers. It is estimated that the carbon emissions of a 20-tonne (22-ton) excavator will be reduced by around 16 tonnes per year.

Going forward, the APC will run bi-annual competitions to determine the provision of funding, opening in April and October of each year.