Withdrawal from the European Union will not have a detrimental effect on the development of clean engine technology in the UK, according to the boss of the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC).

APC works across all forms of automotive manufacturing in the UK – cars, buses and trucks – and with businesses developing electric vehicles, battery technologies, lightweight materials and powertrains.

Gerry Wilson, director – business development at APC UK, said: “What we see from government is no let-up in terms of investment in the automotive sector. We are the most productive automotive industry in Europe and that will continue unabated.”

APC is part-funded via grants from the EU’s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. Wilson said that this funding would continue through to that date, but “after 2020 we do not know”.

However he did state that: “If, as a consequence of Brexit, the funding stops from Europe, the government will maintain the funding.”

He also said that a UK outside of the European Union would continue to follow the establishment's trends and targets when it came to air quality.

Andrew Everett, chief strategy officer of Transport Systems Catapult, a Milton Keynes-based technology and innovation centre, added that air quality targets would be primarily “city driven” in the future: “They will drive the industry, but through a different mechanism [to EU air quality targets].”