GLASGOW-based Allied Vehicles Group (Allied) has secured a grant of £1.3million from Scottish Enterprise towards a total £3.9million project by the company to drive forward a new vehicle conversion process for hybrid and electric wheelchair accessible vehicles.
Visiting the site (27 July) to witness the company’s growth plans Wellbeing Economy Secretary Neil Gray said: “This is a major investment by Allied Vehicles, securing new jobs as it transitions away from petrol and diesel powered vehicles.
“Tackling inequality is a priority for the Scottish Government, and our accessible travel framework commits to ensuring all disabled people can travel with freedom, choice, dignity and opportunity. Our world-leading climate targets also include a commitment to building electric vehicle capacity and infrastructure.
“This latest innovative investment project brings together both aims – to ensure Scotland transitions to net zero, while we build a fair and equal society for everyone.”
Allied employs 630 staff at its site at Glasgow’s Possilpark and the new R&D project will create 35 jobs as it enters sustainable transport markets and is in addition to 35 additional roles bolstered by the company’s expansion plans as it continues to provide valuable inclusive mobility options.
Europe’s largest manufacturer and supplier of wheelchair accessible vehicles, Allied uses its engineering skills to remanufacture vehicles from brands such as Ford, Volkswagen, Peugeot and Citroen to improve transport accessibility for people with mobility issues.
The company provides wheelchair accessible cars, people carriers, minibuses and taxis for a wide range of customers, across the UK and continental Europe. It is now developing new engineering solutions for the emerging plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles market.
The project will also focus on the development of an electronics package for low-emissions taxis, such as those required for Glasgow’s new Low Emissions Zone.
Managing Director of Allied Vehicles Group Peter Facenna said: “Engineering innovation and development are key to our plans to expand our UK and international business activity, by providing first class accessibility solutions for people with severely impaired mobility.
“The advent of hybrid and electric vehicles is great news for the environment but also poses particular challenges in terms of design and accessibility for disabled customers.
“Support from Scottish Enterprise is vital in helping us take forward research and development work required to address these new challenges. It is also key to furthering our growing exports throughout continental Europe.”
Scottish Enterprise Chief Executive Adrian Gillespie said: “Allied is creating valuable employment and valued sustainable transport mobility options for people across many countries, so Scottish Enterprise is delighted to be supporting the company to diversify its supply chain and increase exports.
“Allied exemplifies the talent, creativity and adaptability of Scottish manufacturers in taking innovative net zero products to international markets.”
In future, Allied hopes to bring to market an adaptation package that is fully compatible with sustainable transport that will align with timescales for the phasing out of internal combustion engines in the UK and Europe over the next decade.
The project supports the industry’s transition to net zero with almost 27% of total national emissions coming from the transport sector.