Transport is one of the biggest greenhouse gas emitters in the UK. According to UK government research, in 2021 transport was responsible for 26% of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, almost all through carbon dioxide emissions.1

Cutting emissions in the sector is vital to meeting UK targets for tackling climate change and could also bring benefits for health and wellbeing, as well as opportunities for economic growth.2

But how are we going to get there? Despite a blip during the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of vehicles on our roads continues to rise,3 while new fuel technologies that could make air travel more sustainable are still in the early stages of development.4

‘Transport needs to clean up and become a very different thing to what it is today,’ says Richard Hill, Head of Automotive and Manufacturing at NatWest Group. ‘The sector is going through a revolution. It’s going to form a key part of the transition support journey and the UK has a big opportunity to be a leader in clean transport.’

The sector is going through a revolution

Richard is part of the team leading NatWest’s Clean Transport Accelerator, a partnership with Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), an internationally renowned department at the University of Warwick focused on innovation in science, technology and engineering.

Launched in 2022, the Clean Transport Accelerator supports businesses in the mobility industry to develop products and services that will play a part in achieving the UK’s net zero ambitions. It’s aimed at businesses creating the next generation of transport and offers support to fast-track their innovations, as well as access to experts in clean transport and equipment.


A growing network

The NatWest Clean Transport Accelerator is the latest addition to the growing network of NatWest Accelerators in the UK, supporting thousands of entrepreneurs each year. Spread across 13 locations and a digital hub, the NatWest Accelerators work with business owners to help them build knowledge and skills in a range of areas, including how to enter new markets, develop a scalable infrastructure and attract growth funding.

‘We’re focused on delivering applied learning through the programme – things owners can take back and use in their business,’ explains Pam Sheemar, Regional Enterprise Director at NatWest Group. ‘The Clean Transport Accelerator is best placed to help young businesses grow. We’re working with businesses that already have traction, where they might have already raised funding or have a team of people working with them. We’re there to help the business develop – and we aim to build great people and great leaders.’

We’re bringing people together to build a network of entrepreneurs

Businesses that have joined the Clean Transport Accelerator so far represent a wide range of transport activities and related industries, including aircraft batteries, fuel efficient engines, e-scooters, cargo bikes and electric in-line skates.

Adam Walters, an Enterprise Acceleration Manager based at the Clean Transport Accelerator works directly with the participants as part of the programme. ‘We’re getting people from a range of backgrounds – from a company that makes kids’ bikes, to a student startup focused on drone technology, as well as businesses developing new technologies that support mass transport, like trains and aircraft,’ Adam says. ‘They’re all important to supporting the transition to net zero.’

As part of the programme, businesses get one-to-one coaching, access to mentors and co-working spaces and can join thought leadership and specialist events, like NatWest workshops and group acceleration sessions with other members of their cohort.

Creating a community is a big part of the programme. ‘We’re bringing people together to build a network of entrepreneurs,’ says Pam. ‘Participants get support from their peers and can share ideas and experiences. These are people who have been there, done it and can understand the highs and the lows of starting and scaling a business.’ 


Speeding up change

Businesses can also use the technical and industry expertise of the WMG, including help with building prototypes, creating manufacturing processes, adopting new technologies and sourcing materials.

The Clean Transport Accelerator reflects the strength of the relationship between NatWest Group and the WMG and showcases how working with partners to support businesses could speed up change across sectors.

‘The drive to net zero has opened up new and exciting opportunities for innovation in the transport sector,’ explains Professor David Greenwood, Director of Industrial Engagement and CEO of the High Value Manufacturing Centre at WMG. ‘Together with NatWest, we’d like to ensure that the UK delivers economic benefits as well as environmental benefits as we meet this critical objective.

Richard agrees. ‘We have an opportunity to establish a homegrown clean transport industry,’ he says. ‘The risk of not taking this opportunity could mean that the UK misses out.’ 

Meet the entrepreneurs from the Clean Transport Accelerator programme


Flux Aviation


Flux Aviation is developing ultra-high performance electric motors and batteries to power next-generation electric aircraft. The company is helping aircraft manufacturers electrify their passenger and cargo aircraft and build an industry that is cleaner, quieter and more affordable.


The company’s integrated battery-electric powertrains are compatible with many existing aircraft types and combine electric motors, control electronics and batteries in a single package to make retrofitting aircraft as easy as possible.

Key takeaway

‘Joining the Clean Transport Accelerator has allowed me to develop Flux Aviation faster by understanding important next steps and having an increased focus on executing them. This was emphasised by having regular 1-1 check-ins with my mentor and also having a community of fellow entrepreneurs to learn from.’

Radovan Gallo, Founder and CEO, Flux Aviation


Belvoir Rail


Belvoir Rail is fast becoming a leading supplier to the UK rail industry, specialising in parts and manufactured products, as well as overhauls, kitting and assembly, design services and engineering solutions for rolling stock. The company strives to deliver cutting-edge solutions that enhance reliability, efficiency and sustainability.


The company supports cleaner transport by providing services including obsolescence management and re-engineering. This helps increase the lifespan and operability of rail fleets by replacing obsolete parts and components to improve functionality and performance. Belvoir Rail also provides a kitting service to reduce waste and improve efficiency by sourcing parts and components on behalf of customers.

Key takeaway

‘The Clean Transport Accelerator Programme has propelled Belvoir Rail towards a future of sustainable success. The programme has provided us with invaluable resources, events, coaching and expert support, enabling us to develop a new business strategy with sustainability at its core. As a business, we have been able to scale up and we are not just embracing sustainability; we are also embracing the opportunities it brings.’

James Brown, Manging Director, Belvoir Rail


Kidvelo Bikes


Kidvelo Bikes design and manufacture balance and pedal bikes for children from 18-months to eight years old. The business was inspired by the lack of light-weight and affordable bikes on the market that could grow with a child.


Kidvelo Bikes is focused on helping children and parents learn to ride a bike and embrace cycling. The company’s bikes are specially designed for young children to use and control, helping them to learn how to balance and ride with less effort. The two-in-one design of the bike, which converts from a balance to a pedal bike, also offers consumers a longer-lasting product.

Key takeaway

‘The Clean Transport Accelerator made it very easy to access experts and opportunities to network. My husband and I started Kid Velo to manufacture unique kids balance bikes that convert to pedal bikes which are affordable for parents and encourage more children to learn to ride. While we already had a decade of experience distributing kids’ bikes, turning our ideas into top-quality balance bikes and getting them to market has been a huge challenge. The support from everyone on the Accelerator and Clean Transport Hub at Warwick University has been invaluable.’

Karen Wood, Director, Kidvelo Bikes


Disclaimers and cautions

This is for media use and not a financial promotion.

Caution about this article. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the interviewees: Richard Hill, Pam Sheemar, Adam Walters, Professor David Greenwood, Radovan Gallo, James Brown, Karen Wood, and do not necessarily represent the views of the NatWest Group.

This article (i) has been prepared for information and reference purposes only; (ii) is intended to provide non-exhaustive, indicative and general information only; (iii) does not purport to be comprehensive; and (iv) does not provide any form of legal, tax, investment, accounting, financial or other advice.

This article should be read together with the full Climate Matters document (with special regard to the Cautionary Statements) relating to this content.

Please see NatWest Group’s 2022 Climate-related Disclosures Report for those views and other information including about our financed emissions and our exposure to heightened climate-related risk sectors.

Notes on the text:

1. 2021 UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Final Figures, Transport, p16

2. Decarbonising Transport – A Better, Greener Britain, p26

3. 2021 UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Final Figures, Transport, p17

4. NatWest Group plc 2022 Climate-related Disclosures Report, p37

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