New £80 million UK battery development facility confirmed

A new advanced battery development facility will be created in the Midlands as part of plans to help the UK be a market leader in electric vehicles.

Set to be sited in the UK's automotive heartland, the new National Battery Manufacturing Development Facility (NBMDF) will receive £120 million of government investment, coming from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

The NBMDF will support the Faraday Battery Challenge and develop 'safe, cost effective, durable, lighter weight, high performing and recyclable batteries in the UK which will power the next generation of electric vehicles'.

A total of £80 million will be invested by the Advanced Propulsion Centre for the facility to be created by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership with Warwick Manufacturing Group. Investments worth £40 million will come through Innovate UK to fund 27 battery research projects.

At the announcement made at the Battery and Energy Storage 2017 conference yesterday, Business and Energy Secretary, Greg Clark said: "Battery technology is one of the most game-changing forms of energy innovation and it is one of the cornerstones of our ambition, through the Industrial Strategy and the Faraday Challenge, to ensure that the UK leads the world, and reaps the economic benefits, in the global transition to a low carbon economy.

"The new facility, based in Coventry and Warwickshire, will propel the UK forward in this thriving area, bringing experts from academia and industry together to deliver innovation and R&D that will further enhance the West Midlands' international reputation as a cluster of automotive excellence."

Ian Constance, Chief Executive, Advanced Propulsion Centre, said: "The new National Battery Manufacturing Development facility will be a national asset and the first of its kind open to all UK-located organisations. It will enable them to develop manufacturing processes for their concept-ready battery technologies at production rates appropriate to 'giga' factories. The objective is that these processes can transfer to UK high-volume manufacturing facilities."

Ruth McKernan, Innovate UK Chief Executive, said: "The Faraday Battery Challenge is breaking new ground because it offers for the first time a co-ordinated programme of competitions across research, innovation and scale-up. It will therefore draw the very best of the UK's world-leading research into commercial technologies and put UK businesses at the forefront of electric vehicle battery development."

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Chris Lilly

Author:Chris Lilly
Date Updated:30th Nov 2017

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