13.6.2018Next-gen battery tech gets Faraday Challenge funding
Research and development of next-generation battery technology is one of the main projects awarded part of Â£22 million in funding through the Faraday Battery Challenge, the UK Government has announced.
Backing from Innovate UK has seen the PowerDrive Line project - led by Southampton-based firm Ilika - receive funding to develop solid-state battery cells. The work will particularly focus on how to manufacture the batteries in the UK and in large numbers, plus how to build in ultra-fast charging technology.
This would see EVs able to travel longer on a single charge, while also taking less time to top-up than current structures do. The PowerDrive Line project expects to reduce the 25 minute or more charging time currently available for much of the UK's public rapid charging network.
Other R&D projects to receive funding include a "revolutionary approach to battery management", led by Williams Advanced Engineering. The company - which is part of the group that runs the Williams Formula 1 Team - has become a world leader in battery technology, due to its work with racing series such as F1, Formula E, World Endurance Championship, and soon to include World Rallycross.
Another firm with F1 links to receive funding is McLaren Automotive, which leads a consortium project that aims to accelerate development of electrified powertrains.
Jaguar Land Rover is involved in a project - led by Cheshire-based ICoNiChem - that will recycle batteries and develop the first UK industrial scale capability to reclaim and reuse essential metals used in the cells. Aston Martin Lagonda is running a project developing better performance battery packs too; both of which have been awarded grants from the Faraday Battery Challenge.
Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: "Innovative battery technology is changing the way we live, travel and work and the Government is committed to putting Britain at the heart of this energy revolution.
"Today's Â£22 million investment in world-leading R&D projects is an example of our modern Industrial Strategy in action and will help pioneering companies realise the economic benefits the global transition to a low carbon economy offers."
Top image is of Jaguar's current I-Pace platform