Technologies including high-performance batteries for electric vehicles are to receive a government cash boost.
The funding will be available through the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, which has been extended to help develop solutions to some of the biggest global challenges, including climate change.
Of the investment announced nearly £44m has been earmarked to develop the next generation of high performance batteries for electric vehicles and wind turbines, which could also be used for new technologies such as electric aeroplanes. The funding will also be used to complete a first-of-its-kind UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, in Coventry, creating 100 high-skilled jobs. Organisations across the automotive, rail and aerospace sectors will have access to a unique battery production facility combining manufacturing, experimentation and innovation.
UK Battery Industrialisation Centre
The UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) is part of the UK Government’s Faraday Battery Challenge.
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 Battery 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.”
Science Minister, Amanda Solloway, said: “We want to build back better by putting the UK at the forefront of new technologies to create high-skilled jobs, increase productivity and grow the economy as we recover from coronavirus.
“This new funding will strengthen the UK’s global status in a range of areas, including battery technologies for electric vehicles and robotics, helping us develop innovative solutions to some of our biggest global challenges and creating jobs in rewarding careers right across the country.”
The Faraday Institution anticipates that the overall workforce in automotive and electric vehicle battery sectors could grow by 29 per cent from 170,000 in 2020 to 220,000 employees by 2040.
Challenge director for The Faraday Battery Challenge, Tony Harper, said: “In order for batteries to play their full environmental and economic role in achieving net zero we need to deploy at scale and build supply chains for today’s technology, shift from strong potential to commercial dominance in a new generation of batteries and continue to build world-class scientific capability to sustain us into the future.”