The UK Government has made a reported investment of £80 million into a new automotive battery development facility, said to be the first facility of its kind in the country. The funding is part of the £120 million Faraday Battery Challenge investment, which aims to position the UK as a leader in the development and production of battery technology.
Based in the Coventry and Warwick in the West Midlands, England, the National Battery Manufacturing Development facility (NMDF) is expected to host cutting-edge production and assembly processes and support the future scale-up of battery technologies. The facility will be responsible for the translation up of promising early and mid-stage battery research and development activities into scalable, commercially viable business propositions.
The independent facility will be openly accessible to UK-based companies wishing to develop battery technologies, and will also provide a learning environment to enable training and skills development.
In a speech to the Battery and Energy Storage Conference, Business and Energy Secretary, Greg Clark MP, stated, “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.”
Dr Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover CEO, stated that Jaguar Land Rover is investing heavily in autonomous and electric mobility. “From 2020, all of our new vehicles will be electrified with Mild Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid and Battery Electric solutions, and these are already being designed in the West Midlands,” he stated.
Lord Bhattacharyya, Chairman of Warwick Manufacturing Group, stated, “This will be an openly accessible centre of real impact, working coherently with the application-inspired fundamental research emerging from Faraday Institution and ensuring the transfer of technology takes place at scale to support the industrialisation of batteries in the UK.”
“This joined up end-to-end approach will be a UK first, and is critical to ensure our fundamental research translates into sustaining and growing manufacturing jobs in the UK,” he concluded.