Govt announces £80m funding for new national battery facility

Posted on 29 Nov 2017 by Jonny Williamson

A partnership between universities in the Coventry and Warwickshire area and Coventry City Council has been awarded £80m to establish a new National Battery Manufacturing Development Facility (NBMDF).

Worcestershire has pledged to increase the number of electric vehicle charging points across the county - image courtesy of Pixabay
The facility will assist manufacturers and boost the future vehicle and transportation electrification industry – image courtesy of Pixabay.

The announcement was made by Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, while attending an energy conference on the University of Warwick campus today.

The new national facility will be established in the Coventry and Warwickshire area by WMG, the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP and Coventry City Council.

The facility will enable UK based companies and researchers come together to build and maintain a world leading position in manufacturing technologies for batteries and their components in vehicles and transportation.

It will provide a crucial new strategic link between the research, development and full-scale industrialisation for battery technologies across the UK.

As reported, the facility will enable effective partnerships between manufacturers, researchers, and economic development leaders, while remaining independent from commercial interests and it will be governed with transparency.

The project will assist manufacturers and boost the future vehicle and transportation electrification industry by leading innovation, enabling the creation of products with performance ahead of international benchmarks speeding market entry, enabling rapid growth, and acting as a magnet for inward investment in the key technologies.

It will also significantly scale up UK skills capacity in this area. Skilled employees are the critical resource for sustainable and competitive manufacturing of batteries in the UK and through the NBMDF a learning facility will be created to train the future skills base in all elements of battery manufacturing.

The new National Battery Manufacturing Development Facility will enable the development of the next generation of battery systems across battery chemistry, electrodes, cell design, module and pack levels.

It will have a central location in the Coventry and Warwickshire area providing excellent transport links and is near to established automotive supply chains.

WMG has been working for 15 years with industry to develop and prove new battery technologies. More recently they have been working through the APC Spoke, the National Battery Scale Up facility and the Energy Research Accelerator.

It has vast array of research projects already underway looking at everything from new battery technologies, how to scale up battery manufacturing and even a project exploring how to recycle and reuse such batteries.

Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, Chairman of WMG said: “Working with industry and the supply chain we will develop and expand battery R&D which will see the creation of skilled jobs and developments within the automotive sector.

“Having a 37-year track record of working jointly with industry to innovate, and as leaders, for over 10 years, in battery development, WMG are poised to continue to drive forward battery innovation and help create growth and employment in the UK.”