The National Battery Manufacturing Development Facility will be a hub of engineering talent
A new UK electric vehicle battery facility will be built thanks to £80 million worth of funding, helping to spearhead the UK’s role as a world leader in EV tech.
The National Battery Manufacturing Development Facility, as it will be named, comes thanks to a partnership between the Warwick Manufacturing Group, Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Coventry City Council.
The site will be built in Warwickshire to enable “effective partnerships between manufacturers, researchers, and economic development leaders”, benefitting from its close location to several of the UK’s biggest car makers.
The site is tasked with producing technology and enabling progress in electric vehicle powertrains that surpass international benchmarks. The research will focus on cutting-edge battery technology, including chemistry, electrodes, cell design, module and pack levels.
As such, the partnership expects the site to draw in international investment and become a talent hub for employees skilled in this industry.
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, the chairman of the WMG, said: "Having a 37-year track record of working jointly with industry to innovate, and as leaders for over 10 years in battery development, WMG is poised to continue to drive forward battery innovation and help create growth and employment in the UK.
“Coventry and the sub region has a significant contribution to make in the delivery of the UK’s national industrial strategy, being in a strong position to lead the advancement of battery development, and vehicle electrification and autonomous vehicles. It will be at the heart of the drive to make the city a smart motor city.”
Business and Energy Secretary, Greg Clark added: “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.”
The National Battery Manufacturing Development Facility is part of the UK Government’s £246m Faraday Challenge and was awarded its funding through a competition led by the Advanced Propulsion Centre, which features its own battery facility headed by Williams Advanced Engineering.
It also comes as part of the government’s recently announced Industrial Strategy, which outlined plans for Britain to ramp up its pace of progress with electric and autonomous vehicle technology.
The government also wants to make the UK’s car industry more self-sufficient. It wants 50% of every UK-built car to be made of domestically sourced parts.