The government is backing a new ‘UK Energy Storage R&D Centre’ to improve battery technologies for electric and hybrid vehicles.
The £13m centre, based within the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult at the University of Warwick, will be jointly funded by Government (£9m) and industry (£4m) to capitalise on the growing electric and hybrid vehicle battery market, which has been estimated to be worth £250m for the UK by 2020.
Work at the centre will focus on the development of a new generation of high-performance batteries that are more economic and stable than those currently available on the market but with higher energy densities.
Newly-appointed business minister Michael Fallon said: “This £13m facility will help accelerate the development of battery cells for the next generation of vehicles and is a vital investment in the future of the automotive sector.
It complements over £5.5bn that global vehicle manufacturers have committed to UK projects in the last 18 months.”
While the centre will focus on the immediate priority of batteries for the low and ultra-low carbon vehicles, it could in future address storage for other transport applications including commercial and off-road vehicles, rail and marine, and other technologies such as fuel cells.
Seven research partners work together in the High Value Manufacturing Catapult centre, which was set up to accelerate the commercialisation of new and emerging manufacturing technologies.
It embraces all forms of manufacture using metals and composites, as well as process manufacturing technologies and bio-processing.