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Green light for electric car battery charging innovation

Nissan LEAF charging 2018

Nissan LEAF charging 2018

A new pioneering technology to ensure a next generation of safer, high-powered electric car batteries can be charged by drivers in ultra-fast time is just one of 12 innovation projects to receive the green light from the government’s Faraday Battery Challenge.

The PowerDrive Line project being led by Southampton-based company Ilika is focusing on solid state battery cell development, in particular how to manufacture at scale in the UK and how to build in ultra-fast charging technology of less than 25 minutes for a vehicle as is seen in some current battery systems.

In total £22 million grants are being rewarded to consortia across the UK as part of the latest round of funding through the Faraday Battery Challenge, part of the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).

The funding is key to realising the Government’s ambitions for innovative energy solutions as set out in our modern Industrial Strategy. The Faraday Battery Challenge brings together world-leading research and business to accelerate the research needed to develop battery technologies.

Other major R&D projects funded include:

  • A revolutionary approach to battery management led by Williams Advanced Engineering;
  • A McLaren Automotive led consortium project that aims to accelerate the development of electrified powertrains
  • A revolutionary battery recycling project that will develop the first UK industrial scale capability to reclaim and reuse battery essential metals. This project is being led by Cheshire-based ICoNiChem and involves Jaguar Land Rover.
  • An Aston Martin Lagonda project into the development of better performance battery packs.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said:

“Innovative battery technology is changing the way we live, travel and work and the Government is committed to putting Britain at the heart of this energy revolution.

“Today’s £22 million investment in world-leading R&D projects is an example of our modern Industrial Strategy in action and will help pioneering companies realise the economic benefits the global transition to a low carbon economy offers.”

UK Research and Innovation chief executive Professor Sir Mark Walport said:

“Effective, efficient and sustainable transport is key to addressing so many of today’s challenges from industrial growth to social inclusion. Through advanced battery technology, we will unlock a new generation of electric vehicles, further improving vehicle performance and uptake, opening doors to innovative new transport ideas and significantly reducing environmental impacts. Today’s investment shows we are catalysing collaboration between research teams and commercial partners across the UK to make this a reality.” 

Faraday Battery Challenge Director Tony Harper said:

“This latest round of cutting-edge R&D projects illustrate the quality of innovations coming from our research and industrial base, and reinforce why the UK is a world-leader in battery technology development.”

The ISCF is delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). UKRI brings together the UK Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England into a single organisation to create the best environment for research and innovation to flourish.

The Faraday Battery Challenge is a £246 million government investment into battery technology through the Industrial Strategy. It will develop safe, cost effective, durable, lighter weight, higher performing and recyclable batteries in the UK which will power the next generation of electric vehicles.

The projects announced today are the second round of R&D funding – the first round of £40 million investment was announced in November. The next round of research and development funding will open in September. Progress so far includes:

  • The Faraday Institution, a new, multi-million pound research institute to drive and accelerate fundamental research in developing battery technologies and its translation.
  • £80m of total investment through the Advanced Propulsion Centre for the UK’s first automotive battery manufacturing development facility to be created by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership with Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG)
  • A first round of R&D support announced in November 2017 of £40m of total investment to fund 27 battery research and development projects.

The Industrial Strategy sets out a long term plan to boost the productivity and earning power of people throughout the UK. It sets out how we are building a Britain fit for the future – how we will help businesses create better, higher-paying jobs in every part of the UK with investment in skills, industries and infrastructure.

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund was created to ensure that research and innovation takes centre stage in the government’s Industrial Strategy, with investment earmarked for technologies where the UK can build on its world-leading strengths and help innovative businesses to tap into large and growing global markets, as well as the industries of the future. The fund is being administered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) under the leadership of its Chief Executive Sir Mark Walport. It will play a key role in strengthening the UK’s competitiveness through the Industrial Strategy.