National battery development facility UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) secured £38 million ($48 million) in government funding to upgrade its scale-up capabilities.
The new cash was announced as part of finance minister Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn statement to parliament (a ‘minor’ statement on the economy). It will be mainly for UKBIC’s flexible scale-up line.
It adds to the £36 million ($46 million) already committed in May by Faraday Battery Challenge. This is a £610 million ($770 million) governmental investment programme.
UKBIC said preparatory construction work of the facility is underway. This will include:
- additional production equipment for coating, drying and calendering of electrodes
- a flexible 800 square metre clean and dry industrialisation space for new manufacturing process demonstration
- development of advanced digital manufacturing capability to transform how data is analysed.
UKBIC said the new scale-up line will bridge the gap between its existing volume industrialisation line and kilogramme scale demonstrator lines available elsewhere. The new line is expected to be operational in 2025. It will, according to UKBIC, provide battery developers with an increasingly cost-effective route to market.
Sean Gilgunn, UKBIC’s managing director, said: “The investment in the new equipment and capability will mean that many more customers will be able to use the facility and seamlessly develop battery manufacturing through to large-scale demonstration.
“The added introduction of digital manufacturing at the facility will provide customers with an even better data-driven understanding of their manufacturing processes, a capability which customers will increasingly expect as the industry evolves.”