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UK Battery Industrialisation Centre

UK-based consortium established to develop prototype solid-state batteries

Fri, 08/27/2021 - 13:27 -- paul Crompton

A consortium of seven UK-based organisations has signed a memorandum of understanding to develop prototype solid-state batteries for automotive applications. 

The collaboration will combine industry and academia to produce cells using scalable manufacturing techniques that “leapfrog the cost-effectiveness and performance achieved elsewhere”. 

The consortium comprises of: Johnson Matthey, Faraday Institution, Britishvolt, Oxford University, UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, Emerson & Renwick and the University of Warwick (WMG).

The preliminary design for a prototyping facility has been developed. However, funding is still to be put in place. 

It’s hoped the facility will enable solid-state battery technology to be developed in UK university laboratories, and improve the manufacturing and testing of prototype batteries.

David Greenwood (pictured), professor of Advanced Propulsion Systems, and CEO of WMG High Value Manufacturing Catapult, said: “Early forms of solid-state battery are already around us, but we have yet to see solutions which are both mass-manufacturable and meet the performance and cost targets for future transport applications. 

“There remains huge opportunity for innovation in this space, and this initiative will provide the route for the UK to fast-track candidate technologies to industrialisation.”

Christian Gunther, CEO, Battery Materials at Johnson Matthey, said: “The realisation of a prototype solid-state battery cell will be a great achievement for the UK battery industry, and this consortium will be a critical enabler for delivering this milestone. 

“Delivering enhanced range and safety over traditional lithium-ion battery technologies will be a key driver for battery electric vehicle adoption.” 

Solid-state batteries offer potential advantages over existing lithium-ion battery technologies, including the ability to hold more charge for a given volume and reduce costs of safety-management. 

The Faraday Institution forecasts that, in 2030, solid-state batteries could take a 7% share of the global consumer electronics battery market and a 4% share of the EV battery market.

However, there are fundamental scientific challenges that need to be addressed before they are fully commercialised, with the Faraday Institution’s SOLBAT project making progress to address these challenges over the last three years. 

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UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) opens for business

Mon, 07/26/2021 - 12:49 -- Vic
Jeff Pratt, Managing Director, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his visit

A pioneering 18,500m2 national battery manufacturing development facility has been officially opened in Coventry, UK.

The UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) facility will support UK industry with development of battery technologies as the UK  aims to achieve ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by 2050 and the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans to be banned by 2030.

UKBIC can be used by any organisation that can benefit from finding out whether their advanced battery technologies can be scaled up successfully before committing to the huge investment required for mass production. 

The facility employs more than 80 battery technicians, engineers, and support staff, with plans for that number to grow to support future project partnerships with industry and research organisations.

Jeff Pratt, UKBIC’s managing director, said: “I’m delighted that UKBIC is open for business. Completed at deliberate speed during the pandemic, UKBIC is a key part of the UK Government’s Faraday Battery Challenge.” 

In addition to funding from the Faraday Battery Challenge through UK Research and Innovation, UKBIC is also part-funded through the West Midlands Combined Authority. The project has been delivered through a consortium of Coventry City Council, Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership and WMG, at the University of Warwick.

"UKBIC was created in 2018 following a competition led by the Advanced Propulsion Centre with support from Innovate UK.

David Greenwood, professor of Advanced Propulsion Systems, WMG at the University of Warwick said, “At the heart of the UK battery manufacturing landscape, this national infrastructure exists nowhere else in Europe, and gives the UK a major advantage for development of new battery technologies. 

"We continue to work very closely with UKBIC, with the focus at WMG in helping companies and universities prove out their battery chemistries and cell designs, ready for industrialisation at UKBIC. Together, we have built an ecosystem which allows battery companies to investigate new technologies, prove them out, then industrialise for high volume manufacture.”

Sarah Windrum, chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), said: “The submission of a planning application for a Gigafactory is the important next step as we seek to deliver battery production for the West Midlands”

Ian Constance, CEO of the Advanced Propulsion Centre said: “There’s billions of pounds of opportunity in the UK to manufacture the low-carbon technology needed by the automotive and clean-tech sectors. Recent announcements by Nissan and Stellantis to expand their electric vehicle operations here demonstrate the UK’s globally recognised expertise and capability in clean innovation.

Read the full article from BESTs visit to this state-of-the-art facility in the summer issue of BEST magazine.

 

The photo is of managing director Jeff Pratt, with prime minister Boris Johnson during his visit.

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