The UK government is investing extra cash in the construction of a battery centre in the city of Coventry as a “stepping stone” towards launching a national gigafactory.
Business and industry minister Andrew Stephenson (pictured) announced £28 million (US$35.8m) for the new UK Battery Industrialisation Centre— set to open in 2020— which will provide “world-leading testing facilities for new battery technologies”.
The cash boost, through the UK’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, is in addition to an initial £80m investment in the centre— which will also provide practical training to “upskill people in battery manufacturing”, Stephenson said on 16 May.
Tony Harper, head of the British Faraday Challenge said: “This new world-class facility will allow the UK to rigorously prepare our home-grown battery technologies for global competitiveness. This additional investment will mean its ambitious facilities will be expanded and improved to meet the soaring demand of the electric vehicle global market.”
The Faraday Challenge programme, set up in 2017 to kickstart a UK advanced battery capability to deliver energy storage for the next generation of UK-made low- and zero-emission vehicles, is committed to spending £243m on R&D in its first four years.
However, proposals revealed earlier this month that could see the UK increase taxes on low-carbon technologies such as battery storage have come under fire from the renewables industry.