Press release

Green light for investment in electric car battery development

Government announces £23 million of funding for businesses large and small to develop the latest technology for electric car batteries.

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  • Government invests £23 million to keep the UK at the forefront of electric car development
  • Companies benefiting from this government investment will use it in the development of the latest battery technologies
  • Part of the modern Industrial Strategy’s Future of Mobility Grand Challenge

Companies across the country are set to benefit from £23 million government investment to help them keep the UK at the forefront of developing the latest electric vehicle technology.

Businesses ranging from small designers to major car manufacturers are among the winners of the government’s Faraday Battery Challenge announced by Business Secretary Greg Clark.

It forms part of the government’s drive to maintain the UK as a world-leader in the latest technologies and emerging markets, through its modern Industrial Strategy.

The Faraday Battery Challenge brings together world-leading academia and businesses to accelerate the research needed to develop the latest electric car battery technologies – a crucial part of the UK’s move towards a net zero emissions economy.

It is also a key contributor to all new cars and vans being effectively zero emission by 2040.

Winners include:

  • Mining consultancy firm Wardell Armstrong who will work with experts at the Natural History Museum and mining firm Cornish Lithium to lead a new study looking to develop a UK supply of lithium, helping to meet the massive demand expected from the transition to electric vehicles
  • A Jaguar Land Rover-led project to maximise battery performance while maintaining safety
  • A study looking into the use of artificial intelligence in battery manufacture, led by materials technology company Granta Design.

Business and Energy Secretary, Greg Clark said:

We are committed to ensuring our world-leading automotive sector can flourish. These exciting new projects will build on the UK’s reputation for excellence, our rich heritage in the auto industry and pave the way for advances towards a cleaner economy.

We will continue to invest in future car manufacturing, batteries and electrification infrastructure through our modern Industrial Strategy and today’s winners will be crucial in ensuring that the UK leads the world in the global transition to a low carbon economy - one of the greatest industrial opportunities of our time.

Today’s £23 million investment forms part of the total £274 million that will be awarded to consortia across the UK through the Faraday Battery Challenge, part of the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).

Faraday Battery Challenge Director Tony Harper said:

Across the three rounds of funding competitions we have now awarded a total of £82.6 million to 63 projects.

This is a massive investment in business-led battery R&D in the UK, supporting innovative technologies and helping to build a UK supply chain that can compete on the global stage”.

UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive, Professor Sir Mark Walport, said:

The Faraday Battery Challenge brings together the UK’s world-class expertise across research and industry to deliver battery technologies that will power the vehicles of the future.

The projects announced today emphasise how this collective expertise is being brought to bear on the biggest challenges facing the development of next-generation electric car batteries, from their power source and performance to safety and manufacturing.

Notes to editors

  • Other projects that were granted funding are listed.
  • The ISCF is delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). UKRI is a new body which works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish.
  • The Faraday Battery Challenge is a £274 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.
  • As a key part of the UK government’s modern Industrial Strategy, the Future of Mobility Grand Challenge was announced in 2017 to encourage and support extraordinary innovation in UK engineering and technology, making the UK a world leader within the transport industries.
  • This includes facilitating profound changes in transport technologies and business models, to make the movement of people, goods and services across the nation greener, safer, easier and more reliable.
Published 11 June 2019