More than £30 million government investment to boost batteries and hydrogen vehicles

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Pioneering research into battery technology, the electric vehicle supply chain and hydrogen vehicles is to be backed by more than £30 million of government funding.

The government-backed Faraday Institution based at Harwell Campus is committing £22.6 million to build on its momentum in four key research challenges: extending battery life, battery modelling, recycling and reuse and solid-state batteries. In doing so, and by strengthening the organisation’s commercialisation team and strategy, it is further focusing on those areas of battery research that offer the most potential to deliver commercial impact for the UK.

Twenty two studies will receive a share of £9.4 million, including proposals to build a plant in Cornwall that will extract lithium for use in electric vehicle batteries, a plant to build specialised magnets for electric vehicle motors in Cheshire and lightweight hydrogen storage for cars and vans in Loughborough. Funding for the 22 studies into the automotive supply chain comes from the Automotive Transformation Fund, delivered through the Coventry based Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC).

This funding comes ahead of the phasing out of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. Research into alternative ways to power vehicles is a fundamental part of this transition, ensuring the UK remains a world leader in automotive technology and boosting jobs and skills in regions leading the way.

Minister for Investment Gerry Grimstone said: “The Faraday Institution’s vital research into energy storage is pivotal for meeting our net-zero commitments, particularly as we shift to low-emissions transport on our roads and in our skies.”

Professor Pam Thomas, CEO, Faraday Institution, added: “The Faraday Institution has been growing rapidly and achieving a great deal. With our projects maturing and now delivering scientific discoveries we have bolstered our commercialisation team and capability and strengthened our commercialisation strategy.”

Investment in battery technology will help motorists and the environment by improving performance and reducing costs of electric vehicles. It is also good for businesses and workers, supporting the creation of new jobs, new industries and the development of technologies to power the automotive and energy revolution in the UK.

The Faraday Institution will also examine the use of batteries on the energy grid and for aerospace. Under the Institution’s strengthened commercialisation strategy, which has also been launched today, it will identify and target market opportunities, ensuring that the UK remains a competitive global leader in the latest battery technology.

The Faraday Institution is the UK’s independent institute for electrochemical energy storage research, skills development, market analysis and early-stage commercialisation. It drives early stage, industry-inspired research with a clear mission: make significant scientific breakthroughs in battery research and put them on a path to commercialisation in the global race to electrification for the benefit of the UK.

The government is committed to advance the UK’s future transport system through its extensive R&D Roadmap and to increase economy-wide R&D investment to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.