UK invests to boost 'pioneering research' into batteries, EV supply chain and hydrogen

by John Shepherd
UK battery tech developer, Britishvolt, said last year it would build its first EV battery gigafactory in northeast England. Images: Britishvolt
The UK is to invest government funding of more than £30m in "pioneering battery technology research", the electric vehicle supply chain and hydrogen vehicles.

Twenty-two studies will receive a share of £9.4m, funded through the Automotive Transformation Fund, including an unspecified share for Cornish Lithium – to assess the feasibility of developing a sustainable UK supply chain for lithium hydroxide, by establishing a lithium extraction plant near St Austell, Cornwall.

Meanwhile, the government-backed Faraday Institution is committing the first year of a £22.6m programme to continue its battery research – to include investigating the root causes of cell failure in lithium-ion batteries and how this can lead to fires, extending battery life, recycling and re-use and solid-state battery technology.

'Investment crucial'

The Faraday Institution, launched three years ago, is the UK’s independent institute for electrochemical energy storage research, skills development, market analysis and early-stage commercialisation.

UK investment minister Gerry Grimstone said: "We have set an ambitious target to phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. To support that, it is crucial we invest in research so we can power ahead with the shift to electric vehicles as we build back greener from the pandemic.”

"The world-leading research announced showcases the very best of British innovation and it will support all stages of the automotive supply chain to make the switch to electric vehicles, from developing batteries, to exploring how to recycle them.”

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