UK EV battery projects receive £23m funding boost

A raft of projects focused on the development of battery technology for electric vehicles have received a £23m funding boost from the UK government.

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The collaborative projects, which range from a new AI-based battery manufacturing approach to the development of safety systems to prevent overheating have been awarded a total of £23 million of funding by the government’s Faraday Battery Challenge.

Established to supercharge the UK’s electric vehicle expertise by driving collaboration across academia and business, the challenge will ultimately see a total of £274 million awarded to EV battery projects. The latest wave of funding takes the amount invested up to £82.6 million in 63 projects.

Amongst the latest winners are a Granta Design led study looking into the use of artificial intelligence in battery manufacture, and a project led by mining consultancy firm Wardell Armstrong which 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.

Also successful is the Jaguar Land Rover-led LIBRIS project which is looking to improve understanding of the causes of “thermal runway” events. The project team claims that its research will lead to better battery pack design and control software, better fire sensing equipment, more use of innovative flame-retardant materials and better packaging for batteries in transport and during storage.

Meanwhile, an initiative that includes Oxford University spin-out Brill Power, Aston Martin, Delta Motorsport and Imperial College London will be exploring the development of new kinds of energy storage systems for hybrid electric vehicles that uses a combination of lithium ion batteries and supercapacitors.

Commenting on the funding 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."