Government invests a further £28 million in UK battery centre

The Government has increased its investment in a UK Battery Industrialisation Centre near Coventry, as a step towards a British Gigafactory.

The further £28 million investment on top of the original £80 million is set to reinforce the UK Governments aim for a large-scale battery Gigafactory in Britain. It is part of a West Midlands Local Industrial Strategy designed to drive growth in the region, which includes a number of investments in future vehicle technologies.

The Battery Industrialisation Centre, announced in 2017, is a partnership between Coventry City Council, Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, and the University of Warwick. As part of the government’s Faraday Battery Challenge, it is hoped it will increase expertise in the field, and make the UK a more prominent contender for large-scale battery production in the future. The increase in investment for the battery facility will be used to develop battery testing facilities, and to train staff in battery production.

“Putting the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacturing of zero emission vehicles is at the heart of our plans,” said Minister Andrew Stephenson. He went on to say that the investment would “support the UK’s world-leading automotive industry to compete internationally, attract further investment and establish supply chains for new electric vehicle battery design and development.”

The West Midlands Local Industrial Strategy calls for the region to play a key role in driving investment in electric vehicle manufacturing, and to play a leading role in UK trials of connected autonomous vehicles. The strategy calls for the West Midlands to deploy the first fully operational connected autonomous vehicles ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which will be held in Birmingham.