The UK government yesterday announced the creation of a £13 million Energy Storage R&D Centre to focus on the development of batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles.
The centre at the University of Warwick, with £9 million in backing from the government and £4 million from industry, will aim to capitalise on the growing battery market, which could be worth £250 million for the UK economy by 2020.
The funding comes as part of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills’ £400 million commitment supporting the development of electric cars and other ultra-low carbon vehicles over the next four years.
“[The] energy storage R&D centre at the University of Warwick… will put the UK in a much stronger, competitive position to capitalise on a growing worldwide market for low carbon vehicles, alongside other world leaders in the field including the US, Japan and Germany,” commented Business Minister Michael Fallon.
The centre is being established within the government’s new High Value Manufacturing Catapult at the University, part of an initiative launched earlier this year to accelerate development in key sectors.
“By locating the centre within the new High Value Manufacturing Catapult, it will be possible to draw on capabilities that have already been developed in energy storage and help to speed up the commercialisation of new products,” explains David Bott, director of innovation programmes at the Technology Strategy Board.
While the centre will initially prioritise batteries for low and ultralow carbon vehicles, it has the potential to expand its remit to other transport applications like commercial and off-road vehicles, rail and marine transport, as well as other technologies such as fuel cells.
The news has been welcomed by carmaker Nissan, which has invested heavily in its UK production facilities.
“The announcement of the UK Energy Storage R&D Centre is great news and is further evidence that collaboration between the government, industry and academic institutions in the UK continues to create opportunities to increase innovation and further develop the supply chain in the automotive industry,” commented Jerry Hardcastle of Nissan Motor Company.
For further information:
Ford brings electric vehicle development in-house (16-Aug)
US Energy Department kick starts energy storage with $43 million (9-Aug)
Green local transport schemes get £113 million injection (25-May)
UK government propels green technologies ahead with Catapult (10-Feb)
06 September 2012