UK R&D centre will focus on electric vehicle battery technology

A new automotive R&D centre dedicated to the advancement of electric and hybrid vehicle batteries is to open in the UK.

Co-funded by government and industry, the £13million UK Energy Storage R&D Centre will be located at the University of Warwick's High Value Manufacturing Catapult. It is being created to capitalise on the growing electric and hybrid vehicle battery market, which is expected to be worth £250million for the UK by 2020. Business Minister Michael Fallon commented: "I'm pleased to announce this joint government and industry project to develop an energy storage R&D centre at the University of Warwick. It 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 United States, Japan and Germany. "This £13m facility will help accelerate the development of battery cells for the next generation of vehicles, and is a vital investment in the future of the automotive sector. It complements over £5.5billion that global vehicle manufacturers have committed to UK projects in the last 18 months." Jerry Hardcastle, chairman of the group and global chief marketability engineer at Nissan Motor Company, described the centre as 'great news' for the automotive industry. "The UK Energy Storage R&D Centre is further evidence that collaboration between the government, industry and academic institutions in the UK continues to create opportunities to increase innovation," he noted. According to a statement, the centre will focus on the immediate priority of batteries for the low and ultra low carbon vehicles, with the potential to extend to storage for other transport applications including commercial and off-road vehicles, rail and marine, and to other technologies such as fuel cells.