The Government will invest a further £28 million in the new UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, which will develop state-of-the-art electric vehicle batteries and is currently under construction near Coventry.
The investment was announced by Business Secretary Greg Clark and follows the UK Governments initial £80 million investment in the facility, which is expected to serve as a precursor to a large-scale battery Gigafactory in Britain. It is part of a local West Midlands industrial strategy designed to drive growth in the region, including a series of investments in future vehicle technologies.
The Battery Industrialisation Centre was confirmed in 2017 as part of the governments Faraday Battery Challenge, and established as a partnership between Coventry City Council, Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, and the University of Warwick
The last investment in the battery installation will be used to develop battery testing facilities and to train personnel in battery production. Business Minister Andrew Stephenson said it was part of plans to make the UK a world leader in zero-emission vehicles.
“Putting the UK at the forefront of designing and manufacturing zero-emission vehicles is at the heart of our plans: to create jobs, growth and opportunities across the country,” Stephenson said. He added that the investment “would support the UKs leading automotive industry to compete internationally, attract more investment and establish supply chains for the design and development of new electric vehicle batteries.
The West Midlands Local Industrial Strategy calls for the region to play a key role in driving investment in the manufacture of electric vehicles, and to play a leading role in UK testing of connected self-contained vehicles. The strategy requires the West Midlands to deploy the first fully operational connected stand-alone vehicles before the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.