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Gov’t announce further investment to develop EV batteries
Coventry will be home to a new national centre of excellence in developing the latest electric car battery technology, backed by millions of pounds in government investment.
Minister for Business and Industry, Andrew Stevenson has announced a new £28 million investment in the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, providing a stepping stone for the ambition for a Gigafactory in the UK – a large-scale battery technology factory for electric vehicles.
The investment, through the modern Industrial Strategy’s Challenge Fund, comes on top of £80 million initial investment in the centre, which will provide world-leading testing facilities for new battery technologies. The investment will also provide practical training to upskill people in battery manufacturing.
The Business and Industry Minister made the announcement on a tour of the UKBIC site to mark new funding alongside Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, where they also unveiled the new Local Industrial Strategy for the West Midlands – the first in the country.
The Local Industrial Strategy sets out a long-term vision for the West Midlands to increase productivity – including how the region can harness the next developments in automotive technologies, such as electric vehicles and driverless cars.
Business and Industry Minister Andrew Stephenson said: “Putting the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacturing of zero emission vehicles is at the heart of our plans – creating jobs, growth and opportunity across the country.
“Driven by the potential of fast-paced development of battery technology, this investment puts the UK – amongst a handful of countries around the world – on the next step to meet the challenge by the future of mobility.
“Our investment of £28 million in this new facility will 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.”
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, added: “For Coventry to boast the UK’s Battery Industrialisation Centre is a major coup for the city and the wider West Midlands.
“This £108 million facility will give the city and the region a huge boost in the race to lead the world in the production of electric vehicles, which is an increasingly important market as we look to tackle air pollution and climate change.
“The Local Industrial Strategy being launched today also highlights advanced manufacturing, medical research and the creative and digital industries as distinct strengths of the West Midlands. The strategy will build on these strengths and other opportunities so we have a strong and resilient economic future that can benefit all communities across the whole region.”
Jeff Pratt, Managing Director of UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, concluded: “It is fantastic to see construction starting on UKBIC and we are looking forward to working with all our partners on this project which will have huge significance on the next generation of battery systems.”