United Kingdom – UK Government has handed out £30 million in funding for the research into battery technology, the electric vehicle supply chain and hydrogen vehicles.
Twenty two studies will receive a share of £9.4 million, including proposals to build a plant in Cornwall that will extract lithium for use in electric vehicle batteries, a plant to build specialized magnets for electric vehicle motors in Cheshire and lightweight hydrogen storage for cars and vans in Loughborough.
The government-backed Faraday Institution is also committing £22.6 million to continue its work to further improve the safety, reliability and sustainability of batteries.
Investment in battery technology creates jobs
Investment in battery technology will help motorists and the environment by improving performance and reducing costs of electric vehicles. It will also support the creation of new jobs, new industries and the development of technologies to power the automotive and energy revolution in the UK.
Automotive Transformation Fund studies
The Automotive Transformation Fund studies include projects from Cornish Lithium, Less Common Metals and Haydale Composites Solutions.
Cornish Lithium’s Trelavour Hard Rock Lithium Scoping Study will assess the feasibility of developing a sustainable UK supply chain through the construction of an extraction plant that will produce low-carbon lithium hydroxide from a hard rock source in St Austell.
Less Common Metals’ New UK Magnet Plant study has identified a promising approach to create a new UK magnet plant that will produce high-quality lightweight magnets for motors in electric vehicles
The third one is Haydale Composites Solutions’ Hydrogen storage for vehicles. Storing hydrogen requires high-strength durable containers for safe operation in vehicles. This project will assess the suitability of Haydale’s lightweight, low permeability storage tank, which could help to unlock the pathway to hydrogen propulsion.
Faraday institution funding
The Faraday institution will use the funding to explore battery safety, by investigating the root causes of cell failure in lithium-ion batteries and how this can lead to fires. It will also investigate the environmental consequences of such fires and help develop a consensus around the best method of fighting lithium-ion battery fires.
Furthermore, the Faraday institution will also explore solid state batteries, which have the long-term potential to deliver improvements in safety and significantly increase the distance an electric vehicle can cover between charges. Recycling and reusing batteries to increase the sustainability of the future automotive supply chain will also be explored.
The Faraday Institution will also examine the use of batteries on the energy grid and for aerospace. Under the Institution’s strengthened commercialization strategy, it will identify and target market opportunities, ensuring that the UK remains a competitive global leader in the latest battery technology.