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UK to lead on automotive battery innovation

A new £80m facility in the UK plans to lead the world on the development of the next generation of automotive battery systems.

Jeff Pratt, MD of the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC)

Jeff Pratt, MD of the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC)

The UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) is part of the Government’s Faraday Battery Challenge – a £246m commitment over the next four years on battery development for the automotive sector– and will be headed by newly appointed Jeff Pratt, who joins from Nissan, having worked on the latest batteries at the carmaker’s lithium-ion battery plant in Sunderland.

UKBIC plans to deliver on the UK’s Industrial Strategy and will develop the processes to transition the UK to become a world leader in design, development and manufacture of batteries through collaborative R&D between industry and academia.

The centre will see the development of the next generation of battery systems across battery chemistry, electrodes, cell design, module and pack level. An open access facility, it is due to open in 2020.

A national competition, which was led by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) and supported by Innovate UK, to establish a new UK facility was won through a joint bid by WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group), at the University of Warwick, Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Coventry City Council.

Pratt said: “The automotive industry is undergoing huge change with electrification. The UKBIC, in conjunction with the Faraday Battery Challenge, will play a pivotal role in supporting the UK’s electric vehicle battery industry and enhancing development growth in the UK.”

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Jonathan Musk

Jonathan turned to motoring journalism in 2013 having founded, edited and produced Autovolt - one of the UK's leading electric car publications. He has also written and produced books on both Ferrari and Hispano-Suiza, while working as an international graphic designer for the past 15 years. As the automotive industry moves towards electrification, Jonathan brings a near-unrivalled knowledge of EVs and hybrids to Fleet World Group.