The UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) has officially opened, aiming to support UK industry with the development of battery technologies for future electrification.
The £130m facility, based in Coventry, covers 18,500 square metres, and can be used by any organisation working on batteries for EVs, rail, aerospace, industrial and domestic equipment as well as static energy storage.
Employing more than 80 battery technicians, engineers, and support staff, the facility is designed to support future project partnerships with both industry and research organisations.
Speaking during a visit last week [15 July], Boris Johnson, Prime Minister, said: “UKBIC is a beacon of innovation and ingenuity- shining the way for a brighter, greener future for the battery sector in the UK. It was an honour to open this world-class facility today and I cannot think of a more fitting backdrop here in Coventry to speak about the government’s ambitious agenda to level up across the UK.
“This facility will help to deliver green growth and jobs as industrial demand accelerates in the UK battery sector. With the technology and government backed expertise on offer right here in Coventry, I have no doubt that UKBIC will become world leaders in the industry.”
The state-of-the-art national facility has been developed to support the UK’s climate change targets, which includes achieving ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by 2050 and, for the automotive sector, an end to the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030.
Funding for the facility has been provided by the Faraday Battery Challenge through UK Research and Innovation, UKBIC is also part-funded through the West Midlands Combined Authority.
Tony Harper, Faraday Battery Challenge’s challenge director, added: “It is fantastic to have UKBIC declared open for business today. This complex state of the art facility that, despite the pandemic, has been delivered at least two years ahead of its nearest international rival will help ensure the UK fully prospers from the transition to electric vehicles. Jeff and the team deserve huge credit for this phenomenal achievement.
“This centre is an important part of the Faraday Battery Challenge at UK Research & Innovation. The highly coordinated challenge has a targeted £330 million programme of investment ranging from the creation of a battery “Science Superpower” in the Faraday Institution to scaling high-technology, high growth business and now to providing a world-class industrialisation capability.
“Having UKBIC open means we can help businesses focus on decarbonising all forms of transportation and support the UK’s push for net zero.”
The project has been delivered through a consortium of Coventry City Council, Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership and WMG, at the University of Warwick.