Government invests £30m into electric and hydrogen car production

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The Government is set to pump another £30million into the development of electric cars in the UK, it has been revealed today.

Pioneering research into battery technology, the electric vehicle supply chain and hydrogen cars will be backed by the substantial taxpayer funding.

Investment minister Gerry Grimstone said: 'We have set an ambitious target to phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. 

'To support that it is crucial we invest in research so we can power ahead with the shift to electric vehicles as we build back greener from the pandemic.'

Green-vehicle investment: Some of the £30million allocated by the Government will be for research projects looking at how to recycle and reuse battery cells from end-of-life EVs

Some £9.4million of the investment will be spent across 22 studies. 

One of these includes proposals to build a plant in Cornwall that will extract lithium for use in electric vehicle batteries, a plant to build specialised magnets for electric vehicle motors in Cheshire and lightweight hydrogen storage for cars and vans in Loughborough. 

A further £22.6million has been granted to the government-backed Faraday Institution.

Launched three years ago, the project has convened a research community of over 450 researchers across 21 universities and a set of 50 industry partners to work on 'game-changing' energy storage technologies that will transform the UK energy landscape from transportation to grid. 

It will use the cash boost to further explore battery safety and the causes of battery-cell fires.

Another element of its research is focused on investigating the potential for solid-state battery technology as well as sustainability for the technology, mainly looking into the reuse of end-of-life batteries.

Some £9.4m of the investment will be spent across 22 studies. One of the, is a lithium-ion plant for Cornwall

How decommissioned vehicle battery cells can be recycled and reused in new electric models as well as how they could be implemented into the energy grid are among the tasks on Faraday's list.

The hope is that a vehicle-to-vehicle setup could allow the national grid to borrow electricity from electric cars that have been plugged in to charge, helping to ease pressure on the network at times of peak demand.

 We have set an ambitious target to phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. To support that it is crucial we invest in research so we can power ahead with the shift to electric vehicles as we build back greener from the pandemic

Gerry Grimstone, Minister for Investment

'The funding comes ahead of the phasing out of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, as pledged in the Government’s 10 Point Plan for a green industrial revolution,' says a statement by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

'Research into alternative ways to power vehicles is a fundamental part of this transition, ensuring the UK remains a world leader in automotive technology and boosting jobs and skills in regions leading the way. '

Grimstone added: 'The world-leading research announced today showcases the very best of British innovation and it will support all stages of the automotive supply chain to make the switch to electric vehicles - from developing batteries, to exploring how to recycle them.'

Professor Pam Thomas, chief executive at Faraday Institution, added: 'With our projects maturing and now delivering scientific discoveries we have bolstered our commercialisation team and capability and strengthened our commercialisation strategy. 

'In doing so we are directing even more effort towards those areas of battery research that offer the maximum potential of delivering commercial, societal and environment impact for the UK.'

BEIS said that the funding will 'ensure the UK remains a world leader in automotive technology and boosting jobs and skills in regions leading the way'

The Government claims the research will lead to improved performance in electric and hydrogen vehicles as well as cementing Britain's position at the forefront of their development.

As a result, ministers estimate it could seen a spike in available new jobs in the automotive sector. 

It says investment in research and development could grow to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. 

How the £30million investment is being distributed 

£22.6MILLION FARADAY INSTITUTION PROJECTS

The £22.6m announced today will fund refocused research projects, including targeting market opportunities and early-stage commercial development, in the following areas: 

EXTENDING BATTERY LIFE

Led by Prof Clare Grey, University of Cambridge, with researchers from the Universities of Birmingham, Liverpool, Oxford, Sheffield, Southampton, Warwick, Imperial College London and UCL. 

BATTERY MODELLING 

Led by Dr Gregory Offer, Imperial College London, with researchers from the Universities of Bath, Birmingham, Lancaster, Oxford, Portsmouth, Southampton, Warwick and UCL.

RECYCLING & REUSE

Led by Dr Paul Anderson, University of Birmingham, with researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh, Leicester, Newcastle and UCL.

SOLID-STATE BATTERIES

Led by Prof Peter Bruce, University of Oxford, with researchers from the Universities of Liverpool, Sheffield, Warwick and UCL. •

BATTERY SAFETY 

Led by Prof Paul Shearing of UCL, with researchers from the Universities of Cambridge, Newcastle, Sheffield, Warwick, Imperial College London and UCL.

£9.4MILLION AUTOMOTIVE TRANSFORATION FUND STUDY COMEPTITION 

The winners from the second Automotive Transformation Fund Feasibility Study Competition FS2 received a share of £9.4 million in public funding. Below, you can find out more about each of the studies.

BATTERIES

Advanced Energy Minerals (UK) Ltd – 5N HPA Manufacturing Plant – Coventry, West Midlands

Cornish Lithium Ltd – Trelavour Hard Rock Lithium Scoping Study – Penryn, Cornwall

EVC Powertech Ltd – 6-minute EV – an EV battery that can be charged in 6-minutes – Birmingham, West Midlands

Green Lithium Refining Ltd – Green Lithium – Rosyth Refinery – Rosyth, Dunfermlin

Ilika Technologies Ltd & Comau – A technical feasibility study of the manufacturing scale up for Ilika’s Solid State Batteries – Romsey, Hampshire

Ricardo UK Ltd – Feasibility study to quantify the opportunity for niche volume battery pack manufacturing in the UK, including consideration of ‘second life’ processing – Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex

RML Group Ltd – Feasibility study into the scale-up operations and processes of a UK battery manufacturing facility – Wellingborough, Northants

Talga Anode UK Ltd – CALIBER: Conductive Additives to reduce Lithium Ion Battery Electrode Resistance – Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

FUEL CELLS

GKN Autostructures Ltd – H.E.N.R.Y – Telford, Shropshire

Haydale Composite Solutions Ltd – Graphene Enhanced Composite Hydrogen Tanks for Automotive (REACH-OUT) – Loughborough, Leicestershire

Loop Technology Ltd – HySMART – Dorchester, Dorset

Ultima Forma Ltd – HYSTOR – Composite Electroformed Hydrogen Tank – Farnham, Surrey

Xcience Ltd – Hydrogen Storage for Transport– HYTRANSTOR – Frimley, Surrey

MOTORS & DRIVES 

Electrified Automation Ltd – Removing barriers for OEMs through Automated Manufacturing (ROAM) – Bridgwater, Somerset

Equipmake Ltd – Electric Drivetrain Scale Up Manufacturing Study (EDSUMS) – Snetterton, Norfolk

Ford Motor Company Ltd – GigaDriveUK: Feasibility of high volume electric drive unit and hybrid transmission manufacture within Ford UK – Basildon, Essex

Less Common Metals Ltd – New UK Magnet plant – Ellesmere Port, Cheshire

Meritor Heavy Vehicle Braking Systems (UK) Ltd – PARETA – High Efficiency Parallel Motor for Automotive Application – Cwmbran, Monmouthshire

Q-Flo Ltd – Enabling EMI Shielding – Doncaster, South Yorkshire

RECYCLING 

Baruch Enterprises Ltd – Lithium Ion Battery Assembly and Remanufacturing facility (Li-BAR) – Edmonton, London

Entrust EV Technology Ltd – Reprocessing Retired EV Batteries for Secondary Use – Lancaster, Lancashire

Innvotek Ltd – Second life batteries for future applications (Batt2TheFuture) – Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

SAVE MONEY ON MOTORING

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