In the UK, the Faraday Institution has announced that it will award up to £55 million to five UK-based consortia for research on battery chemistries, systems and manufacturing methods. The research should accelerate battery improvements for transport and grid storage.
The grant portfolio has the dual aims of improving current-generation lithium-ion batteries to support the commercialisation of next-generation batteries. Neil Morris, CEO of the Faraday Institution, said, “It is imperative that the UK takes a lead role in increasing the efficiency of energy storage as the world moves towards low carbon economies and seeks to switch to clean methods of energy production”.
Since improvements in EV cost, range and longevity are in demand Morris insists that research should improve this web of battery performance indicators. “Our fundamental research programmes are putting the UK at the forefront of this disruptive societal, environmental and economic change.”
The University of Oxford will lead a consortium of five other university and six industry partners to improve manufacturing in electrodes for Li-ion batteries since the Faraday Institute expects that the biggest performance gains to Li-ion batteries are likely to arise from changes to the cathode chemistry.
Business Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, said, “Today’s funding backs scientists and innovators to collaborate on projects that will deliver a brighter, cleaner future on our roads. We are committed to ensuring that the UK is at the forefront of developing the battery technologies needed to achieve our aim for all cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2040.”
The Faraday Battery Challenge is part of the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), with oversight from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to help transform the production of batteries for the future of electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK.