By July 24, 2017 Read More →

Britain funds electric battery technology development

electric battery

Britain is a fund to jumpstart the electric battery industry will help the country’s economic future as it bows out of the European Union. Mercedes Benz photo.

Electric battery development fund to help protect economy at Britain leaves EU

On Monday, Britain launched a £246 million ($320 million) fund to boost electric battery development, a growing industry linked to both the automotive and energy sectors.

With automakers like Tesla in the race to build more environmentally friendly vehicles with better charge times to meet customer demands and more challenging air quality targets, Britain is looking to jumpstart its electric battery manufacturing capacity.

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The first phase of the plan establishes a “Battery Institute” for research to help improve affordability of the burgeoning technology which also needs to increase charge, use times and capacity as well as reduce storage sizes.

Business Secretary Greg Clark is looking to establish a “National Battery Manufacturing Development facility”.  Clark says it would support the building of electric batteries for the automotive sector.

“Joining together the research, development, application and manufacture of energy storage technologies – and specifically battery storage – is a huge opportunity for the energy sector and the automotive sector alike,” Clark said during a speech in Birmingham.

Already, Nissan builds its Leaf in the north of England, but Britain’s biggest automaker, Jaguar Land Rover, builds its first low-emissions vehicle in Austria.

According to the company’s CEO, pilot testing, support from science and other factors need to be in place before JLR would build its electric models in Britain.

In September, BMW is expected to announce where it will be building its first electric model. So far, two Reuters sources say the company favours building the vehicle at its Oxford plant.

Business and academia will be able to apply for money from the government funds to work on a number of electric battery developments and is part of Prime Minister Theresa May’s industrial strategy.

It is also part of Britain’s plan to help protect its economy while it exits the European Union.

Many businesses are cautious about future investments in Britain as the country navigates through Brexit.  Companies are concerned Britain may lose unfettered and free trade with the EU once Britain cuts ties with its biggest trading partner in March 2019.

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