UK electric car batteries hub one step closer

electric car batteries

A group from Coventry England is hoping to build a centre dedicated to furthering electric car batteries technology.

UK electric car battery hub development centre will help improve the technology

Politicians, academics and businesses from a city in Central England are laying the groundwork for a new national hub for the development of electric car batteries.

Officials are hoping with the advent of the centre, companies will work together to improve the technology and possibly pave the way for large-scale production.

Representatives from the city of Coventry, the historic home of the British car industry, have come together to pitch their plans for a “National Battery Prototyping Centre”.  The centre would focus on research and development as well as testing.

Ralf Speth, chief executive at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has said he wants to build electric models in the UK.

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In an interview with Reuters last year, Speth said it made sense to build EVs and batteries in the company’s home market, but only if conditions including pilot testing, support from science and energy supply were met.

At its plant in north England, Nissan builds its Leaf and BMW is expected to make a decision by the end of the year on whether to build its electric Mini at its plant in Oxford.  However, potential tariffs on vehicle exports following Brexit could affect the company’s decision.

At an event on Tuesday, Andy Street, mayor of the West Midlands region of central England told Reuters “We expect public money support for this facility, that’s what today is about.”

Street and other backers from the area are hoping their location will make them a practical choice for a national centre.  They say their plan could ultimately create 10,000 jobs.

UK business minister Greg Clark said while the decision would be up to the next administration, there is a clear will to push forward with such projects.

“The enthusiasm of everyone in the room, including JLR, to establish Coventry and the West Midlands as a test bed and place of innovation in battery storage is very evident and there’s huge commitment to that,” he told Reuters.

The proposals from the Coventry area have been spearheaded by the Warwick Manufacturing Group which works with manufacturers and is based at Warwick University.  Reuters reports the plans go some way to meeting JLR’s needs.

The group hopes the firm will commit to production in the future.

With customer demand for EVs and improved charge times rising as well as new air quality targets, area ministers are looking to build up British manufacturing capacity which has been lacking.

A decision on the winning proposals is expected soon after the June 8 national election.

 

 

 

 

 

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