Coventry to Benefit from £80m Battery Grant
As many as 10,000 new jobs could be created in Coventry after £80million of government funding was announced for a national centre to develop batteries for the electric vehicles of the future.
The National Battery Manufacturing Development Facility (NBMDF) is seen as a key building block for Coventry to become the UK’s Motor City once again – and lead the world in electric vehicle technology.
That also includes long-term hopes outlined by Jaguar Land Rover boss Ralf Speth to make Coventry the centre of the car maker’s electric and autonomous car production plans.
Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, made the announcement Coventry had won a national competition for the new centre during an energy conference at the University of Warwick today.
The bid was made by WMG at the University of Warwick, Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Coventry City Council.
What’s it all about?
The NBMDF will see the development of the next generation of battery systems across battery chemistry, electrodes, cell design, module and pack level and will see a partnership between academia and industry.
A suitable site for the development will now be sought but it is likely it will become part of the Whitley South Technology Campus, close to the site where Jaguar Land Rover is currently expanding its operations.
The project has the potential to unlock 10,000 new jobs in Coventry once it is running at full capacity.
In November last year JLR chief executive Ralf Speth said the company wants to build the next generation of electric cars and their batteries in Coventry – generating thousands of jobs and creating the UK’s first ‘smart city’.
WMG has been working for 15 years with industry to develop and prove new battery technologies and has close ties with JLR.
Warwick Manufacturing Group
Prof Lord Bhattacharyya, chairman of WMG said: “We are delighted to have been successful in the bid to create this new national battery facility here in the Midlands.
“Working with industry and the supply chain we will develop and expand battery R&D which will see the creation of skilled jobs and developments within the automotive sector.”
“Coventry and the sub region has a significant contribution to make in the delivery of the UK’s national industrial strategy, being in a strong position to lead the advancement of battery development, and vehicle electrification and autonomous vehicles.
“It will be at the heart of the drive to make the city a smart motor city.”