The UK government has awarded millions of pounds to help boost manufacturing of electric vehicle batteries, including a project to build the country’s second purpose-built electric battery plant and another to make the tech more powerful.
Williams Advanced Engineering has received funding from the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) and will make batteries for the likes of luxury car-maker Aston Martin.
APC’s Director of Technology and Projects Jon Beasley said the project will further develop and make available battery systems in order to overcome significant supply chain gaps in the UK.
Carmakers want to build greener cars and improve charge times in a bid to meet rising customer demand and fulfill air quality targets, but since the UK’s manufacturing was destroyed in the 1980s, Britain lacks sufficient manufacturing capacity.
Now the government wants to build that up again. Nissan builds batteries and its electric Leaf model at its north of England plant in Sunderland but others have opted to build their low-emissions models elsewhere, including Britain’s biggest carmaker Jaguar Land Rover.
In a separate project, the motorsports division of Germany’s BMW will partner with the University of Warwick and another firm to design, develop and produce power dense batteries in Britain, the APC said.
BMW’s Mini brand is due to decide this year whether to build its first electric model at its southern English plant in Oxford.
Britain’s business ministry said it had allocated over £100 million ($124 million) in investment in multiple projects including with U.S. carmaker Ford and in the development of lightweight technologies at Jaguar Land Rover.