The UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) is set to become operational in the coming months. The 18,500m2 publicly funded facility, located in Coventry, UK, is intended to be accessible to any organization with existing or new battery technology, provided it has the potential to bring jobs and investment to the UK market.
It is equipped with a raft of battery manufacturing equipment, allowing emerging technologies to be assessed in terms of industrial feasibility. The flexible facilities are also designed so that several users can run projects at the same time in discrete areas, while also providing opportunities for hands-on training in battery production.
UKBIC currently employs 86 people, including battery technicians, engineers and consultants, with plans for that number to reach 100 in order to support future project partnerships with industry and research organizations. The specialist battery manufacturing equipment being installed covers the whole production process from powders and electrodes to cell, module and pack assembly.
Jeff Pratt, UKBIC’s managing director, commented, “Our battery production development facility can be used by companies working on electric vehicles, rail, aerospace, industrial and domestic equipment and static energy storage, who can benefit by finding out whether their innovations can be scaled up successfully before committing to the huge investment needed for mass production.
“We and our partners have continued to work on the facility throughout the Covid-19 period. Although we have seen some delays, we have continued to make excellent progress, and are now seeing our first facilities beginning to come on stream.”
UKBIC is a key part of the Faraday Battery Challenge, a UK government program to fast track the development of cost-effective, high-performance, durable, safe, low-weight and recyclable batteries.
Tony Harper, the industrial strategy challenge director – Faraday Battery Challenge at UK Research and Innovation, remarked, “I’m delighted that three years after it was just a concept, UKBIC is already on its way to becoming a world-class battery manufacturing facility. It will enable us to deploy battery technology at scale, build new supply chains, and through the combination of government and industry, help develop cost-effective, high-performance, durable, safe, low-weight and recyclable batteries which will be vital to meet the increasing demand of the global battery market.”