The UK Government has announced that Coventry’s UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) will be a new centre of excellence for electric vehicle (EV) battery technology. The announcement was made by Minister for Business and Industry Andrew Stephenson at the UKBIC site on 16 May.
Stephenson announced that the centre would receive an investment of £28m on top of the £80m already provided by the government as part of its Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. UKBIC is slated to become the UK’s first Gigafactory, which develops large-scale EV batteries.
Stephenson also launched the West Midlands Local Industrial Strategy, which will work towards developing cleaner and autonomous vehicles alongside EV battery manufacturing.
He said: “Putting the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacturing of zero emission vehicles is at the heart of our plans, creating jobs, growth and opportunity across the country.
“Driven by the potential of fast-paced development of battery technology, this investment puts the UK, amongst a handful of countries around the world, on the next step to meet the challenge by the future of mobility.
“Our investment of £28 million in this new facility will support the UK’s world-leading automotive industry to compete internationally, attract further investment and establish supply chains for new electric vehicle battery design and development.”
Mayor of the West Midlands Andrew Street added: “For Coventry to boast the UK’s Battery Industrialisation Centre is a major coup for the city and the wider West Midlands.
“This £108 million facility will give the city and the region a huge boost in the race to lead the world in the production of electric vehicles, which is an increasingly important market as we look to tackle air pollution and climate change.”
This announcement follows a series of proposals to increase EV production and use. In February 2019, the government stated that it would invest £6m in over 300 charge points for taxis across the country. It also said that it would invest £48m for 263 ultra-low emission buses and supporting infrastructure across the UK.