Five of the best: Faraday Battery Challenge grant winners

With the Government announcing £22m of funding for a host of "world-leading" battery storage projects, edie takes a look at five of the winning programmes that could accelerate the UK's burgeoning low-carbon economy.

Last week, BEIS Secretary Greg Clark confirmed the latest batch of Faraday Battery Challenge research & development projects that will receive financial backing to help “realise the economic benefits the global transition to a low-carbon economy offers”.

Announcing the winners, Clark boldly declared that the the £22m investment would help put Britain “at the heart of the low-carbon energy revolution”. A dozen innovation projects received the green light from the Government’s Faraday Battery Challenge, and below, edie has rounded up five of the best.

1) ‘UK first’ industrial scale battery recycling scheme

In response to the ever-increasing demand for energy storage devices in the automotive industry, the R2LIB (Reclamation, Remanufacture of Lithium Ion Batteries) project will develop the first UK industrial scale capability to reclaim and reuse battery essential materials.

The scheme will bring together will bring together a group of organisations including Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and cobalt salt producer ICoNiChem. Electrochemical materials firm PV3 will investigate the use of these salts in a recycled cathode production, partnering with other parts of the equipment materials supply chain.

2) Ultra-fast electric car charging technology

The PowerDrive Line project being led by Southampton-based company Ilika focuses on solid state battery cell development. This 30-month collaborative programme will develop a lithium based solid-state battery for plug in hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs), establish a pre-pilot line for solid-state battery cell technology and develop processes for a new UK based solid-state materials supply chain.

It is hoped the technology will enable safer, high-powered batteries that can be charged in less than 25 minutes and put the UK on a path to produce materials for the manufacture of solid-state battery cells and packs.

3)  Electrified powertrain development consortium 

A consortium led by McLaren Automotive, the pioneering British creator of luxury sportscars and supercars, along with partners including a world-class cell manufacturer, a technology company at the forefront of materials innovation and a leading university, aims to accelerate the development of electrified powertrains to help reduce vehicle mass, minimise emissions, and match traditional powertrain usability characteristics.

The consortium identifies that current electric technology is not sufficiently mature for the demands of high performance cars due to high weight, range limitations and battery management challenges. Through the development of new materials for cells and a modular designed battery, the group will  look to delivering advance needed to achieve improved levels of functionality and performance, which may one day benefit volume car buyers.

4) High-performance battery pack innovation

Aston Martin Lagonda has teamed up with Dukosi and Imperial College London to develop a framework that enables the better performance of battery packs. The team are working on building battery packs that are tailored for the vehicle to allow them to work at peak efficiency, maximise lifetime and manage the significant heat generated. The aim is to develop technology that to be integrated into a variety of vehicles, including Aston Martin’s Lagonda product range.


5) ‘Revolutionary’ battery management system 

The WIZer Batteries programme brings together experts in mechanical engineering at Imperial College London alongside Williams Advanced Engineering, Zapgo, Codeplay Software and PowerOasis. This project aims to deliver an improved system to design and manage a combination of technologies that power EVs so that owners and manufacturers are getting the best out of them. The participants claim that a new approach to battery management system will result in many benefits including faster charging, enhanced power delivery and longer battery lifetimes.

George Ogleby 

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