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21 June, 2022 - 16:37 By Tony Quested

Cambridge trio in UK battery and CleanTech research push

Three Cambridge companies and one from Essex have been hand-picked for an unprecedented push in battery and allied CleanTech research funded by the Government-backed Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF). 

Areas to be investigated include the development of EV battery components and the viability of using UK-sourced critical minerals.

A total of £9.4 million has been allocated to several six-month feasibility studies in battery advances.

The Cambridge trio involved are Echion Technologies, Nyobolt and Talga Anode UK Ltd. Altilium Metals in Tiptree flies the flag for Essex in the initiative.

Echion Technologies is spearheading the Project SHARP (Sprinting towards High-value Anode Roadmap for large-scale UK Production) feasibility study. This work will inform Echion’s high volume anode manufacturing strategy and prepare a roadmap and business case to grow the UK battery manufacturing supply chain and secure the UK’s international competitiveness in the field of advanced battery materials production.

In its project, Nyobolt is defining the requirements for a large-scale manufacturing facility to produce its high-power battery technology for the automotive sector. The innovation enables ultra-fast charging without sacrificing lifetime or safety.

Talga Anode UK’s feasibility study will evaluate the reuse of spent graphite anode material to produce high surface area graphite and graphene-like materials and develop a business case for further investment in the concept.

Altilium Metals’ feasibility study will accelerate and support the investment decision regarding it developing a new UK greenfield site capable of processing 10,000 MT of end-of-life lithium-ion electric vehicle batteries, gigafactory scrap and electronic waste.

The initiative will enable 4750 MT of critical cathode metals to be recovered and supplied back into the EV battery industry by 2025. This site is the first of four planned to meet UK demand until 2050.

The projects are part of a wider £43.7 million joint industry and government funding programme to support the development of the latest green auto tech, including electric motorbikes and off-road vehicles.

ATF says the projects involved in the broader programme could secure more than 550 jobs, spur growth across the country and save nearly 27.6 million tonnes of carbon emissions.

Ian Constance, chief executive at the APC says: “The projects receiving investment highlight the breadth of technologies needed to help the UK accelerate to net zero emissions. They’re reimagining not just vehicles but transport in general.”

This is the 19th round of funding coordinated by the Advanced Propulsion Centre which supports the development of low carbon emission technologies for cars, buses, heavy goods vehicles, and vans. 

These projects will help further the UK’s ongoing efforts to develop a sustainable supply chain for manufacturing electric vehicles by 2026.

• Photograph credit: asharkyu / shutterstock.com

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