As we move towards low-carbon alternatives, the future of cars is looking electric.
With transport up there as one of the leading emmiters of greenhouse gases, it’s clearly an area of focus in the drive for a more sustainable future.
That’s where the Faraday Battery challenge comes in. Announced last year by the government, the challenge is to make 50% of cars electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030. This £246 million commitment is being supported by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, set up to support science and innovation for the benefit of UK industries.
If realised, this scheme will dramatically change the way we use and store energy.
The Faraday Battery Challenge
The scheme was announced last year by the Business and Energy minister Greg Clark. It vowed to deliver a series of competitions to develop battery technologies, as well as the creation of the Battery Institute. The idea is to bring together the best minds in the field to transform the electric car industry.
The challenge requires a battery to be developed that’s more powerful and longer lasting than ever before. To achieve this goal, an innovative research programme has been set up which works collaboratively with industry insiders. It also allows companies of all sizes to swiftly bring new battery technologies to market.
Research networks and facilities are being built around the UK, a leading hub for battery science. However, developing an advanced battery won’t solve the issue alone. This research needs to be translated into market-ready technology. Compatible transport systems are also needed to roll out the scheme across the UK.
The Vehicle-to-Grid competition is a £20 million campaign to fund projects aiding the adoption of electric vehicles by working alongside the grid.
Research and Innovation
The research project encompasses everything from cell manufacture, modules, battery pack design and vehicle application. Innovate UK are investing £30 million into the research and development stage of the challenge.
Developing such a transformative technology is not without its risks and difficulties. The challenge, is to develop a safe, cost-effective and more durable battery than what’s come before. The new battery also needs to be high performing, light weight and recyclable.
This major project requires the collaboration of many different sectors with the shared goal of creating a new supply chain to produce batteries on a large scale.
The Wider Benefits of Battery Power
Once a high performing battery has been developed, it has the potential to benefit transport systems beyond cars. The implications of this new technology could be applied to rail, marine and aerospace systems to develop a lower-carbon economy.
It could also help energy in our homes to become more sustainable and help the UK meet its climate change obligations.
A Step Closer to Driverless Cars
Alongside this challenge, the government is also making funding available to off-road driverless vehicles for the first time. The aim is to improve productivity across a range of sectors including construction, farming and mining.
The Vehicle and Aviation Bill moving through parliament positions the UK as a leader of autonomous, driverless innovation.
Supporting the Future of Electric Cars
The Faraday Battery Challenge is being supported through funding from Innovate UK as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.
Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the national funding agency investing in science and research projects around the UK.
Subscribe to the Innovate UK YouTube channel to find out about the other cutting-edge projects they’ve helped fund, support and connect to build a sustainable future.