Advanced Propulsion Centre hands out grants to 22 projects aimed at developing a UK supply chain for batteries and other EV components
A raft of battery, electronics, mining, and recycling projects have scooped up a share of £25m in government funding this week designed to help scale up the supply chain for electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing and recycling in the UK.
Twenty-two projects comprising 35 UK-based companies and research organisations have each secured grants worth up to £2m each through a programme aimed at supporting large-scale industrialisation led by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC).
Up to £1m of funding is being invested in developing a "high-value, end-to-end electrified automotive supply chain" in the UK, with winning projects focused on delivering supplies of critical materials such as lithium and other minerals through mining and recycling.
Grant winners include several pilot EV battery and fuel factory projects, such as those led by Amte Power, Reaction Engines and Bramble Energy, as well as Altilium Metals' efforts to develop plans for a commercial battery waste recycling plant.
Battery-grade lithium mining start-ups British Lithium and Cornish Lithium have also both secured grants from APC to help scale-up their ambitious plans to access reserves of lithium in the South West of England.
APC chief executive, Ian Constance, said the funding announced on Wednesday was aimed at supporting projects that could enable the large-scale domestic manufacturing of technologies that can supply the fast-expanding EV sector, such as power electronics, motors, batteries and fuel cells.
"These successful projects will support the UK automotive industry, by increasing confidence in large-scale manufacturing investments and building electrified supply chains," he said. "It is vital in the transition to net zero that the automotive sector seizes the opportunity to grow the industry, create or safeguard jobs and build on the expertise anchored here in the UK."
Cornwall-based British Lithium said it had secured £2m funding from the APC to support its plans to develop industrial extraction of lithium carbonate from Cornish granite. The firm has already built a pilot plant in St Austell, part funded by Innovate UK, where earlier this year it successfully produced 99.9 per cent battery-grade lithium.
The firm's chief executive, Andrew Smith, said the APC grant would be "key in helping us move on to the next phase of our development".
"Lithium has never been produced commercially from mica before, so it's been very important to rigorously test, refine and optimise our technology," he said.
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