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Partnering with Rolls-Royce and Electroflight to create the battery for world’s fastest all-electric aircraft

  • The Rolls-Royce ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aircraft is officially the world’s fastest all-electric aircraft, clocking up speeds of 387.4mph
  • Rolls-Royce worked in partnership with aviation energy storage specialist Electroflight to create this world-class technical achievement for the UK, that will help lead the way towards a more sustainable way to fly
  • In order to power the aircraft, the most power dense propulsion battery pack ever assembled in aerospace had to be developed directly supported by researchers from WMG, University of Warwick using their state-of-the-art battery characterisation and testing facilities

In the wake of COP26 the need for electrification has never been more evident, with aviation top of the list of global priorities.

Committed to taking on this challenge, Rolls-Royce decided to create the ‘Spirit of Innovation’, an all-electric aircraft, which this week officially set not one,Picture of , Rolls-Royce ‘Spirit of Innovation’ all-electric aircraft but two World Records and during these record runs it reached speeds of 387.4mph (623 km/h) making it the world’s fastest all-electric vehicle.

In embarking on this unprecedented feat, Rolls-Royce partnered with aviation energy storage specialist Electroflight to help develop the battery system for the record-breaking plane. The WMG team at the University of Warwick were exclusively used to test and validate the batteries used on the aircraft.

Using their state-of-the-art facilities at WMG’s Energy Innovation Centre, researchers at WMG supported the team through the development process, conducting extensive electrical, thermal, safety, and vibration & shock testing. This was delivered all the way from Electroflight’s initial single lithium-ion cell selection through to the battery module and finally the battery pack for a full propulsion battery system.

Testing included cell selection, fire protection system design, module level thermal management, system testing and pack level testing, and also included sub-powertrain testing of the battery system and electric machines connected together.

Individual components such as the battery casing materials, individual lithium-ion cells, cell clusters and sub-modules were all examined in WMG’s battery testing laboratories including the Battery Abuse Testing Centre. Aerospace DO-160G shock and vibration testing was performed in WMG’s battery vibration facility – the first time an aircraft propulsion battery has successfully completed DO-160G testing in the UK.

On 16th November, the Spirit of Innovation took to the sky at the UK Ministry of Defence’s Boscombe Down experimental aircraft testing site for its record-breaking flight. Data was submitted to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), who control and certify world aeronautical records, have confirmed that the Spirit of Innovation is the world’s fastest electric plane.

The two new world records broken are:

1. The aircraft reached a top speed of 555.9 km/h (345.4 mph) over 3 kilometres, smashing the existing record by 213.04 km/h (132mph)

2. The aircraft achieved 532.1km/h (330 mph) over 15 kilometres – 292.8km/h (182mph) faster than the previous record

Chief Engineer Mark Amor-Segan, from WMG, University of Warwick comments:
“It’s incredibly exciting to see Rolls-Royce’s ‘Spirit of Innovation’ be awarded two new world records and officially be titled the World’s fastest all-electric aircraft. It has been a tremendous journey to share with Electroflight, to help verify and validate the battery system end-to-end and help create the most power-dense propulsion battery ever for Aerospace.

“We have worked closely with Electroflight and Rolls-Royce throughout this process, cementing new collaborative relationships and helping achieve world-class pioneering technology. To see it progress from literally a single cell into a full-scale battery system and a world-record breaking flight, is tribute to the incredible dedication and capability of the whole team at ACCEL. This project has played a very important part in our work in Aerospace, and we’re excited to continue our research into electrification and the future of sustainable flight.”

Douglas Campbell, Technical Director of Electroflight said:

“This has been a landmark project for our company and our industry – one which opens up a world of possibilities in the electrification of aviation. We’re thrilled to have played such an important part in this success and grateful to our partners at WMG for their support throughout this endeavour.”

Customer Director Matheu Parr from Rolls-Royce added: “The support we received from WMG to develop the battery technology that would power the world’s fastest all-electric aircraft was critical for the team’s record-breaking triumphs. Rolls-Royce has a long-standing relationship with WMG to ensure we are the forefront of technology and we will build on this capability to deliver propulsion and power systems for the advanced air mobility market.”

ENDS

26 JANUARY 2022

NOTES TO EDITORS

High-res images available at:

Pictures and B-Roll video footage can be found here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/rolls-royceplc/albums/72157705298410174
https://vimeo.com/rollsroyceplc
Credit: Rolls-Royce

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager – Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 7920 531 221
E-mail: alice.j.scott@warwick.ac.uk

Wed 26 Jan 2022, 13:29 | Tags: HVM Catapult Research Transport Electrification

Challenges of transport electrification skills to be addressed by Universities of Warwick and Newcastle

Image of a battery pouch made at WMGTwo leading universities in the field of electrification – WMG at the University of Warwick and Newcastle University – are coming together to ensure the UK workforce has the skills necessary to meet the challenges of the transition to fully electric production.

As anchor higher education institutions with exceptional research and innovation programmes operating in regions at the forefront of the UK’s electric revolution, the universities intend the collaboration will enable the growth of a talent pipeline of graduates and postgraduates into UK business. Led by WMG at the University of Warwick and Zero Carbon Futures at Newcastle University part of the school of engineering, the effort will identify the people, skills and facilities needed across a range of academic disciplines and levels in order to deliver new curriculums to meet growing industry demand.

The UK’s move to fully electric vehicle production and domestic battery manufacturing represents the largest shift in industrial skills for the UK in a generation, leaving competency gaps at all job levels, particularly in engineering and manufacturing roles which will need to be filled with specific education and training. The Faraday Institution estimates that to meet automotive production demand by 2040, an additional 70,000 skilled employees will be needed for battery manufacture and in the associated material supply chain.

“In light of COP26, which stressed the need for electrification to help us combat climate change and reach Net Zero goals, it is imperative that researchersPicture of a battery production line at WMG and industry work together to bridge the gaps and create a smooth transition to electrification,” commented Dr Benjamin Silverstone from WMG, University of Warwick. “We are delighted to be working with Newcastle University and believe that together we can define what and who needs upskilling, reskilling and new-skilling.”

Professor Colin Herron CBE, Zero Carbon Futures at Newcastle University and Faraday Institution North East regional liaison said, “The bringing together of the two leading universities in electrification, located in the two regions leading on transport electrification is an exciting prospect, and one which should deliver the skills required for massive challenges ahead.”

“We fully support this collaboration between two powerhouse institutions working at the forefront of electrification,” said Professor Pam Thomas, CEO, The Faraday Institution. “Such innovative partnerships will enable the UK to anticipate and deliver the skills needed to fully electrify transport, grow new talent for battery production, and support green growth and economic development."

Another key objective of the collaboration is to help shape national and regional skills strategies and in so doing support national and regional economic development. The call for a collaborative approach to re-skilling, up-skilling and new-skilling the workforce for the electric revolution was published in a report by WMG, University of Warwick, the Faraday Institution and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult ‘The Opportunity for a National Electrification Skills Framework and Forum’ in September 2021.

ENDS

14 DECEMBER 2021

NOTES TO EDITORS

High-res images available at:

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/july_2020/wmg_ukbic-33.jpg
Caption: A battery pouch made at WMG, University of Warwick
Credit: WMG, University of Warwick

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/july_2020/d2807-27.jpg
Caption: A battery production line at WMG, University of Warwick
Credit: WMG, University of Warwick

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/july_2020/wmg_ukbic-49.jpg
Caption: A battery production line at WMG, University of Warwick
Credit: WMG, University of Warwick

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager – Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 7920 531 221
E-mail: alice.j.scott@warwick.ac.uk


Margot James, Executive Chair, comments on the Government’s new Net Zero Strategy

Expert comment from Margot James, Executive Chair at WMG, in response to the Government’s Net Zero Strategy.

Margot James, Executive Chair at WMG, University of Warwick 

"The decarbonisation of personal transport, by moving to Electric Vehicles (EVs), will be a major contributor to delivering on this target as EVs become a viable option for the majority of consumers. Viability depends upon EVs being affordable and drivers having access to a reliable network of fast charging in urban and rural networks"

UK Government Net Zero Strategy

Find out more about the new National Skills Framework that has been created by WMG, The Faraday Institution and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult: New National Electrification Skills Framework and Forum could put the UK at the forefront of the green revolution News


Dr Ben Silverstone comments on the Government’s new Net Zero Strategy

Expert comment from Dr Ben Silverstone, WMG’s National Electrification Skills Framework and Forum Programme Lead, in response to the Government’s Net Zero Strategy.Image of Dr Ben Silverstone

“We welcome the Government’s Net Zero strategy and the commitment to reform the skills system to allow providers to be more responsive to industry need, which is what we have called for in the recently launched National Electrification Skills Framework. Our focus is to re-skill, up-skill and new-skill working with the automotive sector to ensure their workforce has the necessary skills to be able to meet the 2035 and 2050 targets set by government.”

Find out more about the new skills framework that has been created by WMG, The Faraday Institution and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult here: New National Electrification Skills Framework and Forum could put the UK at the forefront of the green revolution - WMG :: News (warwick.ac.uk)

Wed 20 Oct 2021, 13:01 | Tags: WMG Comments Transport Electrification

WMG experts to present at key EV battery conference

Image of Professor James MarcoWMG’s Professor James Marco, Dr Ben Silverstone and Dr Anwar Sattar will be sharing their expertise at the IMechE’s International EV Batteries 2021: Cost-Effective Engineering for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles next month.

The two-day event which takes place on 9-10 November at Kia Oval, London, explores the latest developments in battery design, testing, thermal management, charging and integration right across the lifecycle of the battery with the aim of creating more resilient and cost-effective systems.

 

On day one, Professor James Marco, WMG’s energy storage expert will present ‘Smart battery development for improved EV safetyImage of Dr Ben Silverstone characterisation,’ and Ben Silverstone, WMG’s UK Electrification Skills Framework Programme Lead, will explain more about the 'National Battery Skills Framework: Collaborating to Elevate UK Industry.’

On the final day, Lead Engineer in Battery Recycling, Anwar Sattar will be presenting ‘Establishing a lithium-ion battery recycling industry in the UK,’ discussing types of waste material found along the supply chain, recycling processes required to deal with material streams, and explaining more about the RECOVAS research project.

Find out more about the conference and book your place here: International EV Batteries 2021: Cost-Effective Engineering for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles | London | CMP7333 (imeche.org)


WMG Professors help tackle Net Zero solutions ahead of COP26

Ahead of COP26, voices across the political spectrum and from a range of leading UK universities have come together to produce a unique collection of essays focusing on Net Zero solutions.

Each is co-written by an academic and a Parliamentarian and sets out the areas where work is still needed on climate policy and demonstrates how readily to hand many policy and technical solutions are. It showcases the strength of UK science and research and the level of cross-party support for climate action.

Two WMG Professors have produced essays as part of the series. Professor David Greenwood together with Lilian Greenwood MP, has written ‘Driving the electric vehicle revolution’, and Professor Kerry Kirwan has, with Ben Lake MP, written ‘Overcoming barriers to the circular economy’.

Caroline Lucas MP, Chair of the APPG on Climate Change, explains: “The APPG on Climate Change was founded to coincide with the passing of the 2008 Climate Change Act – a vote that achieved almost unanimous support from across the political spectrum. As current Chair of the APPG on Climate Change, I see great value in striving to maintain and build upon this cross-party consensus where possible. We won’t all agree on the necessary course of action in each sector. And we may not even agree on the speed or scale with which it is necessary to reduce emissions. But we share a common conviction that the climate crisis is a challenge that can and must be surmounted. Deeper engagement between parliamentarians and the scientific community is a vital step in ensuring that we do. It is in that spirit that I fully endorse the work that has gone into producing this collection of essays.”

Image of Professor David GreenwoodIn his essay, co-authored with Lilian Greenwood MP, Professor David Greenwood, CEO of WMG High Value Manufacturing Catapult at the University of Warwick explains: “Whilst the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in devastating personal and economic impacts, it has also caused us to challenge some of our preconceptions. The public has experienced clean air as a result of reduced transport and industrial emissions. People have taken to their bikes in record numbers and with the trials of rental e-scooters there’s a real opportunity for them to replace car and public transport usage for short journeys - at least in good weather.

“These behavioural shifts, along with the persistent drivers of air quality and climate change reinforce the shift to EVs.”

Image of Professor Kerry KirwanKerry Kirwan, WMG’s Professor of Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing explains: “Given the continued focus on how we use our limited planetary resources, the potential for green business models and practices to help our economic recovery post-pandemic and the imminence of COP26, it is great to see such a breadth of collected thinking coming together in this publication – it was a really valuable exercise that I am very pleased to have been part of”.

Read the report and essays in full here: https://www.policyconnect.org.uk/research/net-zero-exchanges-connecting-policy-and-research-climate-action

About the APPCCG

The All-Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group runs events and activities in parliament with the purpose of advancing understanding of policy issues surrounding climate change and enabling cross-party discussion and action on climate policy.

This is not an official feed of the House of Commons or the House of Lords. It has not been approved by either House or its committees. All-Party Parliamentary Groups, forums and commissions are informal groups of Members of both Houses with a common interest in particular issues. The views expressed in the webpages are those of the groups.

About Policy Connect

Policy Connect is a membership-based, not-for-profit, cross-party think tank.

We bring together parliamentarians and government in collaboration with academia, business and civil society to inform, influence and improve UK public policy through debate, research and innovative thinking, so as to improve peoples’ lives.

We lead and manage an extensive network of parliamentary groups, research commissions, forums and campaigns. We are a London living wage and disability confident employer and a Member of Social Enterprise UK, and have been operating since 1995. Our work focuses on key policy areas including: health & accessibility; education & skills; industry, technology & innovation; and sustainability.

We shape policy in Westminster through meetings, events, research and impact work.


New National Electrification Skills Framework and Forum could put the UK at the forefront of the green revolution

§ In order to meet Net Zero carbon commitments the UK needs to invest in technologies for electrification, meaning many employers and employees will need to up-skill, re-skill and new-skill to meet the demand

§ A national approach to re-skilling, up-skilling and new-skilling the workforce for the electric revolution has been established by WMG, University of Warwick alongside the Faraday Institution and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult in their report: ‘The Opportunity for a National Electrification Skills Framework and Forum’

§ The report emphasises the need for education providers to collaborate on offerings, industry to define their needs, and enables training providers and employers to collaborate on the development of courses required to enable workforces to meet the challenges of the electric revolution and put the UK in a position as a world leader

National Electrification Skills Framework launchedNew technologies and a skilled workforce are both essential to meet the challenge of net carbon zero. To ensure the UK is ready for the transition, a new skills framework has been created by WMG - University of Warwick, The Faraday Institution and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.

The Government’s plan to ban sales of new diesel and petrol cars by 2030 has pushed the automotive sector, along with many others, to rapidly adopt, and develop, electrified products at a rate that will continue to increase for the next 10 to 15 years. How transport and utility sectors can re-skill, up-skill and new-skill their workforce to meet skills demand at the point of need has been outlined in ‘The Opportunity for a National Electrification Skills Framework and Forum’, authored by WMG, University of Warwick; the High Value Manufacturing Catapult; and the Faraday Institution.

Aimed at employers, training providers, accrediting organisations and learners the report discusses how industry engagement, along with educational collaboration rather than competition, will be key in putting the UK at the forefront of the electric revolution and securing future work opportunities.

The Framework recommends the use of short and long courses, as well as continuing professional development, to deliver the competency sets to meet electrification goals across a range of sectors. The framework currently considers vehicle electrification as well as battery manufacture, power electronics, motors and drives, and learnings will next be extended to rail, aviation and utilities.

Through engagement with industry participants and educational providers, the report identifies the key principles and skills needed to make the UK a world leader in electrification. By re-skilling, up-skilling and providing routes through from education to enable new-skills, employees can progress in their career and companies provide a viable way of managing and developing the skills of workforces in line with business objectives.

In order for the UK to successfully transition to an electrified and Net Zero future it is essential that all aspects of industry and education collaborate. TheImage National Electrification Skills Framework launched forum provides an opportunity for not only different companies from multiple sectors to work together, but also for training providers across the UK to collaborate and crystallise the need for training, enabling the right courses to be offered at the point of need. Overall the forum will help create skills development opportunities, and make the electric shift as smooth and sustainable as possible.

Professor David Greenwood, CEO of WMG High Value Manufacturing Catapult at the University of Warwick comments:

“Electrification of automotive and aerospace industries, as well as the establishment of UK battery production facilities (gigafactories) represents a considerable industrial opportunity for the UK and one where having a workforce with the required skills and capabilities will be essential for the nation to compete successfully on the European stage.

“As these sectors transform to fully electric products, we have a proposed national plan for electrification skills, through which we will define a framework to deliver a workforce with the required skills and capabilities to deliver the sectoral technology roadmaps. This focus will be essential for the sector to develop thrive in a highly competitive global industry.

“We are proud to launch this forum, through which the electrification skills framework will be shaped by the wisdom and direction of automotive technologists, educators, accrediting bodies and training providers. It will provide a framework for a national skills programme, delivering at a regional level according to industrial need.”

Tony Harper, the Director of the Faraday Battery Challenge at UK Research and Innovation comments:

"UK industry is undergoing an exciting and rapid transformation to fulfil the UK Government’s 2050 Net Zero commitments. This once-in-a-generation, global technological revolution leaves competency gaps at all job levels, particularly in engineering and manufacturing roles which will need to be filled with specific education and training.

“We are pleased to make available a UK-wide framework and forum to ‘re-skill, up-skill and new-skill’ the UK engineering and manufacturing workforce, a major step forward to ensuring the right skills are in place at the right time.

“Our report defines the training and investment in people, education and skills that will allow the UK to Build Back Better and secure greener jobs in a flourishing UK electrification sector.”

Business Minister Lee Rowley said:

“We are leading the world in developing the latest technology in electric vehicles and today’s report demonstrates the work that employers and industry organisations can collaborate on to keep the UK in that pole position.

“This revolution in our automotive sector will create thousands of jobs, building on our rich industrial heritage and giving opportunities to our talented and highly-skilled workforce – all this will be essential as we work to eliminate our contribution to climate change by 2050.”

§ The report ‘The Opportunity for a National Electrification Skills Framework and Forum’ will be available online from 22 September at: https://hvm.catapult.org.uk/reports/national-electrification-skills-framework

§ Information on course materials will be available from 22 September at: https://hvm.catapult.org.uk/resources/courses

ENDS

22 SEPTEMBER 2021

NOTES TO EDITORS

To get involved in the electrification skills forum as a provider or employer please e-mail: electrification-skills@hvm.catapult.org.uk

High-res images available at:

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/september_2021/nesf_1.jpeg

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/september_2021/nesf_2.jpeg

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/september_2021/nesf_0033.jpeg

Caption: The National Electrification Skills Framework and Forum aims to support new technologies and a skilled workforce in transport, battery manufacturing, and beyond.

For further information or an embargoed copy of the report please contact:

Peter Thorley

Media Relations Manager (Warwick Medical School and Department of Physics) | Press & Media Relations | University of Warwick
Email: peter.thorley@warwick.ac.uk

Mob: +44 (0) 7824 540863

About WMG, University of Warwick

WMG is a world leading research and education group, transforming organisations and driving innovation through a unique combination of collaborative research and development, and pioneering education programmes.

As an international role model for successful partnerships between academia and the private and public sectors, WMG develops advancements nationally and globally, in applied science, technology and engineering, to deliver real impact to economic growth, society and the environment.

WMG has a track record of impact and collaborative R&D in batteries, through their Energy Innovation Centre. A unique UK facility which is capable of producing full-size prototype battery cells in sufficient quantities for industrial testing. The Centre is focused on identifying and demonstrating battery chemistries with higher energy densities and improved safety while achieving the cost criteria set by the automotive industry. This technology is transferred to other sectors including, aerospace, marine, rail and static energy storage for home applications.

WMG’s education programmes focus on lifelong learning of the brightest talent, from the WMG Academies for Young Engineers, degree apprenticeships, undergraduate and postgraduate, through to professional programmes.

An academic department of the University of Warwick, and a centre for the HVM Catapult, WMG was founded by the late Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya in 1980 to help reinvigorate UK manufacturing and improve competitiveness through innovation and skills development.

About the Faraday Institution

The Faraday Institution is the UK’s independent institute for electrochemical energy storage research, skills development, market analysis, and early-stage commercialisation. Bringing together expertise from universities and industry, the Faraday Institution endeavours to make the UK the go-to place for the research and development of new electrical storage technologies for both the automotive and wider relevant sectors.

The Faraday Institution is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) as part of UK Research and Innovation. Headquartered at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, the Faraday Institution is a registered charity with an independent board of trustees.

The Faraday Battery Challenge aim is to develop and manufacture batteries for the electrification of vehicles to help UK businesses seize the opportunities presented by the move to a low carbon economy. The challenge is split into three elements: research, innovation, and scale-up.

About High Value Manufacturing Catapult

The High Value Manufacturing Catapult has an established record as the UK’s principal agent of industrial transformation. Working through seven centres of innovation, the HVM Catapult is creating the conditions for UK economic growth by enabling UK manufacturers to investigate new technologies and processes and achieve performance and productivity improvements through innovation.

Established by Innovate UK, the HVM Catapult bridges the gap between business and academia, helping to turn great ideas into commercial realities by providing access to world-class research, development facilities and expertise that would otherwise be out of reach for many businesses in the UK. The HVM Catapult prides itself on helping businesses to transform the products they sell, the way they make them and the skills of their workforce to remain competitive in a global marketplace.

22 September 2021

 

Wed 22 Sep 2021, 09:15 | Tags: HVM Catapult Education Transport Electrification

Consortium established to tackle decarbonisation of cross-Channel ferry fleet

Image of Dover ferry port and the white cliffsWMG at the University of Warwick is playing a key part in a new research project supporting the UKs pledge to achieve net-zero by 2050.

The seven-month project, entitled the Dover Clean Ferry Power, is a collaboration between the Port of Dover, P&O Ferries, WMG and Schneider Electric, led by Kent Business School at the University of Kent.

The project, which is part of a £20 million programme funded by the Department for Transport, will investigating the decarbonisation of the cross-Channel ferry fleet and in turn support the delivery of the Port of Dover Air Quality Action Plan.

Currently, Port of Dover vessels spend energy through in-harbour activity, open sailing and on-vessel services (such as heating, lighting and hospitality). Some vessels are hybrid; self-charging on-board batteries whilst in open sailing and then using the battery charge whilst in-harbour.

This project will model ferry operations at Dover to establish energy requirements, CO2 effects, air quality and running costs, using this to evaluate technical solutions for both ferries and the port, to accelerate the move to net zero. Insights gained may then have the potential to extend to cruise and cargo operators, as well as adaptation of experienced vessels.

Researchers and engineers at WMG High Value Manufacturing Catapult Centre will be undertaking all of the battery modelling and analytics, plus energy and CO2 modelling for the port of Dover and for vessels using the port– which will impact the locals as well as the environment more widely.

Phil Whiffin, WMG Head of Energy Applications Group, explains: “This project builds on our existing zero emission transport expertise and allows us to apply the MIMO (Multi-Input Multi-Output) modelling technique developed by Dr Andrew McGordon to investigate the complex operations of a port. It will support investment and operation decisions for Dover and the ferry operators and ensure the optimum strategy is in place to move towards net-zero. Dover is an essential trade gateway for the UK so this is a project of great strategic importance and we are pleased to be part of this great consortium.”

Simon Barnes, Project Manager and Funding & Partnership Development Manager within the University of Kent’s Research & Innovation Operations, said: ‘For the University of Kent, this new project builds on a previous successful work with the Port of Dover and is an excellent example of a collaborative project with the University, industry partners and consumers.

‘It is our unified aim to investigate potential avenues that can lead to reductions in carbon emissions as part of the national priority of net-zero. The University of Kent is dedicated to the endeavour through a series of initiatives, with the Dover Clean Ferry Power project as a prime example of the role we play regionally and in applying intensive research to vital national goals.’

ENDS

Notes to Editors

(1)

Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition

The Dover Clean Ferry Power Project is part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, funded by the Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK.

Announced in March 2020, and part of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan to position the UK at the forefront of green shipbuilding and maritime technology, the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition is a £20m investment from government alongside a further c.£10mfrom industry to reduce emissions from the maritime sector. The programme is supporting 55 projects across the UK, including projects in Scotland, Northern Ireland and from the South West to the North East of England. As set out in the Clean Maritime Plan (2019), Government funding has been used to support early-stage research relating to clean maritime. The programme will be used to support the research, design and development of zero emission technology and infrastructure solutions for maritime and to accelerate decarbonisation in the sector.

 


UK’s first live micromobility event takes place at WMG, University of Warwick

From left to right: Professor Robin Clark, Dean of WMG at the University of Warwick, John Fox – Programme Director for Micromobility at WMG, Cllr Jim O’Boyle - cabinet member for jobs, regeneration and climate change at Coventry City Council, Margot James- Executive Chair of WMG at the University of Warwick, Mayor of the West Midlands Andy StreetMicromobility refers to small lightweight efficient vehicles, which can be used to make short distance journeys.

Types of micromobility vehicles we could see in our communities include bikes, hover boards, e-bikes and e-scooters. They can be used to save time, avoid congestion, remove parking conundrums and most importantly they use much less energy than a car, therefore contributing towards the Government’s zero-carbon goals.

The future of micromobility is incredibly topical, and to bring together all aspects of it WMG, at the University of Warwick, hosted the UK’s first live micromobility event, bringing together manufacturers in the micromobility sector, regional transport authorities; city councils and local authorities; Government agencies; research organisations and more.

The event not only saw the demonstration of many new exciting and existing micromobility vehicles from e-scooters to e-cargo bikes, but also outlined the opportunities for the UK to lead this sector in battery development and recycling, human factors and behavioural change, materials development and more.

It was also an opportunity to address the challenges the sector faces particularly around lack of infrastructure, policy and regulation.

Programme Director John Fox, from WMG, University of Warwick comments:
“Despite progress on electrification, transport emissions are actually increasing; Micromobility is essential if we are to achieve net zero emissions from this sector. With around 70% of journeys in the UK under 5 miles, Micromobility vehicles can have a huge impact on our emissions. They use typically 5% of the energy of an Electric vehicle to make trips, and their manufacture is also significantly less carbon-intensive.

“There are many other benefits Micromobility offers too, including air quality improvements, greater footfall in highstreets, and taking up much less space than a car to move the same number of people which releases more space in urban areas for other things.

“The conference touched on many of the key issues, including how to make Micromobility safe, accessible, integrated and attractive to new users, and highlighted the need for coordination between government, local authorities and industry. WMG announced our ‘UK Micromobility roadmap” to support this coordination, being developed with Cenex and being progressed through consultation and workshops sessions over the next six months, so watch this space!”

Margot James – Executive Chair of WMG, and Cllr Jim O’Boyle from Coventry City Council have a go in a Hail bikeMargot James, Executive Chair of WMG, University of Warwick adds:
“As a leader in the electrification of transport, WMG, University of Warwick, is at the forefront in the development of high-quality, safe Micromobility vehicles. We are conducting trials with vehicle and infrastructure manufacturers on the Warwick campus, and supporting testing and development of new vehicles and systems in our labs. We’re also working closely with our local and regional authorities to make travel to and from our campus more sustainable, which includes supporting commutes by Micromobility with improved infrastructure and facilities on arrival.”

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said:
“As the home of the green industrial revolution, micromobility has a key role to play in the West Midlands as we look to tackle air pollution to help us reach our #WM2041 climate goal. Earlier this year we launched West Midlands Cycle Hire across eight towns and city centre - with more than 100,000 journeys taken on the bikes in just a few months – and we are also trialling e-scooters across the region, with more than 550,000 trips taken in Birmingham alone over the past year.

“But despite this successful start of both schemes we are of course always open to more innovation and improvement. That’s why it has been brilliant to have the micromobility industry here in the West Midlands, and it has been eye-opening to see what the industry has to offer.”

Councillor Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for jobs, regeneration and climate change said:
“The innovation shown at the event is a result of the incredible engineering and manufacturing talent that can only be found in Coventry. Our city is leading the green industrial revolution and is at the heart of developing new forms of transport, from the micromobility solutions we have seen at the event to the innovative Coventry Very Light Rail, set to transform how many of us travel.

“It’s great to be with our partners at WMG to raise awareness of the ground-breaking work our city is contributing to the future of clean, green transport.”

ENDS

8 SEPTEMBER 2021

NOTES TO EDITORS

High-res images available at:

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/july_2021/070921wuweb-12.jpg
Caption: A WMCA bike stand
Credit: WMG, University of Warwick

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Caption: People trialling some micromobility vehicles at the event
Credit: WMG, University of Warwick

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Caption: From left to right: Professor Robin Clark, Dean of WMG at the University of Warwick, John Fox – Programme Director for Micromobility at WMG, Cllr Jim O’Boyle - cabinet member for jobs, regeneration and climate change at Coventry City Council, Margot James- Executive Chair of WMG at the University of Warwick, Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street
Credit: WMG, University of Warwick

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Caption: Margot James- Executive Chair of WMG at the University of Warwick with Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street
Credit: WMG, University of Warwick

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Caption: From left to right: Cllr Jim O’Boyle - cabinet member for jobs, regeneration and climate change at Coventry City Council, Margot James- Executive Chair of WMG at the University of Warwick and Andy Street - Mayor of the West Midlands
Credit: WMG, University of Warwick

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Caption: Mayor Andy Street with some of the micromobility vehicles showcased
Credit: WMG, University of Warwick

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Caption: Margot James – Executive Chair of WMG, and Cllr Jim O’Boyle from Coventry City Council have a go in a Hail bike
Credit: WMG, University of Warwick

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Caption: Margot James – Executive Chair of WMG at the University of Warwick on a Hail bike
Credit: WMG, University of Warwick

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Caption: People at a West Midlands Transport Hub with a West Midlands Cycle Hire bike and a VOI e-scooter
Credit: WMG, University of Warwick

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Caption: A West Midlands Cycle Hire bike
Credit: WMG, University of Warwick

For further information please contact:

Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager – Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 7920 531 221
E-mail: alice.j.scott@warwick.ac.uk


UK-based consortium established to develop prototype solid-state batteries

MOU signed between Johnson Matthey, Faraday Institution, Britishvolt, Oxford University, UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, Emerson & Renwick and University of Warwick

HARWELL, UK (19 August 2021) A consortium of seven UK-based organisations has signed a memorandum of understanding to combine ambitions toA battery pouch made at WMG develop world-leading prototype solid-state battery technology, targeting automotive applications.

Solid-state batteries offer significant potential advantages over conventional lithium-ion batteries and could be transformational in meeting the UK’s net zero commitments through the electrification of transport. The successful outcome of the collaboration would be to harness and industrialise UK academic capability to produce cells using highly scalable manufacturing techniques that leapfrog the cost-effectiveness and performance achieved elsewhere.

The consortium comprises the following world-leading organisations in battery research, development and manufacturing:

· Faraday Institution – the UK’s independent institute for electrochemical energy storage research, which has led the consortium’s formation and will lead its development.

· Britishvolt – the UK-based Gigaplant developer, with a site in NE England.

· E+R (Emerson & Renwick) – a world leading designer of manufacturing equipment.

· Johnson Matthey – a global leader in sustainable technologies and the UK’s leading battery materials business.

· Oxford University – that leads the Faraday Institution’s solid-state battery project (SOLBAT) and provides the necessary scientific understanding to the consortium.

· UK Battery Industrialisation Centre – the pioneering battery manufacturing development facility to enable UK battery manufacturing scale-up and facilitate upskilling in the battery sector.

· WMG, University of Warwick – leaders in battery R&D and initial scale-up capability, as well as academic and apprenticeship skills development.

The preliminary design for a prototyping facility has been developed. Sources of funding are currently being sought.

Minister for Investment Lord Grimstone said: “Collaboration between industry, government and our world-leading academic institutions is putting the UK atA battery production line at WMG the forefront of global efforts to develop innovative automotive technologies, such as solid-state batteries.

“It is the work of our internationally-renowned research and development base, like those brought together by this consortium, that will give us the tools needed to forge a strong and sustainable future for the automotive sector and increase our contribution to combatting climate change.”

“I am delighted to be able to announce the formation of this unique consortium for the advancement of solid-state battery prototyping that includes leading UK-based organisations at many stages in the value chain,” said Professor Pam Thomas, CEO of Faraday Institution. “Our leadership in this venture signals a move towards a role that the Faraday Institution will increasingly play as a trusted convener of significant partnerships between UK industry and academia as a route to commercialise breakthrough science emerging from our research programmes to maximise UK economic value.”

Solid-state batteries (SSBs) offer significant potential advantages over existing lithium-ion battery technologies, including the ability to hold more charge for a given volume (leading to increased electric vehicle (EV) range) and reduced costs of safety-management. Early deployment of SSBs is likely to be in consumer electronics, niche automotive applications and unmanned aerospace, before being used in broader EV markets. The Faraday Institution forecasts that, in 2030, SSBs are likely to take a 7% share of the global consumer electronics battery market and a 4% share of the EV battery market[1]. Global SSB revenues from sales to EV manufacturers are expected to reach $8 billion by 2030[2] and then grow rapidly to 2040 and 2050 when the market is expected to become extensive.

A battery production line at WMG, University of Warwick However, there are fundamental scientific challenges that need to be addressed before high power SSBs with commercially relevant performance can be realised. The Faraday Institution’s SOLBAT project has made considerable progress in addressing these challenges over the last three years.

The construction of the one-of-a-kind facility being developed by the collaboration will enable SSB technology to emerge from UK university laboratories. It will allow larger cells to be produced using scalable manufacturing techniques that will be improved iteratively through deep investigation of the causes of problems that emerge during manufacture and testing of prototype batteries. This will leverage the collective knowledge of Faraday Institution SSB researchers and the industrial partners.

Christian Gunther, CEO, Battery Materials at Johnson Matthey comments, “The realisation of a prototype solid-state battery cell will be a great achievement for the UK battery industry, and this consortium will be a critical enabler for delivering this milestone. Delivering enhanced range and safety over traditional lithium-ion battery technologies will be a key driver for battery electric vehicle adoption, supporting the transition to a net zero future.”

Dr Allan Paterson, Chief Technology Officer, Britishvolt comments, “Solid-state is the holy grail of battery solutions. Solid-state batteries have the potential to increase energy density significantly over battery technology available today and could dramatically, and positively, change the world of electric vehicles. Britishvolt will be at the forefront of commercialising this step change over the coming years. This collaboration, which includes major global industrial leaders such as Johnson Matthey and academic leadership from University of Oxford, underscores another key objective in our technology roadmap – home grown intellectual property.”

Professor Peter Bruce, Principal Investigator of SOLBAT, comments: “It’s fantastic to see the culmination of combined UK academic strength in solid-state battery research come to fruition. I’m proud that the work of the Faraday Institution SOLBAT project, led by Oxford University, will make a significant contribution to the UK’s green energy revolution.”

Ian Whiting, Commercial Director at UKBIC added: “Our newly opened national battery manufacturing scale up facility is already contracted to scale new cells and battery packs by companies basing their manufacturing centres in the UK. It’s a really exciting time for this fast-growing industry. We’re scaling technologies that will be the core products of the UK’s emergent Gigafactories. But we need to think even further ahead and solid-state battery technology is going to be a big part of that. This collaboration is what is needed to give the UK the edge it needs in creating a centre of excellence for solid-state batteries and we’re excited to be part of it. The bringing together of academic and industrial know how in this space is key to unlocking Britain’s electrified potential.”

David Greenwood, Professor of Advanced Propulsion Systems, and CEO of WMG High Value Manufacturing Catapult comments: “Early forms of solid-state battery are already around us, but we have yet to see solutions which are both mass-manufacturable and meet the performance and cost targets for future transport applications. There remains huge opportunity for innovation in this space, and this initiative will provide the route for the UK to fast-track candidate technologies to industrialisation.”

Andrew C Jack, Sales Director, E&R Group comments, “E&R Group are delighted to be contributing our world renowned engineering expertise working in partnership Faraday and the wider consortium on this exciting development for next generation battery production for the UK.

For more information on the Faraday Institution, visit www.faraday.ac.uk and follow @FaradayInst on twitter.


[2] IDTechEx, June 2021


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