Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: Faraday battery challenge

This challenge is investing in research and innovation projects, and facilities, to drive the growth of a strong battery business in the UK.

It aims to develop battery technologies that are:

  • cost-effective
  • high performing
  • longer range
  • faster charging
  • long-lasting
  • safe and sustainable
Budget:
The overall budget is £541 million.
Duration:
The original programme ran from 2017 to 2022. An extension was granted in 2022, so that the challenge now ends in March 2025.
Partners involved:
Innovate UK (lead), UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, Faraday Institution

The scope and what we're doing

This challenge is investing up to £541 million to further develop a UK battery technology industry that is high tech, high value and high skill.

It aims to make the UK a science superpower for batteries. By supporting the UK’s world-class battery facilities along with growing and innovative businesses that are developing the battery supply chain for our future prosperity.

The challenge is part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Our funding opportunities may fund research and development projects that are categorised as feasibility studies, industrial research or experimental development.

For feasibility studies and industrial research projects, the following intervention rates may apply:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, the following intervention rates may apply:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 25% if you are a large organisation

Capital costs may be funded through some funding opportunities with intervention rates of up to 80%.

Research organisations undertaking non-economic activity may be funded as follows:

  • 80% of full economic costs if you are a Je-S registered institution, such as an academic
  • 100% of eligible costs for all other research organisations

Research organisations which are engaged in economic activity as part of the project will be treated as business enterprises for the purposes of funding.

Funded and announced projects

Faraday Battery Challenge investments are outlined below.

UK businesses can apply for grants for feasibility studies and collaborative research and innovation projects, to develop new and improved battery technologies for increased performance, lower cost, and considering battery ‘end of life’.

Projects funded so far include improving:

  • battery lifespan
  • battery range
  • the charging rate of batteries
  • the reuse, remanufacture and recycling of batteries

Read more about the projects funded by the Faraday Battery Challenge.

Faraday Institution

The Faraday Institution is the UK’s independent institute for:

  • electrochemical energy storage research
  • skills development
  • market analysis
  • 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.

Headquartered at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, the Faraday Institution is a registered charity with an independent board of trustees.

UK Battery Industrialisation Centre

The UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) was opened by the Prime Minister in July 2021, 3 years ahead of its nearest European rival.

The national battery manufacturing development facility provides the missing link between battery technology, which has proved promising at laboratory or prototype scale, and successful mass production.

With the support of the challenge, the £130 million Coventry-based facility is now supporting several companies to achieve their development milestones. Companies include:

  • AMTE Power
  • Britishvolt
  • Ilika

UKBIC is the national battery manufacturing development facility to help organisations scale up their battery technologies into production, with a remit to support organisations bringing green jobs and prosperity to the UK.

The 20,000m² facility has been created to support industry with development of battery technologies for a range of uses including electric vehicles and wider transportation, static energy storage and other industrial applications.

The facility can be described as a ‘learning factory’ for organisations to develop blueprints for manufacturing processes and prototyping-at-scale of new electrodes, battery cells, module, and pack structures.

Its objective is to help organisations to increase confidence in manufacturing plant investment for new battery-related technologies in the UK.

Why we're doing it

Zero emission vehicles

The deadline for the transition to zero emission vehicles has tightened since the challenge launched and at a time of many new and unexpected global challenges. The automotive supply chain needs our help to transition as much today as it did in 2017.

When the Faraday Battery Challenge launched, the Committee for Climate Change was suggesting 50% of new car and van sales would be battery electric or plug-in hybrid by 2035. Bringing forward deadlines for zero emission vehicles means we are now looking at 100% of new cars and vans being zero emission at the tailpipe by 2035.

This is a serious challenge for manufacturers that base their profitability on 10 to 12 years of payback from a particular vehicle platform. It means potentially lower returns from existing models and having to invest more quickly in their zero emission replacements.

Rules of origin requirements in the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement also mean battery packs must substantially originate in the UK or EU for cars to be tariff-free for export into the EU.

Meanwhile, the sales of electric vehicles are increasing rapidly as the technology gains consumer confidence and customers look for ways to mitigate the rising cost of fuel. Manufacturers face a race to satisfy that demand.

We must ensure UK manufacturers have the support they need to transition to the battery technologies of today, where many technical challenges and opportunities for innovation remain.

That means helping manufacturers to switch platforms to zero emission vehicles, a process supported by late-stage research and development and industrialisation programmes funded by the Advanced Propulsion Centre.

Critical innovation projects

The Faraday Battery Challenge can help by supporting critical innovation projects and processes that otherwise may not happen without government intervention.

The challenge is also supporting UK chemical companies to:

  • pivot their activities to a battery supply chain
  • build the communities and the skills to support this supply chain
  • help new UK businesses to develop commercial battery technologies by giving them access to:
    • world-class facilities
    • potential customers and investors

Opportunities, support and resources available

Funding opportunities

Search for ISCF funding and wider opportunities related to battery technologies.

The battery gap report

A report on investment into battery and electro-mobility technology companies commissioned as part of this challenge.

The battery gap: investment into battery and electro-mobility technology companies

Faraday Insights and reports

The Faraday Institution regularly publishes ‘Faraday Insights’. These publications are evidence-based briefings and assessments of the market, economics, commercial potential, and capabilities for energy storage technologies and the transition to a fully electric UK.

The Faraday Insights aim to help bridge knowledge gaps across industry, academia, and government.

Faraday Insights publications

Standards, guidelines, research and viewpoints

Standards and best practice have a crucial role to play in the Faraday Battery Challenge and in supporting the growth of the industry in the UK and internationally. The British Standards Institute (BSI) is leading the standards programme, which is sponsored by Innovate UK and the Faraday Battery Challenge.

The programme, which started in 2019, covers three areas of work:

  • scoping including workshops and research into the current standards landscape
  • the development of three Publicly Available Specifications (PASs)
  • strategic roadmap for future standards and standards uptake

Find out more about Faraday Battery Challenge’s work with the British Standards Institute (BSI).

Collaboration opportunities

Co-funded by Innovate UK KTN and the Faraday Battery Challenge, the Cross-Sector Battery Systems (CSBS) Innovation Network aims to create an open and collaborative cross-sectoral community for researchers and innovators in battery manufacturing (including next-generation batteries), the related supply chain and end-users.

Join the Cross-Sector Battery Systems (CSBS) Innovation Network.

Workforce development

The Faraday Battery Challenge is working to support workforce development of the battery industry in the UK. We are working in partnership with our partners and wider community to deliver our vision for the National Electrification Skills Framework and Forum.

Find out more about the National Electrification Skills Framework and Forum.

Past projects, outcomes and impact

What we’ve funded

You can find details of all projects funded under this challenge up to September 2021.

Projects funded by the Faraday Battery Challenge.

Project case studies

See some examples of projects funded under this challenge:

Who to contact

Contact the Faraway Battery Challenge team

Email: faradaybatterychallenge@iuk.ukri.org

Last updated: 28 November 2022

This is the integrated website of the seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK.
Let us know if you have feedback or would like to help us test new developments.