New boss to build £80m UK battery centre

New boss to build £80m UK battery centre

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Jeff Pratt comes from Nissan’s Lithium Ion Battery Plant in Sunderland and will start in June. The centre is scheduled to open in 2020.

The bid to build the new facility was won by the Warwick Manufacturing group (WMG) at the University of Warwick, Coventry, Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Coventry City Council. The centre will develop the processes for the design, development and manufacture of batteries through collaborative R&D between industry and academia across battery chemistry, electrodes, cell design, module and pack level.

“I feel privileged and excited to be appointed to lead the introduction of the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre,” said Pratt. “The automotive industry is undergoing huge change with electrification. The UKBIC, in conjunction with the Faraday Battery Challenge, will play a pivotal role in supporting the UK’s Electric Vehicle battery industry and enhancing development growth in the UK.”

The centre is part of the UK Government’s £246m Faraday Battery Challenge where Tony Harper, director of Engineering Research at Landrover was appointed as head last month, but Pratt will report to Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, chairman of WMG. 

“Jeff will have a central role to play in leading the UKBIC to help the UK maintain its position as a world-leader in battery technology in the move towards a low carbon economy,” said Bhattacharyya. “This is an exciting time for the industry and with academia and industry working together at UKBIC, the aim is to set new levels of innovation and R&D to further enhance the UK’s reputation in automotive excellence.”

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