A new £50 million Energy Innovation Centre – the largest of its kind in Europe – has been formally opened.
Business Secretary Sajid Javid opened the centre which aims to be home to world-class innovation for the development of new battery chemistries.
WMG is the largest manufacturing group in the world with 700 staff and an annual programme of £180 million. The Energy Innovation Centre is one of seven R&D centres on the Warwick campus.
The centre includes a £13 million battery materials scale-up pilot line for the development of new battery chemistries from concept to fully proven traction batteries, available in sufficient quantities for industrial scale testing.
The centre also includes a battery characterisation laboratory, aggressive testing chambers and an electric/hybrid drives test facility.
Bromsgrove Conservative MP Mr Javid said: “I’m pleased to be opening the Energy Innovation Centre at Warwick Manufacturing Group. WMG is a world leader in battery technology research that supports the evolution of electric vehicles, promoting innovation and attracting investment to the local area.
“The Midlands Engine is home to a diverse range of exciting businesses and universities and its continued success is creating highly-skilled jobs. Today’s announcement is another example of why the economy here has been outperforming the rest of the country since 2010.”
Last March WMG was named as the “Electrical Energy Storage Spoke” of the government and industry funded £1 billion Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), to co-ordinate a technical community with a shared interest in battery systems.
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, WMG chairman said: “I am delighted that the Secretary of State has opened our Energy Innovation Centre. Electric and hybrid vehicles are the future of automotive and WMG is at the forefront of this research. We have a long history of research impact in hybrid, electric and low carbon vehicles which he has been able to see first-hand.”
WMG has made significant investments over the last ten years to build expertise and facilities in the scale-up and evaluation of battery systems. As a result of these investments, and a strong network of academic and industrial partners, WMG was identified as the logical location to host the Electrical Energy Storage Spoke for the APC.