UK takes step closer to national electric battery hub – by Costas Pitas (Reuters U.S. – May 31, 2017)

COVENTRY, ENGLAND – Britain is moving towards creating a new national development hub for electric car batteries with officials setting out plans for companies to work together to improve the technology, possibly paving the way for large-scale local production.

Representatives from politics, academia and business in the central English city of Coventry, the historic heart of the British car industry, have pitched plans for a “National Battery Prototyping Centre” which would focus on research and development and testing.

Local government officials set out their plans to create the center, with state help, at an event on Tuesday attended by the business minister and by Ralf Speth, the chief executive of Britain’s biggest carmaker, Jaguar Land Rover, who has said he wants to build electric models in the country.

“We expect public money support for this facility, that’s what today is about,” Andy Street, the mayor of the West Midlands region of central England, told Reuters.

Backers of the plan will submit the proposals to ministers with the goal of securing a slice of government funding for new technologies recently announced by Britain’s Conservative government. A decision on the winning schemes is due soon after a June 8 general election.

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