UK government to invest in battery technology

The UK government will invest £246 million in battery technology that it said will be a key pillar in helping power its industrial strategy.

The first measure to boost the nascent battery technology, will see the government establish a ''battery institute'' to award hundreds of millions of pounds to companies on the brink of major research and development breakthroughs.

Greg Clarke, the business secretary, will deliver his first public address on the government's industrial strategy since the snap general election. He will emphasise the importance of ''cutting-edge energy plans'', which includes battery power and electric, driverless vehicles.

Clarke will further say that the government's co-ordinated programme of battery funding competitions, the Faraday Challenge, ''will – quite literally – power the automotive and energy revolution.''

The challenge is seen as one of the six pillars of the UK's industrial strategy which could help unlock markets and industries of the future.

Meanwhile, automotive industries and fuel retailers are gearing up for major changes with the boom in electric vehicles triggered by battery technology.

In addition to the £45 million funding phase for scaling up battery technologies the government also planns to make £25 million of funding available to developers of self-driving vehicles.

The Press Association reported, "The minister will tell a meeting hosted by the Resolution Foundation in Birmingham, ''To enjoy a high and rising standard of living we must plan to be more productive than in the past.

''Economists have pointed to what they have called a productivity puzzle in Britain. That we appear to generate less value for our efforts than, say, people in Germany or France.

''In other words, we have to work longer to get the same rewards.

''Itīs not that we want - or need - people to work longer hours. It's that we need to ensure that we find and seize opportunities to work more productively as a country, as cities and regions, as businesses and as individuals.

''If we can do so, we can increase the earning power of our country and our people.''