UK bright spark engineer can win £10 million!
23rd February 2015
The UK government is launching a £10m prize for innovative battery designs that could power the next generation of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs).
Most electric cars and vans can travel about 100 miles before they need to recharge. Increasing this range would see zero-emission technologies become a fully fledged rival to petrol and diesel vehicles. Advances in batteries would be of huge benefit to renewable-energy technologies by storing electricity produced by wind turbines or solar panels for use at peak times.
US electric car pioneer Tesla is building a "giga-factory" in the Nevada desert to produce batteries for electric cars and homes, but nothing of a similar scale is planned in the UK.
Announcing the prize on Friday, chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said: "The challenge is to draw on the UK's world-class scientific research and develop a battery which is at the cutting edge of innovation, commercially viable and ready to be put into production.
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"The competition will be open to all UK research establishments, working together with vehicle manufacturers based over here in the UK."
The competition will open for bids in April, with a winner announced in the summer. The prize will be awarded to a single, UK-based consortium that successfully demonstrates an idea for a commercially viable battery pack, ready for production and integration into cars and other road vehicles.
The government is investing £500m over the next parliament to accelerate the development of ULEVs and is keen to develop the UK as a global leader in developing green transport technology.
Transport campaigner Quentin Willson, who has been involved in designing the £10m prize, said: "The UK should lead the world in cutting-edge EV battery technology and this initiative will help create jobs, establish a whole new industry and boost GDP. I totally support this prize for the best in UK battery innovation."
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