LONDON -- The UK has picked a site in central England to house a new automotive battery manufacturing development facility, in a move which the British government and companies hope will lead to large-scale local production.
The site in the West Midlands will benefit from 80 million pounds ($107 million) of investment to develop the processes required to manufacture the latest battery technology.
Announcing the investment, UK business minister Greg Clark said the center will help Britain compete globally.
"The new facility will propel the UK forward in this thriving area, bringing experts from academia and industry together to deliver innovation and r&d that will further enhance the West Midlands’ international reputation as a cluster of automotive excellence," he said.
The region's mayor, Andy Street, said the investment could help in intensifying efforts to improve air quality.
"If we get this right, we will not only create jobs and establish this industry in our region, but we can also provide a solution for the world to help tackle issues such as congestion and air pollution," he said.
The center is being developed in partnership with Warwick University's Manufacturing Group.
Automakers are racing to build greener vehicles and improve charge times in a bid to meet rising customer demand and air quality targets but Britain lacks sufficient manufacturing capacity, an area the government wants to build up.