Mired in electric vehicle stoush , Canberra backs batteries

The federal government has announced a $25 million grant to a new co-operative research centre to help develop batteries for electric vehicles and for energy storage.

Even as it is mired in an argument over the opposition’s target of 50 per cent electric vehicles, the government announced The Future Battery Industries CRC.

Industry minister, Karen Andrews said the Perth-based CRC would help tackle industry identified gaps in the battery industries value chain, and support battery deployment.

Andrews said: “Batteries and battery development play a vital role in our society and present excellent export opportunities.

“This research will allow Australia to capture a significant portion of the benefits in global battery industries.”

The CRC will focus on three collaborative industry/government programmes:

# battery industry development

# the processing of minerals, metals and materials for batteries

# and the development of a new battery storage system

Private companies and research institutions will contribute more than $110 million in cash and in-kind to match the government’s money.

The WA government, keen to develop a lithium-ion battery supply chain, will constibure $6 million.

Western Australia’s mining minister, Bill Johnston said: “We have all the minerals you need to make batteries and energy technologies, including nickel, lithium and cobalt.”

The federal government’s CRC grant will be paid over six years.

A vocational education and training sector engagement program will also be conducted and SME workshops will be held to enhance business capabilities and competitiveness.

Picture: SEA Electric ev4

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