OXFORD University is to be a key player in supporting the development of next-generation batteries which could speed up drivers switching to electric vehicles.

A team of the UK’s leading battery experts from universities across the UK will contribute to the work, which will be enabled by £42m provided by the independent national battery research facility, the Faraday Institution.

Announced on Tuesday at the Royal Society conference on energy storage for automotive and grids, the work will encompass projects focusing on solid-state electrodes, battery modelling and recycling.

Prof Peter Bruce, Wolfson Professor of Materials at the university’s Department of Materials, will lead the work on developing solid-state metal-anode batteries, while scientists from Oxford’s Department of Engineering Science and Mathematical Institute will work closely with Imperial College London on investigations into the multi-scale modelling of batteries.

Prof Bruce said: “Solid state batteries are a potential game changer for energy density and therefore the range and cost of electric vehicles.

“There are significant scientific challenges to overcome to ensure they deliver – this project will address those issues.”

The research builds upon Oxford’s already internationally leading battery activities that encompasses materials, manufacturing, modelling and control.

Work will begin on the landmark initiative on March 1, 2018 and run until February 21, 2021.