Packaging specialist Tri-Wall Europe has secured funding of more than £700,000 ($874,000) from the UK government’s Faraday Battery Challenge scheme, aimed at driving research and innovation into the country’s industrial strategy and a crucial part of the UK’s efforts towards net zero emissions. The scheme brings business and academia together to accelerate the development of electric vehicle (EV) battery technologies.


In turn the funding will allow Tri-Wall Europe to pay its £1.18m ($1.5m) contribution to the £7m Libris project (standing for Lithium-Ion Battery Research In Safety). The Libris project was set up to develop new battery technologies, as well as set standards for packaging and in-transit handling of lithium-ion batteries.

“The main driver for this project is improving safety during transport, particularly for the public and first responders,” stressed the company.

Libris is made up of a consortium of members that include Jaguar Land Rover, 3M, Denchi Power, Potenza, Lifeline Fire and Safety Systems, the Health and Safety Executive, and the University of Warwick. 

The project will last 18 months whereupon the consortium will publish the results of its research, likely to be around the start of 2021.

Recovery costs higher
Asked to speculate on whether new standards for handling lithium-ion batteries would raise the cost of transporting them, a spokesperson for Tri-Wall Europe pointed out that this was currently difficult to answer, since many potentially dangerous batteries were being transported in an unknown state.

“Most of the difficulties are not in shipping new batteries, but more in shipping prototype, used or damaged batteries after use,” said a spokesperson, adding that the difficulties surrounding the transport of lithium-ion batteries have not impacted on the growth of new electric vehicles.

“The main driver for this project is improving safety during transport, particularly for the public and first responders,” stressed the company.

According to Gavin Peters, managing director of Tri-Wall’s UK region: “This project is of enormous significance to Tri-Wall and to the future development and transport of lithium-ion batteries, as we move towards more sustainable methods of powering our vehicles.”

He added that the government funding will result in future job growth and allow Tri-Wall to retain expertise in the UK. The establishment of safe transit packaging will also ensure job security within the UK battery industry. The project specifically addresses aspects of enhanced safety related to eliminating thermal runaway.

Tri-Wall is an expert in technical packaging for the automotive industry, and is an expert in UN Dangerous Goods and 4G battery packaging.

Mike Valentine, who heads up Tri-Wall’s Business Development & Projects division, noted that the project was “an example of where collective expertise is being brought to bear on the biggest challenges facing the development of next-generation electric car batteries, from their power source and performance to safety and manufacturing.”