Six British companies are to carry out feasibility studies on the re-use and recycling of electric vehicle batteries.

The government-backed Technology Strategy Board (TSB) is making £500,000 available to fund seven studies which will be carried out by Axeon, Energy Cost Advisors, Lifebatt, Narec, Oxis Energy and TRL.

"The aim of the feasibility studies is to draw out innovative, market-focussed UK research which has the potential to increase valuable battery life and enable cost- effective recycling," said Andrew Everett, head of technology for the TSB.

The research will study processes for the cost-effective recycling of batteries from electric and hybrid vehicles, and explore the potential for commercial exploitation of batteries which have reached the end of their useful on-vehicle life.

The studies are likely to being in September 2011 and are expected to be completed within 12 months.