Ricardo has received government funding to assess the commercial viability of a facility to assemble battery packs for niche volume manufacturers of electrified vehicles.
According to Ricardo, these UK electrified vehicle manufacturers include some of the world’s best known prestige brands which create their luxury cars, special vehicles, or off-highway machines for a customer base in the low thousands.
Funded by the Advanced Propulsion Centre’s Automotive Transformation Fund supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the economic study will consider how to meet the particular battery hardware needs of these manufacturers across business sectors by ensuring a UK supply chain in electric vehicle components.
Martin Starkey, managing director for Ricardo Performance Products said: “The volume requirements and flexible product specifications of niche volume manufacturers are not aligned with the high-volume outputs from emerging ‘gigafactories’.
“A niche volume battery manufacturing facility will help to establish a robust supply chain for these critical electrification components. In doing so, it will deliver national competitive advantage for the UK, and support the mass adoption of electrification by making it more affordable, helping to contribute to the green bounce back through sustainable practices. Ricardo’s future manufacturing strategy is very much aligned to this emerging need for electrified vehicle components.”
As part of the study, Ricardo will assess how the proposed facility could help minimise the risk of scaling up the innovation of new battery concepts to niche volumes. The company will also explore opportunities to minimise the environmental impact of battery pack manufacture through ‘second life processing’ and recycling of core elements from construction.
Automotive Transformation director at the Advanced Propulsion Centre, Julian Hetherington said: “This funding is a great start in supporting companies like Ricardo as they advance their future product development and manufacturing processes for a future net-zero vehicle supply chain.”