A new consortium has been awarded funding towards a £5.4m project to develop the next generation of battery packs for high performance, low carbon vehicles.
The UK Automotive Battery Supply Chain project, led by AGM Batteries, includes Warwick Manufacturing Group, Johnson Matthey Battery Systems, Dukosi and Cosworth.
At present, despite the country’s strong research base, most of the batteries used by the UK automotive industry come from overseas. The new project aims to stimulate production, as well as driving further innovation.
It’s funded by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), which was set up at the end of 2013 as a 10-year £1bn partnership between industry and government to build UK industrial capability through the research, development and industrialisation of low carbon propulsion technologies.
“The UK has a strong reputation for automotive development and manufacturing and is also very strong on battery technology research,” said Ian Whiting, business development director of AGM Batteries. “This project pulls much of that together, creating a team of respected industry partners, each bringing a specialism to the table.”
These specialisms cover a broad range. AGM scales new cell types up to real-world manufacturing, while WMG provides expertise in electro-chemistry and design for manufacture; together it’s hoped this will enable cells to make the leap to production much more rapidly. Dukosi, provides new ‘on-cell’ electronics and battery management.
“What we have is the basis of a complete UK supply chain for automotive batteries from ‘powder to power’. The project aims to prove leading edge, new technologies in a high performance system that can subsequently be manufactured cost effectively in the UK. This funding, in addition to the significant funding being invested by AGM and our partners, will allow us to prove that we have the skills and ambition in the UK to produce world leading, innovative battery products.”