As innovation drives British battery technology research and development, we look at the UK companies powering up the EV revolution.
In late 2020 the UK government said it would ban sales of new cars and vans powered by diesel and petrol by 2030. With the world shifting from carbon to electron, we’re pleased to see British companies demonstrating their innovation and excellence to bring the same EV opportunities that other economies are enjoying. The auto industry isn’t the only opportunity for growth with batteries in growing demand in other sectors such as aerospace, electric utilities and other renewable energy companies.
Investment is going to be a major driver of the advancement of battery technology in the UK so we’re pleased to see that the government has promised nearly £500 million in the next four years for mass-scale production of batteries. Private investors are also sensing the vast potential in batteries, with substantial investments being funnelled to UK companies that they believe are ahead in the technology.
As the fourth-largest car producer in Europe with a reputation for cutting edge research and development Britain certainly has a significant role to play in the EV revolution. Here’s our pick of UK innovators powering up a British batter technology boom 🇬🇧
Britishvolt, the start-up battery manufacturer has this month submitted plans for a £2.6bn Gigafactory in Northumberland on the site of the former Blyth Power Station. The scheme could ultimately create 8,000 new jobs at the plant and its supply chain as early as 2023. Britishvolt says it’ll be producing 300,000 lithium-ion battery packs each year, which will be used to supply the UK automotive industry, stating that it is in detailed talks with some of the world’s largest car manufacturers and is well on track to raise the funding needed to make the plant a reality. On funding, Britishvolt chairman Peter Rolton said “the level of momentum has been phenomenal in the funding community” and that the company was “close to agreements” with two of the leading investment banks to oversee its main fundraising round.
Find out more about Britishvolt – https://britishvolt.com
Aceleron believe in creating batteries that ensure 100% of the material value is not wasted promoting reuse and remanufacture over waste. Based out of Birmingham, their advanced lithium battery technology is inspired by naturally occurring cycles within the Earth system. The company’s most sustainable lithium battery packs in a full circular economy approach, serviceable, upgradable, and recyclable.
Find out more about Aceleron – https://www.aceleronenergy.com
Williams Advanced Engineering
Williams Advanced Engineering and Fortescue Metals Group have recently announced an agreement to design, build, test and integrate a battery system to power an electric mining haul truck. The battery will be built at WAE’s facility in Grove, Oxfordshire, UK before being shipped to Perth, Australia for integration into a 240-tonne prototype haul truck. Craig Wilson, managing director, Williams Advanced Engineering said, “high performance battery systems are at the core of WAE. Both companies have a shared culture for innovation and rapid response and are committed to creating a sustainable future.’’
Find out more about Williams Advanced Engineering – https://www.wae.com
London based startup Zenobe helped over 100 buses in the UK go electric by providing batteries, charging infrastructure and software to manage the charging schedules. They have finalised contracts with operators to support a further 250 electric vehicles by summer 2021. The start-up raised £150 million last year to support its continuing expansion into clean buses and grid-scale batteries across the UK, and in countries including Belgium, the Netherlands and Australia. Nicholas Beatty, Founder Director, Zenobe Energy, said: “By driving the adoption of batteries across the transport, infrastructure and utilities sectors, we will help accelerate the uptake of renewable energy, ultimately enabling the transition to a green energy system, both in the UK and internationally.”
Find out more about Zenobe – https://www.zenobe.com
Another British invented and designed battery solution that has grabbed our attention is Moixa’s ‘smart battery’ that offers integrated hardware and GridShare software, for renewable energy management. GridShare software enables real-time aggregation and smart charging of EV batteries by optimising charging patterns based on factors such as driver behaviour, cost of energy and weather forecasts. In 2020 Moixa celebrated a new milestone, with it’s AI software GridShare managing more than 20,000 batteries in Japan alone.
Find out more about Moixa – https://www.moixa.com
OXIS Energy are developing an innovative Lithium Sulfur [Li-S] battery chemistry that will revolutionize the rechargeable battery market. The company has developed unique technology around sulfur-based cathode materials, highly stable electrolyte systems, and an anode made of Lithium metal and intercalation materials. OXIS successfully completed its research into developing a 400Wh/kg cell for a battery electric vehicle (BEV) as part of the Revolutionary Electric Vehicle Battery (REVB) project, co-funded by Innovate UK.
Find out more about OXIS Energy – https://oxisenergy.com
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With large OEM’s in the UK automotive industry setting their sights on EV there is a real opportunity to develop a battery supply chain and scale up in Britain. We’re pleased to see that UK innovation is rising to the occasion.
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