Williams Advanced Engineering and Unipart Manufacturing Group form automotive battery JV; Aston Martin launch customer
Two UK-based companies—Williams Advanced Engineering and Unipart Manufacturing Group—have formed a new joint venture—Hyperbat Limited—to produce batteries for future hybrid and electric vehicles.
The move has been welcomed by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as a significant step forward in the UK’s contribution to reducing carbon emissions.
What will be the UK’s largest independent vehicle battery manufacturer will open in early 2019 in Coventry. The launch customer for Hyperbat batteries is the Aston Martin Rapide E, which will be a limited production run.
The new company and factory combine world-leading expertise in manufacturing, logistics and safe, innovative, high performance vehicle battery technology from Unipart and Williams.
The facility provides a secure future supply chain for UK-based car-makers as their vehicles transition to electric power, with the potential to provide similar solutions to developing marine and aircraft projects in future.
The joint venture was inspired by H1PERBAT—an Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC)-funded, Williams Advanced Engineering-led consortium of organizations, set up in 2017, which also includes Unipart, Coventry University, Aston Martin and others. It was established to build a high-performance, low-volume, flexible battery capability in the UK. The joint venture will also draw on work undertaken by H1PERBAT, which also looked at second life options for car batteries, enabling a long-term sustainable future for the products in both the vehicles and beyond.
The products from the facility will meet global vehicle battery standards, including ISO26262 from the outset.
Williams Advanced Engineering has years of experience electrifying vehicles, from powering all the cars on the grid of the ABB FIA Formula E championship in rugged and competitive conditions to projects as varied as the Vanda Electrics Dendrobium electric hypercar and Jaguar Vector Racing world speed record-breaking electric boat.
In April 2018 Williams Advanced Engineering won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category for its work translating learning from the Formula E battery project into commercial applications.
Unipart is well-known for its expertise in automotive manufacturing, logistics and supply. It will use its manufacturing and technological expertise to produce this more environmentally-progressive equipment to fuel the future of road transport. Unipart will convert a century-old building, which most recently produced vehicle exhausts, to produce more environmentally-friendly equipment to power the future of road transport.