The UK government has awarded millions of pounds to help boost manufacturing of electric vehicle batteries, including a project to build the country’s second purpose-built electric battery plant and another to make the technology more powerful.
Williams Advanced Engineering, the technology arm of Formula 1 team owner Williams Group, received £100M funding from the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) and will make batteries for the likes of luxury carmaker Aston Martin.
The APC, which was created in a unique partnership between industry and government, provides funding to projects as part of its services to enable development of low carbon propulsion systems. Funding is allocated to projects based on the outcome of bi-annual competitions, which require applications from consortia with a clear demonstrable route to production including at least one SME, one supplier and a vehicle manufacturer.
Aston Martin is also a part of the initiative having previously worked with Williams Advanced Engineering on a prototype battery for an Aston Martin, which will now go into production and act as the ‘halo’ project for this facility.
Jon Beasley, Director of Technology and Projects at APC added: “Williams Advanced Engineering Ltd and supporting partners have won an APC6 Competition to develop bespoke, high performance and cost-competitive batteries for low to medium volume applications. This project will focus on flexible manufacturing, design for manufacture, UK supply-chain development, recycling and reuse and save over one million tonnes of CO2.
“Through a partnership of companies, the project will further develop and make available battery systems in order to overcome significant supply chain gaps in the UK and be able to offer support to UK companies researching and developing cell chemistry, and opportunity for acceleration to commercialisation.”
Craig Wilson, Managing Director of Williams Advanced Engineering, commented: “We’re delighted to have won the APC6 competition and associated funding along with our consortium partners whom we are looking forward to working with to deliver this exciting project. We truly believe we can make a difference to the UK’s manufacturing capabilities and offer a significant contribution to the future of the automotive industry and energy storage in general.
“Williams has always endeavoured to work collaboratively with our customers to meet their sustainability challenges and find energy efficient solutions. This project will build on the extensive battery experience and know-how we have accumulated over the past ten years and is a big step in the right direction to further the UK’s battery manufacturing capabilities, supporting future electric vehicle requirements.”