Formula One tech company leads UK battery factory consortium

April 12, 2017 // By Nick Flaherty
Williams formula-e battery
A consortium of UK organizations led by Formula One racing technology company Williams Advanced Engineering (Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK) is set to build a factory for high-performance, low-volume, flexible battery manufacturing.

The group, including Unipart, Coventry University, WMG, Productiv, MCT ReMan and The National Composites Centre, won an APC (Advanced Propulsion Centre) competition to overcome existing supply chain gaps in the industry, as well as offering support to UK chemistry development and bridging the gap between low volume prototype build and electric vehicle production.

The project will also promote battery system development and create more commercial opportunities for this technology in the UK.

The lead battery development will be for Aston Martin, which previously worked with Williams Advanced Engineering on a prototype battery for a vehicle which will now go into production. Williams has also developed batteries for Formula-e electric vehicle racing.

The group is one of seven projects sharing £62m (€70m) in the sixth round of funding from the APC. The location and funding for the factory have not been announced. 

 “Williams Advanced Engineering 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,” said Jon Beasley, Director of Technology and Projects at APC.

“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.”

“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,” said Craig Wilson, Managing Director of Williams Advanced Engineering.

“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,