A leading manufacturer of axial-flux electric motors and controllers, YASA, has officially opened a new 100,000-unit capacity production facility in Oxford, alongside announcing it has raised £15m in growth funding.
YASA’s new facility is expected to support 150 high-skilled jobs, and represents an investment in increased production capacity to meet growing customer demand and support further business growth.
The plant was officially opened by Business Secretary Greg Clark, who also announced government investment of £184m for more than 40 UK universities to help train the next generation of world-class engineers and scientists at British universities.
The announcement follows the launch of the government’s Year of Engineering campaign in January, a year-long campaign to tackle the engineering skills gap and widen the pool of young people who join the profession.
YASA’s innovative axial-flux electric motor design is reportedly well suited to both hybrid and pure electric vehicle applications, and offers automotive manufacturers greater design flexibility to improve vehicle performance, while reducing weight.
The company has received extensive government support and investment for its development through auto programmes including the Advanced Propulsion Centre, Innovate UK and Regional Growth Fund.
The company is now established as a world-leading electric motor manufacturer with 80 per cent of its production destined for export across the world, including China.
In addition to automotive, YASA motors are used in marine applications and in aerospace where high power density and torque density are critical.
The company was founded in 2009, based on the research of YASA’s founder and chief technology officer, Tim Woolmer, during his PhD at Oxford University.
YASA’s CEO, Dr Chris Harris explained: “YASA is a great example of what the UK can and should expect to achieve if we invest in the innovative and creative ideas emerging from our best universities, and have the determination and patience to turn those great ideas into world-beating companies.
“With the right support and investment, companies like YASA can become the powerhouse of the UK’s future economy, creating a wide range of high-skilled jobs and benefiting the communities of which they are a part.”
He continued: “Last year, for the first time, global sales of battery-powered electric and hybrid vehicles surpassed one million units.
“Currently, electric & hybrid vehicles sales represent 1% of the overall automotive market. However, analysts forecast that by 2025, this figure will rise to 25%. Large OEMs and Tier 1s are recognising that they need to adopt innovative new technologies if they are to address the changing demands of automotive market.”