UK manufacturer wins multi-million-pound export deal for EV parts

Posted on 12 Aug 2020 by Jonny Williamson

TRB Lightweight Structures has won a £19m deal to export electric car battery parts made from organic waste to the United States.

Since formation in 1954, TRB Lightweight Structures (TRB) has grown into a leading international manufacturing and engineering company, specialising in lightweight composite products.

The electric car battery parts components, made from recycled plant waste and moulded into shape using cutting-edge machinery, are manufactured in the UK at a similar cost to heavier aluminium.

The joint venture with Toyota Tsusho America will see the enclosures shipped from TRB’s Cambridgeshire headquarters and assembled at a new manufacturing facility in Richmond, Kentucky.

The finished products will then be supplied to a Fortune 500 global engine producer.

President at TRB, Andrew Dugmore, commented: “Sustainability is important to us and we are passionate about developing lightweight solutions for transportation, which will make vehicles more efficient and reduce CO2 emissions.

“Since setting up in the US, interest has been high, and we are negotiating potential multi-million-pound deals with other clients. The UK and US trading relationship goes back decades and we hope that any new free trade agreement will make trading with the US easier for us.”

TRB started exporting in 2015 with 30% of its turnover attributed to exports. The company plans to increase this to 70% by 2021 thanks to financial and logistical expansion support from the Department for International Trade, such as introductions to the Kentucky Cabinet of Economic Development.

Government analysis shows that the East of England’s economy is estimated to grow by up to £345m because of a future UK-US free trade agreement.

The US is the East of England’s largest export market, accounting for 15% of the region’s goods exports in 2019.

In response to the government’s call for help building ventilators and PPE, TRB used its material science knowhow and specialist equipment to produce vital protective equipment for frontline workers.

The company redeployed personnel and machinery that normally would create advanced composite components for electric vehicles to produce an innovative reusable face visor, and at one stage was manufacturing 1,000 of these a day.

TRB’s Felix Otomewo and Clint Boa-Amponsem producing the first batch of 3,000 face visors

Felix Otomewo and Clint Boa-Amponsem producing the first batch of 3,000 face visors  


*Header image courtesy of Depositphotos