WMG to lead creation of £14m automotive battery research site

Posted on 9 Sep 2015 by Jonny Williamson

The University of Warwick’s WMG will lead a £14m consortium to create a new automotive battery pack manufacturing research centre.

The project aims to foster the development of the next-generation of traction batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles, combining the best human and automated assembly methods and lay the foundations for a new UK automotive supply chain based around the technology.

With £10m of funding provided by Innovate UK, the AMPLiFII (Automated Module-to-pack Pilot Line for Industrial Innovation) project will look to develop new knowledge; skills; technology, and facilities to support UK industry seeking to utilise these new technologies and processes.

Led by WMG, the project brings together:

  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • JCB
  • Alexander Dennis (ADL)
  • Ariel Motor Company
  • Vayon Group
  • Delta Motorsport
  • Potenza Technology
  • RDVS
  • Trackwise
  • The University of Oxford
  • Axion Recycling

It also supports the UK Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) National Spoke for Electrical Energy Storage.

Within the project, the OEMs (JLR, JCB, ADL and Ariel) will provide battey requirements and coach the supply chain to meet full automotive quality; performance; robustness, and safety standards.

The supply chain partners (Delta Motorsport; Potenze; Vayon Group; RDVS; PAISEU and Trackwise) will design and develop the battery systems to meet these requirements.

Technology partners (WMG, HORIBA MIRA and the University of Oxford) will support the design, development and manufacturing process; while Axion will develop the lifecycle maintenance of the battery system, including its recycling, remanufacturing and/or repurposing.

As well as leading the project, WMG will host the pilot manufacturing line as part of its Energy Innovation Centre on the Univeristy of Warwick campus.

Chairman of WMG, Professor Lord Bhattacharyya commented: “The global energy storage market will be worth $50bn by 2020; of this, $21bn will be in transportation.

Professor Lord Bhattacharyya WEB
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, chairman, WMG.

“Automotive is well on its way to displacing consumer electronics as the biggest user of energy storage. This project will play a significant role in the evolution of that market by creating a UK supply chain for battery packs to suit hybrid and electric vehicles requiring volumes from hundreds to thousands of units each year.

Bhattacharyya continued: “It will also create a lasting facility at WMG for development of future battery packs. This will also create thousands of jobs in this field.”

WMG’s Professor David Greenwood added: “The volumes of battery packs traditionally required in this market have found it difficult to justify the high levels of development cost and effort.

“However, by developing and creating a modular battery architecture, based on cylindrical cells for both high power and high energy requirements, the supply chain will be able to aggregate demand for components from many applications and benefit from significant economies of scale.”