UK battery cell manufacturer AMTE Power says it has been appointed to lead a new government-funded project preparing two of its battery cells for large scale manufacture and testing with leading automotive manufacturers. Project ULTRA is funded with five million pounds.
The capital will come through the UK Government’s Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), a government-funded body focused on supporting the UK automotive industry in the lead up to the electrification of the market in 2030. The funding will be divided between AMTE Power and three automotive suppliers, with AMTE Power receiving £2.3 million over the next three years.
Development partners for ULTRA are Magtec, designer of electric drive systems, who is participating to prove the “Ultra Energy” cell performance; Petalite, which will provide fast-charging equipment; and Avocet, a precision metal supplier that will provide a UK copper foil supply chain.
As part of project ULTRA, the cells will be sent to “steering partners” so the company for external validation and adoption in their vehicle prototypes. Similarly, the ‘Ultra Energy’ cell will be demonstrated working in Magtec’s two commercial Electric Vehicle prototypes.
The project also builds on what AMTE calls Ultra-High Power technology, a re-chargeable pouch format battery cell. Earlier developments projects ran in conjunction with specialist manufacturers given as Jaguar Land Rover, Cosworth and Williams.
However, AMTE in today’s statement emphasises that “Importantly, this project will not affect the existing commercialisation plans for these cells, as set out at the time of our IPO, it will instead be complementary and focus on readiness to mass produce for our targeted automotive client base.”
Kevin Brundish, Chief Executive Officer of AMTE Power, added his delight to have been chosen to lead the project. “The APC selects companies who they believe will be key players in the UK’s electric vehicle supply chain and funds projects that will take products into this high volume market. Working closely with leading automotive manufacturers and supply chain companies is an ideal position to be in as we work towards volume production of our products.”
The company has been repeatedly named as a potential partner for the UK government’s advances into installing battery cell manufacturing at giga-scale in the country. When for example, announcing the IPO on the London Stock Exchange in February, Brundish said they were working with Westminster to build a British Gigafactory. It was part of the company’s “medium-term outlook” with potential sites in Teesside and Dundee, Scotland. When asked by electrive at the time, a spokesperson added that AMTE was looking at “making a decision in 2022 as to expansion from its existing production facility in Scotland, and of course, will welcome any mutually beneficial collaboration.” A previously suggested collaboration with Britishvolt, another contender in recent plans for UK Giga factories, has, however, not come to pass. Instead, both companies are following their own plans.
AMTE Power claims its purpose-built cell manufacturing facility in Scottish Thurso has the second-largest cell manufacturing capacity in the UK. It also has a product development team based in Oxford. Not much is known about the company’s battery technology other than AMTE saying it is a manufacturer of lithium-ion and sodium-ion battery cells.
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