Hyperbat to supply battery packs for Lotus

In the UK, Hyperbat has sealed a multi-million-pound contract to supply battery packs to Lotus for its new all-electric Evija. The battery packs will be made in Coventry, England.

Hyperbat is a joint venture between Williams Advanced Engineering and Unipart  formed in 2018. The battery maker is now to manufacture the 90kWh lithium-ion battery packs for the first British-made all-electric hypercar Lotus Evija.

Unipart Manufacturing Group recently opened a new production line at their site in Coventry, which will be used by Hyperbat to manufacture the hypercar’s batteries. Investments made in the manufacturing facility in Coventry were part of the UK’s 2018 push for low-carbon technology.

The plant will be not be engaged in mass production of the hypercar, but rather handmade, small unit numbers. Although the British sportscar brand has big plans for the hypercar, the company’s Chinese owner, automotive giant Geely, said in 2019 of the hypercar project: “The manufacturing location depends on the local advantage”, said Feng Qingfeng, CTO of Geely. “The UK is good at making hand-made cars, so sports and hypercars. In China, we may have more advantage in infrastructure for mass-production cars.”

Hyperbat’s battery facility has been designed to support low-volume, high-performance vehicles, and mid-volume specialist vehicle applications. The company’s aim here is to help its customers make the transition from internal combustion engines (ICE) to EVs.

Mark Edwards, Executive Director of Engineering at Lotus Cars, said of the cooperation: “We have been working with Unipart and Hyperbat for a number of years and are confident in their ability to deliver the quality of product and the level of Tier 1 manufacturing support Lotus needs for such a prestigious project.”

In the process of manufacturing the battery packs, Hyperbat says it is committed to “selecting the best and most competitive supply solutions.” The young battery maker notes that it is actively engaged with the Advanced Propulsion Centre in Coventry to grow the UK’s EV supply chain capability through its ‘H1perChain’ project.

According to Hyperbat, the manufacturing process is a complex process for which it employs a unique system using cameras, sensors and vision systems to monitor data for each of the battery components. This involves assembling 12,000 components split across 500 unique parts and 100,000 welds in each pack. The company says it is aiming for the mid-mounted battery pack to support an output of 2000 PS and performance targets of 0-62mph in under three seconds with a top speed of over 200mph (around 322 km/h).

Andy Davis, Director at Hyperbat explains: “We are one of the few companies to have invested in this advanced manufacturing technology which is enhanced by the research and development work carried out by the Institute of Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME), who offer on-site support to our R&D team and are a perfect example of Industry and Academia working in partnership.”

In 2019, development service providers FEV, and Coventry University opened the Centre for Advanced Low-Carbon Propulsion Systems (C-ALPS), as a state-of-the-art development centre for clean propulsion technologies in Coventry.

In the meantime, several automotive companies have now based EV manufacturing and R&D operations in Coventry. In January this year, Uber’s biggest rival from India, Ola Electric announced it would establish a global centre for advanced engineering and vehicle design in in the English city. In May this year, the innovative Israeli startup Ree Automotive announced plans to implement cloud-based robot assembly lines at its integration centre in Coventry for the P7 modular platform for commercial vehicles such as trucks and buses. On the aviation front, this year, Urban-Air Port made Coventry its home for “Air-One”, a showcase of a fully-operational hub for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles and autonomous cargo drones.



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