Resource recovery specialist Axion Consulting has joined a consortium created to help develop the next generation of traction batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles.
The £14 million project is led by WMG at the University of Warwick and will create an automotive battery pack manufacturing research centre.
The centre will combine human and automated assembly methods to manufacture battery packs and lay the foundations o a new UK automative supply chain based around the technology.
Axion will help to develop the lifecycle management of the new battery system, including its recycling, remanufacturing and/or repurposing at the end of its lifecycle. It will also research processes for recovering high value metal compounds from the batteries.
Axion Senior Engineer, Sam Haig, commented: “This is an exciting new project that allows us to engage with and have valuable input into the whole design process from initial designs to prototyping and manufacturing.
We are proud to be part of the consortium being led by WMG and look forward to working with the other partners to deliver an innovative project on vehicle batteries. There could be potential in the future to extend this type of work to other lithium ion batteries, such as those in laptops and mobile phones.”
The project – called AMPLiFII (Automated Module-to-pack Pilot Line for Industrial Innovation) – has received £10 million funding from the UK’s innovation agency Innovate UK.
It will be used to develop new knowledge, skills, technology and facilities to support UK industry seeking to use these new technologies and processes in vehicle battery systems.
The project brings together a number of partners from multiple industries, including: Jaguar Land Rover, JCB, Delta Motorsport, Potenza Technology, The University of Oxford and Ariel Motor Company.
Professor David Greenwood from WMG, at the University of Warwick, said: “This project will create a UK supply chain for fully qualified battery packs to suit hybrid and electric vehicles requiring volumes from hundreds to thousands of units per year. These volumes traditionally do not justify 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. AMPLiFII will create a battery supply chain with mass-production standards of robustness that is high quality, low cost and fast to market.”
Once the project has been completed, the pilot line will become an open facility at WMG that will operate alongside the national cell scale-up facility already at WMG, and part of the “Electrical Energy Storage” Spoke of the APC.
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