New UK facility to produce 30,000 lithium-ion batteries a year

Hyperdrive Innovation
Hyperdrive Innovation

Lithium-ion battery manufacturer Hyperdrive Innovation has opened a new facility in Sunderland that aims to make up to 30,000 battery packs annually.

The new factory, called HYVE, is said become the UK’s largest independent battery manufacturing facility, outside major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Hyperdrive – which makes battery packs for electric vehicles and energy storage systems – has invested £7 million into its manufacturing capabilities since moving to the Sunderland site in 2014.

High profile customers set to benefit from HYVE include JCB, which uses batteries from Hyperdrive for its fully electric mini excavator.

The new facility will allow the TechTrack100 company to cater to the company’s growing demand from international customers. The move also accelerates Hyperdrive’s new product development and technology pipelines, maximising competitiveness on the global stage.

Chris Pennison, CEO of Hyperdrive, said: “We’re working with some of the most forward-thinking and innovative organisations in the world as their trusted electrification and energy storage partner. HYVE enables us to deliver a high-quality product, providing our customers with the right energy at the right time.”

Bob Womersley, director, Advanced Engineering at JCB, said: “JCB is leading the way in clean technology and reducing harmful emissions, especially in urban, air quality sensitive environments and enclosed spaces. We have introduced E-TEC technology to give zero emissions at point of use with no compromise on machine performance. Using batteries from Hyperdrive Innovation, the new 19C-1E is the industry’s first fully electric mini excavator.”

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The partnership between these two British businesses was recently referenced in a Government announcement on the UK’s ambition to lead the world in zero emissions vehicles as part of its industrial strategy.

Business Minister Andrew Stephenson commented: “We are committed, through our Industrial Strategy and Automotive Sector Deal, to establishing the UK as a world leader in battery technology and the HYVE facility will help play a crucial role in us delivering on this ambition.

“Its customers include some of the world’s most recognisable brands, from major supermarkets to manufacturers of off-road vehicles, all of whom will benefit from having high-quality batteries, made right here in the UK.”

Hyperdrive moved to the Future Technology Centre (FTC) in Washington, Sunderland in 2014. Sunderland City Council has since provided significant support in generating and protecting Hyperdrive’s intellectual property.

Advice and support from the city council also enabled Hyperdrive to secure the 21,000ft2 HYVE facility, also at the FTC. Further assistance from Sunderland City Council included organising overseas trade missions to promote Hyperdrive’s world-class engineering abroad.

Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Hyperdrive is a terrific example of Sunderland’s world class status in automotive, advanced manufacturing and knowledge economy. It’s phenomenal growth and global success will bring new opportunities and highly skilled jobs to the city, and help to solve urgent energy and environmental challenges worldwide. We’re delighted to work alongside Hyperdrive as it grows.”

Support from the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) played an integral role in the early stages of Hyperdrive’s seven-year history. The High Energy Density Battery Project (HEDB), in partnership with Nissan and funded by a £9.7 million APC grant, enabled Hyperdrive’s latest battery technology to be brought to market.

Hyperdrive last year completed a major £40 million deal with Taiwanese manufacturing giant, Foxlink Group. The deal means Foxlink can now use Hyperdrive’s intellectual property to produce and sell its modular battery pack across Asia.

Hyperdrive has also invested £50,000 in a software system to help with manufacturing planning decisions, and enable efficient stock control. Last year, the company was the only North East firm to be named in the TechTrack100, which ranks the UK’s fastest growing independent technology firms and in June 2019, won the Automotive Award at the prestigious Made in the UK national finals.



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