To work on higher energy density and power capability
R&D to cascade down to more affordable EVs
UK battery developer Britishvolt said Jan. 28 it was to partner with UK automaker Lotus to jointly develop a battery cell package to power the next generation of electric sports cars.
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The companies will collaborate on integrating cell formats and chemistry to provide higher energy density and power capability, fast-charging and other specifications, to develop an electric vehicle that will be powered by Britishvolt cells and use Lotus’s electric propulsion technology.
The research and development work put into powering such a high-performance EV will ultimately cascade down to influence the electro chemistries of more affordable batteries and EVs, Britishvolt said.
The agreement is part of Britishvolt’s aim to tailor make battery cell solutions for automaker customers.
“This MOU demonstrates that the legacy one-size-fits-all cell strategy is no longer valid in the rapidly developing electric mobility market,” Britishvolt CCO Oliver Jones said.
Earlier in January, Britishvolt received an investment from the UK government, said by sources to be in the region of GBP100 million ($134 million), as well as GBP1.7 billion from abrdn and Tritax for the construction of its GBP2.6 billion gigafactory in Blyth, Northumberland.
Britishvolt is building the 30 GWh gigafactory in phases. It will manufacture enough battery cells a year for over 300,000 electric vehicle battery packs, equivalent to around 25% of current UK vehicle manufacturing. It also has plans to construct a second gigafactory in Quebec, Canada, with a capacity of 60 GWh.
So far in 2022, it has also signed a two-year agreement with the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre to jointly develop and manufacture high energy, high nickel lithium-ion battery cells to allow EVs to achieve better performance and range.
It is also due to release a number of other announcements concerning customer MOUs and R&D collaborations in the coming weeks.
In 2021, Lotus pledged to become pure electric and has invested GBP100 million in its UK facilities, including manufacturing centers at Hethel for the Evija pure electric hypercar and Emira sports car, with the latter due to be its last model with an internal combustion engine. It is also due to unveil its new Type 132 all-electric SUV, with three more EVs planned.