UK's Ricardo awarded funding for 'niche volume' battery packs feasibility study

by John Shepherd
Niche volume battery manufacturing facility can 'help establish a robust UK supply chain'. Image: Ricardo
UK consultancy Ricardo said today it has received government funding to assess the commercial viability of a facility to assemble battery packs for UK manufacturers that produce fewer than 10,000 electrified vehicles a year.

These UK electrified vehicle firms include some of the world’s prestige brands, which manufacture luxury cars and other vehicles for a customer base in the low thousands.

Martin Starkey, MD for Ricardo Performance Products, said "a niche volume battery manufacturing facility will help to establish a robust supply chain” for critical electrification components and "deliver a national competitive advantage for the UK”.

Niche volumes

"The UK automotive industry has a diverse mix of sector-leading manufacturers,” Starkey said. "The volume requirements and flexible product specifications of niche volume manufacturers are not aligned with the high-volume outputs from emerging ‘gigafactories’.”

As part of the study, Ricardo, based at Shoreham-by-Sea, on the southeast English coast, will assess how the proposed facility could help minimise the risk of scaling up the innovation of new battery concepts to niche volumes.

Ricardo did not specify the amount of funding awarded, but said it plans to harness its expertise in batteries, to look at minimising the environmental impact of battery pack manufacturing through second-life processing and recycling of core elements from construction.

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