Resource recovery specialist Axion Consulting has joined a £14 million consortium, led by WMG at the University of Warwick, to create a new automotive battery pack manufacturing research centre to help develop the next generation of traction batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles.
It will combine the best human and automated assembly methods to manufacture battery packs and lay the foundations of a new UK automotive supply chain based around this technology.
Axion will lead the work to develop the lifecycle management of the battery system, including its recycling, remanufacturing and/or repurposing at end of life. The Axion team will also research novel processes for recovering high value metal compounds from the batteries.
Axion Senior Engineer, Sam Haig said: “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 UK’s innovation agency Innovate UK has given £10 million funding to support the project. Called AMPLiFII (Automated Module-to-pack Pilot Line for Industrial Innovation) it will 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 is led by WMG at the University of Warwick and brings together Jaguar Land Rover, JCB, Alexander Dennis (ADL), Ariel Motor Company, PAISEU, Vayon Group, Delta Motorsport, Potenza Technology, RDVS, Trackwise, HORIBA MIRA, The University of Oxford, and Axion Consulting. The work also supports the UK Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) National Spoke for Electrical Energy Storage.
Within the project, the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers): Jaguar Land Rover, JCB, Alexander Dennis, and Ariel will provide battery requirements and coach the supply chain to meet full automotive quality, performance, robustness and safety standards.
The supply chain partners: Delta Motorsport, Potenza, Vayon Group, RDVS, PAISEU and Trackwise will develop the battery system. Technology partners: WMG, HORIBA MIRA, and the University of Oxford will support the design, development and manufacturing process.
WMG at the University of Warwick will lead the project and host the pilot manufacturing line.
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.”
When the research project is completed the pilot line will become an open facility at WMG, operating alongside the national cell scale-up facility already at WMG, and part of the "Electrical Energy Storage" Spoke of the APC.
Axion Consulting is part of the Axion Group that develops and operates innovative resource recovery and processing solutions for recycling waste materials. The Group works with a wide range of clients, from Government agencies and local authorities to companies in diverse commercial sectors, on the practical development of new processing and collection methods to recover value from waste resources.
For more information, contact Axion Consulting on 0161 426 7731 or visit the website – www.axionconsulting.co.uk.