New project to create £14 million UK automotive battery pack research facility

The University of Oxford Department of Engineering Science will partner WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group), at the University of Warwick, which will lead a £14 million consortium to create a new automotive battery pack manufacturing research centre. The project will 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.

Battery systems developmentThe UK's innovation agency Innovate UK have 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 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 Recycling. 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, ADL, 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 design and develop the battery systems to meet these requirements.

Technology partners: WMG, HORIBA MIRA, and the University of Oxford will support the design, development and manufacturing process while Axion will develop the lifecycle management of the battery system, including its recycling, remanufacturing and/or repurposing at end of life.  

As well as leading the project, WMG will host the pilot manufacturing line as part of its Energy Innovation Centre on the University of Warwick campus.

Associate Professor David HoweyAssociate Professor David Howey from the Department's Energy and Power Group, said:

"We’re very excited about tackling real industrial problems and relating our academic research to applications, so it’s fantastic to be part of this consortium. Our role as the University of Oxford will be to apply our knowledge of lithium-ion modelling and state estimation to support the delivery of the battery management system for the project."

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 form part of the "Electrical Energy Storage" Spoke of the APC.