Hyperbat, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of high-performance electric vehicle battery (EV) packs, has sealed a multi-million-pound contract to supply batteries to Lotus. These will be used for its new Evija electric hypercar the world’s most powerful production car.
Hyperbat was formed to bring together Williams Advanced Engineering’s (WAE) EV battery expertise with Unipart Group’s capability in manufacturing safety-critical products for premium original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
This combination of engineering excellence and Tier 1 manufacturing capability was established to support the scale-up of EV production in the UK and will manufacture the 90kWh lithium-ion battery packs destined for use in the first British-made all-electric hypercar.
Full production will take place at the firm’s brand-new production line at Unipart Manufacturing Group’s site in Coventry. The mid-mounted battery pack will support a target output of 2000 PS and performance targets of 0-62mph (0-100kph) in under three seconds and a top speed of over 200mph (322kph).
Andy Davis, Hyperbat director, said: “To win a contract with Lotus to supply battery packs for the world’s most powerful production car demonstrates the exceptional technology and manufacturing expertise we have at Hyperbat.
“This comes from decades of experience as a first-tier automotive industry manufacturer and is an example of how Hyperbat can continue Britain’s heritage at the frontier of technological innovation in the automotive industry, coupled with Unipart’s expertise in execution.
“Required performance levels will be facilitated by our proprietary welding and joining technologies, which, alongside the deployment of the latest digital technologies, are critical to achieving the highest levels of performance and product quality.”
The manufacturing process involves assembling 12,000 components split across 500 unique parts and 100,000 welds in each pack. This is a complex process for which Hyperbat employs a unique system using cameras, sensors and vision systems to monitor data for each of the battery components.
Davis continued: “We are one of the few companies to have invested in this advanced manufacturing technology which is enhanced by the research and development work carried out by the Institute of Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME), which offer on-site support to our R&D team and are a perfect example of Industry and Academia working in partnership.
“This gives Hyperbat a digital advantage when it comes to highly complex battery manufacture for the world’s most demanding customers.”
Mark Edwards, Lotus Cars executive director of engineering, said: “We have been working with Unipart and Hyperbat for a number of years and are confident in their ability to deliver the quality of product and the level of Tier 1 manufacturing support Lotus needs for such a prestigious project.
“With this in mind, we are therefore delighted to appoint Hyperbat for battery production for Lotus’ first fully electric hypercar.”
Hyperbat has experience across a wide variety of high-performance road cars and global electric motorsport programmes and is able to access this expertise and learning to support new customers.
The company is committed to selecting the best and most competitive supply solutions and is actively engaged with the Advanced Propulsion Centre to grow the UK’s EV supply chain capability through its “H1perChain” project.
Davis added: “We are immensely proud to have been chosen as the battery manufacturer for this prestigious programme and are delighted to be delivering a premium battery for a premium application.
“Our success in battery manufacturing focuses on three things – getting the core processes right, ensuring repeatability and reliability of the complete manufacturing process, and accelerating speed to market.
“Hyperbat is now working with its shareholders and partners across government, industry and academia to ensure it continues to develop the skills needed for the UK to lead the way in battery manufacturing.”
James Hoxey, Hyperbat commercial director, concluded: “We have spent the last few years developing and proving our capability, and this nomination is an important milestone for our business, enabling us to demonstrate what Hyperbat can provide to the market.
“The level of interest in the business and our capability is growing rapidly and further new business will undoubtedly follow.”
Hyperbat is part of a consortium of businesses using the latest 5G-enabled technology to speed up its manufacturing processes. Partnered with BT, Ericsson and NVIDIA to benefit from the world’s first 5G virtual reality (VR) ‘digital twin’ solution, the company can leverage remote teams in different parts of the country to connect, collaborate and interact using a virtual 3D engineering model.