Battery pack development work is already under way

Battery pack development work is already under way

A new joint venture between Williams Advanced Engineering and Unipart Manufacturing Group is set to open in Coventry, in the English automaking Midlands, early in 2019, creating around 90 jobs. It will initially supply Aston Martin.

Backers claim Hyperbat will be the UK's largest independent vehicle battery manufacturer making power packs for hybrid and pure electric vehicles.

"The facility provides a secure future supply chain for UK-based carmakers as their vehicles transition to electric power, with the potential to provide similar [products for] developing marine and aircraft projects in future," the new supplier said in a statement.

Launch customer Aston Martin - about to float on the stock exchange - will use the batteries in the limited-run Rapide E.

Williams Advanced Engineering claims years of experience electrifying vehicles, from powering all the cars on the grid of the ABB FIA Formula E championship to projects as varied as the Vanda Electrics Dendrobium electric hypercar and Jaguar Vector Racing world speed record-breaking electric boat. It has previously won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in the innovation category for its work migrating Formula E battery project technology into commercial applications.

Unipart - once the aftermarket parts service British Leyland (and various other iterations) specialises in automotive manufacturing, logistics and supply.

It will bring manufacturing and technology to the joint venture and will convert a century old building, which most recently produced vehicle exhausts, to make the batteries.

The joint venture was inspired by H1PERBAT- an Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC)-funded, Williams-led consortium of organisations, set up in 2017, which also includes Unipart, Coventry University and Aston Martin and others. It was established to build a high performance, low volume, flexible battery capability in the UK. The joint venture will also draw on work undertaken by H1PERBAT which also looked at second life options for car batteries.

See also: Aston Martin says new plant will be 'home of electrification'

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