Williams Aims for Pole in EV Race

The Williams Formula 1 team’s engineering arm is joining forces with Unipart to produce electric and hybrid vehicle batteries.

Williams Advanced Engineering and Unipart Manufacturing Group, manufacturer of powertrain components, claim their Hyperbat joint venture will make the latter company’s Coventry factory “the UK’s largest independent vehicle battery manufacturer”. They hope to open the factory in its new incarnation in early 2019. Business Secretary Greg Clark has said the move will assist the UK’s efforts to reduce its carbon emissions. He characterized the venture as a part of his government’s industrial strategy, saying it was “inspired by a government-funded Advanced Propulsion Center project”. That project is H1PERBAT, a Williams-led consortium also featuring Aston Martin among its members, that was formed in 2017 with the aim of developing the facilities and technology needed to produce “high-performance EV batteries”.

The first purchaser of the batteries produced at the factory will be Aston Martin, for its new Rapide E model Lagonda. Williams and Unipart claim Hyperbat will provide UK automakers with “a secure future supply chain” while they’re modifying their vehicles to run electrically.

Unipart managing director Carol Burke said her company was “delighted” to be partnering with the motorsport tech giant. She added: “Using some of the most advanced manufacturing capabilities in this field, Hyperbat’s production facilities will be highly adaptable to meet the changing requirements of future demands, while also addressing opportunities from non-automotive sectors looking to introduce sustainable propulsion into their product ranges”.


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