Noting a surge of demand from customers for battery cells for electric vehicles, AMTE Power is scaling up its battery cell production facility in Scotland, identifying opportunities to boost manufacturing productivity, and supply battery cells to specialist vehicle manufacturers. These learnings will be applied to future development and roll-out of a significant new UK facility.
The UK Automotive battery supply chain has maintained significant strengths in the chemicals industry and developments of the next-generation anode and cathode technology. The AMTE Power Thurso facility has played a significant role in the upscaling of these technologies, from the lab to low production volumes. However, as the technologies find success there are limited opportunities to continue development and production within the UK.
HSSMI and AMTE Power conducted a Faraday-Battery-Challenge round 3 feasibility project to establish the validity of a UK based Gigafactory. This study provided the expected operational and capital costs for such a facility as well as an expected operational date of 2022. However, while the development of this facility is on-going, AMTE has seen a recent surge of demand from customers that cannot be currently met with the existing processes, equipment and scale of the current facility.
To address this challenge, the Thurso+ project aims to determine the feasibility of upscaling AMTE Power’s electrochemical battery cell production facility in Thurso and how it can best be aligned with their future Gigafactory. The Thurso+ project will aim to develop a productivity and investment roadmap which will be used to:
- Identify and implement immediate opportunities for increasing productivity and efficiency through lean and flexible manufacturing principles.
- Understand how the Thurso facility can best achieve technological parity in production methods to those of state-of-the-art Gigafactories.
This will facilitate further development of innovative and high-performance UK based products supporting the Automotive Industry. The project will increase the accessibility of cell supply for low volume specialist vehicle manufacturers who struggle with large OEMs buying up capacity.
The Thurso+ project is being submitted to Innovate UK’s competition: ATF: moving the UK automotive sector to zero emissions. The project will demonstrate innovation in the development of lean, flexible, and state of the art, high volume cell manufacturing capability in the UK of which there is currently a significant lack of. There is innovation in the adoption of high-volume manufacturing techniques and process within a small scale facility. This will reduce scale-up costs through minimising development and trials during each increase in production quantity. The project consortium is made up of AMTE Power, the cell manufacturer, and HSSMI, experts in high volume and scale-up manufacturing.