HYVE opens new battery facility in Sunderland

Jul 11, 2019   Tier Suppliers

HYVE, the UK’s largest independent battery manufacturing facility, outside major Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), has opened new facility in Sunderland.

The site is home to Hyperdrive Innovation, the UK’s foremost designer and manufacturer of lithium-ion battery technology. Sunderland-based Hyperdrive – which makes battery packs for electric vehicles and energy storage systems – has invested £7 million ($8.75 million) into its manufacturing capabilities since moving to the site in 2014.

The new site will allow the TechTrack100 company to produce up to 30,000 battery packs annually and cater to the company’s growing demand from international customers. The move accelerates Hyperdrive’s new product development and technology pipelines, maximising competitiveness on the global stage.

Chris Pennison, CEO of Hyperdrive, said: “We’re working with some of the most forward-thinking and innovative organisations in the world as their trusted electrification and energy storage partner. HYVE enables us to deliver a high-quality product, providing our customers with the right energy at the right time.” 

High profile customers set to benefit from HYVE include a large online grocery retailer and JCB for whom Hyperdrive supply the battery systems for their first electric excavator. The industry leading machine is now in production at JCB’s Staffordshire site. 

Bob Womersley, Director, Advanced Engineering at JCB, said: “JCB is leading the way in clean technology and reducing harmful emissions, especially in urban, air quality sensitive environments and enclosed spaces.  We have introduced   E-TEC technology to give zero emissions at point of use with no compromise on machine performance.  Using batteries from Hyperdrive Innovation, the new 19C-1E is the industry’s first fully electric mini excavator.”

The groundbreaking partnership between these two world-leading British businesses was recently referenced in a government announcement on the UK’s ambition to lead the world in zero emissions vehicles as part of its industrial strategy.

The UK is a leader in the global low carbon technologies sector. Hyperdrive is a prime example of an innovative British company which has helped enable the UK to grow its economy by 67% from 1990 to 2015 whilst also achieving a 42% reduction in emissions – a feat made even more impressive when comparing it to the G7’s growth of 61% and emissions reduction of just 3% during the same period.

Hyperdrive moved to the Future Technology Centre (FTC) in Washington, Sunderland in 2014. Sunderland City Council has since provided significant support in generating and protecting Hyperdrive’s intellectual property. Advice and support from the city council also enabled Hyperdrive to secure the 21,000 sq. ft HYVE facility, also at the FTC. Further assistance from Sunderland City Council included organising overseas trade missions to promote Hyperdrive’s world-class engineering abroad.

Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Hyperdrive is a terrific example of Sunderland’s world class status in automotive, advanced manufacturing and knowledge economy. It’s phenomenal growth and global success will bring new opportunities and highly skilled jobs to the city, and help to solve urgent energy and environmental challenges worldwide.  We’re delighted to work alongside Hyperdrive as it grows.” 

Support from the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) played an integral role in the early stages of Hyperdrive’s seven-year history. The High Energy Density Battery Project (HEDB), in partnership with Nissan and funded by a £9.7 million ($12.13 million) APC grant, enabled Hyperdrive’s latest battery technology to be brought to market.

Further catalysing its global growth, Hyperdrive last year completed a major £40 million ($50 million) deal with Taiwanese manufacturing giant, Foxlink Group. The deal means Foxlink can now use Hyperdrive’s intellectual property to produce and sell its modular battery pack across Asia.

Hyperdrive has also invested £50,000 ($62,500) in a software system to help with manufacturing planning decisions, and enable efficient stock control. Last year, the company was the only North East firm to be named in the TechTrack100, which ranks the UK’s fastest growing independent technology firms and in June 2019, won the Automotive Award at the prestigious Made in the UK national finals.

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