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AMTE Power receives funding to lead EV project ULTRA


APC to provide 50% of GBP10 million funding required

ULTRA to develop two AMTE Power lithium-ion batteries

Cells to be produced at AMTE Power 2 GWh gigafactory

UK-based battery cell manufacturer AMTE Power has received funding from the Advanced Propulsion Centre to lead a consortium to deliver a new GBP 10 million ($14 million) three-year electric vehicle project called ULTRA.

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AMTE Power CEO Kevin Brundish told S&P Global Platts Sept. 24 that APC, the UK's battery research and development project facilitator, had provided 50% of the GBP10 million, which would be divided between AMTE Power and three automotive supply chain companies, namely electric drive system designer Magtec, EV charging equipment maker Petalite, and copper foil supplier Avocet.

Brundish said the balance of the funding would be provided by consortium members.

The APC funding will support AMTE to bring next-generation lithium-ion cells to market readiness, alongside an automotive steering group that includes BMW and Arrival.

The ULTRA project is focused on developing two AMTE Power lithium-ion batteries, a power dense ultra high power cell and an energy dense ultra energy (UE) cell.

Brundish told Platts the company was also working with the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre in Coventry to scale up the technology and processes to allow it to manufacture these cells in high volumes in the UK.

He said it would produce the cells at its planned initial 2 GWh gigafactory, which would eventually be expanded to 10 GWh and then to 32 GWh, depending on market demand.

Brundish first told Platts about the planned 2 GWh gigafactory in the UK in April, which he said would manufacture lithium-ion battery cells and its proprietary sodium-ion battery cells for specialist markets, as well as the EV and battery-storage spaces.

With the UHP and UE cells, AMTE Power is targeting the next generation of sustainable battery and performance improvement to deliver cell technology that surpasses what the UK market currently offers.

"We will have what we call our Gen 1 products available for the markets in the next few months, and these can be used in automotive applications, but we have technical road maps, which further develop both the Ultra Energy and Ultra High Power cells into different forms and these are specific to the future demands of the automotive industry," Brundish said.

APC said onshore, sustainable development of cell technology, materials, and battery management systems would improve the UK's future preparedness for meeting EV demand.

It said BMW Motorsport and Arrival were both working on the UHP power cell and UE energy cell, respectively, due to differing cell development timelines, vehicle applications, and requirements.

APC business development and programs director Jon Beasley said the automotive industry was at a pivotal point as it transitioned to low-emissions technology to meet global net-zero targets.

"The investment in this innovative technology will create and commercialize, high-performing faster charging, more efficient batteries, creating UK-manufactured next-generation lithium-ion cells which will tackle challenges like range anxiety, cost and encourage more drivers and fleet owners to switch to EVs," Beasley said.

Brundish said APC-funded projects would accelerate the development of products. "Working closely with leading automotive manufacturers and supply chain companies is an ideal position to be in as we work towards volume production of our products," Brundish said.