Next-gen green vehicle battery facility to power up 500 jobs

A company set to develop a new generation of greener vehicle batteries has chosen Sheffield as the location for a new Research & Development and manufacturing facility.

The Ultimate Battery Company (UBC), based in Hyde, Manchester, selected South Yorkshire, after receiving support through South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority. (SYMCA)

The authority has pledged to provide £5.2m in financial support (£3.2m loan and £2m grant) to the company to enable it to develop technologies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions with new technologies and energy storage solutions.

UBC’s R&D and manufacturing facility is expected to create 495 new jobs over the next few years.

Maurizio Cunningham-Brown, CEO, said: “To develop these new technologies and products we needed to find a location with a green energy infrastructure and the support framework and supply network in place to help us achieve our ambitions.

“The team at SYMCA helped guide us through the funding process and put us in touch with the University of Sheffield’s AMRC, which is now our partner in research and development of our new battery technologies.”

“We are really excited about locating our new facility in Sheffield and being able to create jobs here, now and in the future.”

The business is developing technologies which remove most of the obstacles to widespread electric vehicle uptake, including increasing battery run times, extending travel range and reducing costs for the customer.

The company’s aim is to design a new battery that provides a Lithium-like performance at 35% of the cost, enabling twice the energy to be stored in the same physical space and providing a faster charging rate.

Batteries that UBC has developed also significantly reduce weight by up to 15kg per vehicle, further driving down both CO2 emissions and manufacturing costs.

Gareth Morgan, SYMCA senior business development manager for trade and investment, said: “The Ultimate Battery Company offers exciting opportunities for our region in terms of recruitment, education and development of new greener technologies.

“The company has been able to establish valuable connections with the AMRC, which offers excellent resources and expertise to help UBC to put their plans in motion. We are very pleased to welcome UBC to South Yorkshire.”

Steve Foxley, CEO of University of Sheffield AMRC, said: “It has been a great pleasure to work with the Ultimate Battery Company around its manufacturing innovations for energy storage technology and we’re delighted to see they are now building on that collaboration with inward investment into South Yorkshire.”

Continuing to work alongside the AMRC, UBC is also setting its sights on making the switch to electric vehicles easier for manufacturers.

Malcolm Earp, chief commercial officer & chief operating officer at the firm, said: “The main reason for the slow uptake of electric vehicles is the increased cost compared with a traditional combustion engine motor vehicle.

“Our new battery changes the dynamics – not only will the electric vehicles achieve purchase price parity with traditional cars, but total cost of ownership will be significantly less in terms of both lower operating and maintenance costs.”

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