Lithium batteries must comply with section 38.3 of the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria for transport. Obtaining UN38.3 certification is an important milestone for Britishvolt’s business as it ensures cells can be transported safely to customers.
To pass the test, lithium-ion cells must show no signs of leaking, rupture, disassembly, or fire hazard. According to Britishvolt, an exhaustive test program consisting of a variety of simulated extreme conditions such as high altitude, very low and high temperatures, and several abusive mechanical tests are carried out.
UK battery testing company AIS was chosen to carry out the safety tests and passed the cells.
“It is fantastic and very encouraging news that we have worked with AIS to qualify our first product samples for transport security testing, setting us on the path for our future development and allowing us to ship test equipment. customers,” said Dr. Allan Patterson. , technical director at Britishvolt.
The 21700 cells are currently manufactured at the UK Battery Industrialization Center (UKBIC) in Coventry, UK. They will visit seven customers across the country, including premium automakers Aston Martin and Lotus, for further testing. Britishvolt signed a two-year deal with UKBIC in January this year to assemble and manufacture cells at the site.
“Building battery cells of this quality on behalf of our customers is a further endorsement of the state-of-the-art UKBIC facility and our ‘core cell platform’ developed to support rapid industrialization,” said Ian Whiting. , Commercial Director, UKBIC.
Britishvolt will eventually supply larger format cells from its £3.8 billion ($4.4 billion) gigafactory currently under construction in Blyth, in the north-east of the UK. Additionally, from 2024, some B sample cells will be produced at the company’s large-scale R&D facility at Hams Hall in the UK Midlands.
Blyth’s gigafactory is expected to have an annual battery cell production capacity of 38 GWh, although production may not start until 2025 due to rising energy prices, according to founder and CEO outgoing, Orral Nadjari, who was speaking to the Financial Times. The plant was originally scheduled to be commissioned next year.
“We have rescheduled some of our plans with a focus on R&D and ramping up given the current energy crisis,” a Britishvolt spokesperson confirmed. “We are focused on delivering our gigaplant, Phase One, from 2025.”
Memorandums of understanding of car manufacturers
In January this year, Britishvolt signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Lotus to advance lithium-ion battery cells. The companies will develop an electric sports car powered by Britishvolt cells and featuring advanced electric propulsion technologies developed by Lotus.
Subsequently, in March, Britishvolt also signed a memorandum of understanding with Aston Martin, which plans to launch its first battery electric vehicle in 2025. A joint Aston Martin and Britishvolt research and development team will design, develop and industrialize battery packs, including custom batteries. modules and a battery management system.
In other news, with the announcement last month of the resignation of Britishvolt founder and CEO Orall Nadjari, Graham Hoare is taking over as interim CEO. Hoare is currently Deputy Managing Director of Britishvolt and President of Global Operations. The former chairman of Ford UK is also chairman of the UK Automotive Council.