Reading Time: 3 minutes

In 2013, Scotland’s AMTE Power acquired AGM Batteries which had a history dating back to the late 1990’s when the Lithium-Ion battery industry was in its infancy. Seven years later, AGM Batteries was rebranded as AMTE Power, and is now squarely focused on manufacturing next-generation cells for markets including high-performance electric vehicles (EVs) and energy storage.

It’s also set to play a leading role in the development of the UK’s first battery gigafactory.

On this week’s Mobility Moments we discuss all of this and more with Kevin Brundish, AMTE Power’s CEO.

Describe your Ultra Power cell technology.

Our range of Ultra Power Cells is typically used in the automotive and aerospace industries, both in high rate applications and where weight and performance are critical factors. The cell performance characteristics are different from the mass market products. We are currently developing new and different cells that offer customers choice in power and safety, with some of these products due to be formally released during 2021.

What involvement has AMTE in the UK’s first Gigafactory?

We recognised the need for the UK to service the growing EV and energy storage markets, and we are planning to build the UK’s first 2-3 GwH full cycle battery Gigafactory. We have shortlisted a number of locations across the UK and are working closely with UK based supply chain partners who share the ambition to set up alternatives to current far east options.

Why is there a need for a battery Gigafactory in the UK?

With the ‘Road to Zero’ target brought forward to 2035, there are calls for the UK to significantly boost its capability to support the market demand for EVs. The EU currently lags behind in Lithium-Ion battery production, the most crucial part of an EV, making up less than three per cent of global manufacturing capacity. The UK must now take the lead in producing the most environmentally-sustainable and ethically-responsible cells before Far East manufacturers dominate the next generation of industry.

The creation of the UK’s first Gigafactory will be a significant driver for the BEIS Industrial Strategy (The UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), setting a path to becoming a clean economy and world leader in shaping the future of mobility. The supply of cells can be made more readily available for automotive manufacturers in Europe, to keep up with the demand for EVs and help build a productive, growing, and green economy, as outlined in the Strategy’s primary ambitions.

Kevin Landscape

What impact has the pandemic had on the adoption of EVs?

The latest market data signals that the demand for combustion vehicles peaked during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the four-month long standstill to the industry induced by lockdown restrictions, there is clear indication that, instead, EVs are fast becoming the vehicle of choice for many.

A number of factors, including a positive shift in consumer sentiment, technological advancements, and greater incentives from the government, are allowing the UK to gradually be put at the forefront of the design and manufacturing of EVs – the primary ambition of the Industrial Strategy.

This month alone witnessed an 11.3 per cent year on year increase in new EV registrations, proving that consumers are realising the benefits of cleaner transport and the strategy is being delivered effectively, despite pandemic market pressures.

What barriers remain to EV adoption in the UK?

As it stands, the UK does not have the infrastructure in place to cope with the permanent transition to EVs. The maturity of the UK’s infrastructure of electric car chargers remains young in comparison to our Dutch and German counterparts, which is off-putting for those considering the switch to zero-emission motoring. There is also public concern that EVs won’t go the distance, despite vehicles achieving a driving range of around 400 miles per charge. As the next generation of EVs are launched, we can expect to see range anxiety to become a concern of the past.

Explain the UK’s Faraday Challenge.

The Faraday Challenge provides industry players with the support they need to meet the growing demand for EVs. Through this challenge, the (UK) government will invest in research and innovation projects and new facilities to scale-up and advance the production, use and recycling of batteries. It will in turn lower carbon and air pollution in the UK while creating new opportunities and supply chains.

What’s next for AMTE?

Our mission is to be a leader in providing alternative innovative battery cell products. To do this, our next real benchmark will be the successful completion of our Gigafactory – this will form the foundations of a niche vehicle network in the UK and is capable of effectively bringing the supply chain back home.

We are on track to bring additional chemistry to market including our ultra-safe cell, based on stable sodium-ion chemistry that is safer, easier, and cheaper to transport.

Want to feature in Mobility Moments? Reach out to our Editor: 

Leave a Comment