Battery manufacturer chooses South Yorkshire for new factory

2 mins read

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

The Ultimate Battery Company (UBC), based in Hyde, Manchester, selected South Yorkshire for the location of its new facility, after receiving support through South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority and recognising this region’s potential as the green heart of the UK.

South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority has pledged to provide a total of £5.2m in financial support (£3.2m loan and £2m grant) to the Ultimate Battery Company to enable them to develop technologies to reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions with transformative new technologies and energy storage solutions. The new R&D and manufacturing facility is expected to create 495 new jobs over the next few years.

Maurizio Cunningham-Brown, CEO of the Ultimate Battery Company, 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 to guide us through the funding process and put us in touch with the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (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. Access to a talented workforce and the support available in this area for skills training and development were obvious draws to South Yorkshire.”

The Ultimate Battery Company 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.

The batteries that the Ultimate Battery Company has developed also significantly reduce weight by up to 15Kg per vehicle, further driving down both CO2 emissions and manufacturing costs, while increasing energy densities.

Steve Foxley, CEO of the 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 are delighted to see they are now building on that collaboration with inward investment into South Yorkshire, close to the research expertise of the AMRC.

"We look forward to working with them on future projects, accelerating the journey to net zero and opening up new opportunities around cheaper, greener future energy systems.”

Continuing to work alongside the AMRC, the Ultimate Battery Company 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 Ultimate Battery Company, 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.

“The demand for these products is out there and has already been confirmed by a wide range of leading automotive manufacturers and other related industries. As such, we are confident that with the resources we will have in place at our new facility and the technology we are looking to bring online, we can accelerate the switch to electric vehicles long before the 2040 target.

“In the meantime, we’re looking forward to being located in South Yorkshire to make these exciting plans a reality and working with SYMCA, AMRC and the DIT (Department of International Trade) to get our new facility up and running and push the start button on what will be the new car batteries of the future.”