Monday, December 5, 2022

Aston Martin Secures Partnership With Britishvolt for ‘Ultra-Luxury’ High-Performance EV Batteries

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Aston Martin has partnered with UK lithium-ion battery producer Britishvolt to meet its electric powertrain targets.

Last September, luxury British carmaker Aston Martin announced it was well on its way toward a fully electric or hybrid fleet by 2024, with all cars coming with electrified powertrain options by 2026, and its core portfolio fully electric by 2030. Its latest announcement, a partnership with Britishvolt, demonstrates progress toward that goal.

The two companies are partnering to develop “high-performance battery cell technology,” according to a statement from Aston Martin.

Together, Britishvolt and Aston Martin will combine their R&D teams to “design, develop, and industrialise battery packs, including bespoke modules and a battery management system.”

Aston Martin says the announcement is part of its continued investment in the future of British advanced engineering and developing “high-performance cars of the future.”

That commitment led to nearly 200 engineering hires in 2021, including specialists in electrified powertrains.

Britishvolt batteries

Britishvolt, UK’s foremost investor in lithium-ion battery cell technologies, says its new electric battery plant, set to begin production before the start of 2024, will be capable of producing more than 300,000 EV battery packs each year.

Now, Aston Martin is attempting to develop its own supply of EV batteries with the new partnership with Britishvolt.

“This powerful collaboration combines Aston Martin’s 109 years of engineering mastery with the expertise of a fast-growing UK technology business,” Aston Martin Lagonda CEO Tobias Moers said in a statement. “Working together with Britishvolt, I believe we can create new technologies to power benchmark-setting Aston Martin electric cars that will match our reputation for high performance and ultra-luxury with the highest standards of sustainability.

“Supplementing the close strategic relationship with our shareholder Mercedes-Benz AG, this partnership provides Aston Martin with additional access to technology and skills to broaden our electrification options. We are proud to be partnering with a UK-based, low-carbon battery manufacturer as part of our ambition to be a leading sustainable ultra-luxury business, with a commitment to the Science Based Targets initiative Net-Zero standard,” Moers said.

Courtesy Aston Martin

“For a prestigious marque such as Aston Martin, staying true to its world-renowned brand of ultra-luxury, high-performance vehicles, whilst transitioning to electrification, means insisting on customised, sustainable battery cell technology that pushes the boundaries of performance. Britishvolt is excited to be collaborating with Aston Martin, helping accelerate that switch to electrification – I believe we make formidable partners,” Orral Nadjari, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Britishvolt, said.

“This collaboration once again highlights the value of working hand-in-glove with customers to co-develop and manufacture tailored, sustainable, localised battery cells, allowing vehicle makers to deliver superior products. Technologies that reset the benchmarks. 

“We are excited about the prospect of an all-electric Aston Martin powered by Britishvolt’s low carbon, sustainable battery cells. Collaboration like this is the only way forward for a successful energy transition.”

In January, Britishvolt secured more than $2 billion in funding from the British government for the new project, which includes a focus on high nickel content and “energy-dense” materials aimed at increasing its abilities for mass production. Cobalt mining company Glencore invested $54 million in Britishvolt last month.

F1 car company Lotus also signed an agreement with Britishvolt in January.

Aston Martin sales

Aston Martin, is famous for its appearance in James Bond films, but its output is historically meager; it currently only sells about 6,000 cars per year.

That number is up from previous years, though—2020 sales were lower than 2019 by about 30 percent—a victim of the pandemic.

But the company has battled other challenges, too, including an investigation by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Finance over allegations of insider trading between Aston Martin Lagonda and Daimler AG. That case was eventually dismissed last August.

aston martin electric cars
Courtesy of Aston Martin

The company saw a boost when Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll purchased a 16.7 percent stake in the company in 2020.

The former fashion heavyweight behind Michael Kors’ 2011 IPO, brought in a former Mercedes-AMG boss and two-decade Daimler veteran Moers as his top deputy, who in turn, “convinced some of his best lieutenants from AMG to join him,” reports Bloomberg. “A 2013 technology-sharing agreement with 5 percent shareholder Mercedes-Benz got supercharged to 20 percent when Stroll bought in.”

Aston Martin says it’s on track to release its first plug-in hybrid, the Valhalla, by early 2024.

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