The 20,000 sq ft centre complements the company’s existing facilities in Peterlee, which include a battery assembly unit, a large warehouse for holding buffer stocks of components for custom packs, a design engineering laboratory, and staff training suites.
The Battery Technology Centre will add advanced engineering and service capabilities as the company begins its first projects developing and prototyping for e-mobility customers. The centre’s production hall will be configured to manufacture large, high voltage/multi-kWh battery packs in volumes up to around 1,000pcs per year. Higher volume requirements will be met by a new EU-based production centre planned to open by 2026.
Together, these new facilities will enable Alexander Battery Technologies to produce batteries in production volumes for electric vehicles (EVs) such as e-motor bikes, off-road and commercial vehicles, and marine vehicles, while also producing pilot runs of batteries for on-highway vehicles.
The existing battery assembly lines at the Peterlee campus already provide manufacturing capability in a highly flexible configuration capable of handling multiple customer assignments simultaneously, and meet high volume requirements for packs with voltage ratings up to 60V. These lines will also produce modules for assembly into large packs in the Battery Technology Centre. Under a full shift pattern, production capacity is up to 100,000pcs per week for such packs and modules.
The new Battery Technology Centre offers customers up to 12 development and engineering laboratories, five of which have a three-phase/64A supply to enable testing and validation of any custom lithium battery from small packs up to multi-kWh systems. Test capabilities include cycling, environmental testing, lifetime testing, compliance testing and more.
The laboratories will handle large, high-voltage batteries, including EV batteries, with minimal space restrictions. Secure access to safety-critical equipment is supported by external monitoring and control of test operations.
Mark Rutherford, Managing Director of Alexander Battery Technologies, said, ‘Nowhere else in Europe can match the Battery Technology Centre’s combination of flexible, multi-mode engineering laboratories and large-scale production capacity for custom battery packs to six-sigma standards of quality.”