AMTE Power Plc, the developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion and sodium-ion battery cells for specialist markets, has signed a memorandum of understanding ("MoU") with advanced powertrain developer Viritech Ltd ("Viritech") to support the development of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles ("FCEVs").
The MoU paves the way for the parties to establish an agreement to supply AMTE Power's Ultra High Power ("UHP") cells for use in Viritech's battery packs for high performance FCEV projects, including heavy goods vehicles ("HGVs"), light commercial vehicles, marine, aerospace, and distributed power applications and Viritech's hypercar project, Apricale.
The development of hydrogen fuel cell technology is believed to be critical to the development of zero emission vehicles. An alternative to fully electric vehicles, fuel cells mitigate challenges around weight and cell charge times in high power and performance vehicles compared to battery power alone. The Advanced Propulsion Centre UK forecasts that global FCEV markets will experience rapid expansion as economies move away from fossil fuels, with sales anticipated to exceed 1 million vehicles by 2030 and 10 million vehicles by 2040.
Viritech's innovative powertrain combines hydrogen fuel cells with high-performance lithium-ion cells. The technology is intended to provide an additional power boost on ignition, acceleration and when driving on a gradient, as well as enabling smaller, more lightweight battery systems that reduce weight compromises. Charging for the battery cells can be generated through the operation of the fuel cell and regenerative braking.
The H2 powertrain technology is integral to Viritech's flagship hypercar, the Apricale, and to the development of zero emission HGVs.
AMTE Power's differentiated UHP lithium-ion cell has been designed to target the high power automotive market. With fully-owned intellectual property rights for the product, AMTE Power is in advanced stages of development for the UHP, which is currently going through scale-up and testing trials at the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre ("UKBIC").
The MoU is the latest in a series of commercial opportunities announced by the business within the automotive market as it continues its pathway to commercialisation. The business confirmed earlier this year that it anticipates making an announcement within 2022 on new production facilities for its cell types that will enable the business to produce UK-based cells at industrial scale.
Kevin Brundish, CEO of AMTE Power commented:
"Batteries are essential to the transition to hydrogen electric vehicles and our UHP cells are the perfect fit for this collaboration, with our carefully refined cell chemistry able to fulfil the specific power, weight and safety requirements for Viritech's power trains. This partnership will help the EV industry move to net zero emissions while ensuring the UK remains a competitive player in automotive manufacturing."
Matt Faulks, CTO of Viritech commented:
"We are really excited about working with AMTE Power. We look forward to seeing what the businesses can achieve together and how AMTE Power's battery technology can assist with lightweighting zero emission vehicles that are critical to the decarbonisation of global transport systems."