There was a triple boost for Britain’s growing EV industry yesterday with three firms throwing support behind major electrification projects.
Yesterday (Thursday) saw Indian-based start-up Ola Electric announce plans to create a research and development facility in Coventry.
The firm specialises in building zero emission scooters, taxis and rickshaws with the proposed site focusing on designing and engineering electric vehicles with both two and four wheels.
Dubbed ‘Futurefoundry’, the Times reports that the site is set to cost a whopping £100m.
In a major boost to the automotive sector, it will create 200 high performance jobs in engineering; digital and physical modelling and new vehicle energy systems.
Ola also wants to work work alongside ‘world-class education and research institutions in the UK to collaborate on technology research and development’.
The company’s assault on the British electric vehicle industry is being headed up by design director Wayne Burgess, who previously worked for Chinese group Geely, which builds the hybrid-electric LEVC black cab in Coventry.
Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO of the Bangalore-based Ola, ‘Ola Futurefoundry will enable us to tap into the fantastic automotive design and engineering talent in the UK to create the next generation of electric vehicles . . . as we make EVs affordable across the world.’
The boss also teased the company’s first electric car on Twitter, posting a picture with the caption ‘Can you guys keep a secret?’
Can you guys keep a secret? 🤫🤫 pic.twitter.com/8I9NMe2eLJ
— Bhavish Aggarwal (@bhash) January 25, 2022
Elsewhere the Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi alliance announced that it is to invest €23bn into launching 35 all-electric vehicles in Europe by the end of the decade.
The news is likely to benefit Nissan’s Sunderland plant, which last year had approval for a new gigafactory to built on site.
The Japanese carmaker also has global research and development and design centres in Cranfield and London.
At the same time that announcement was being made, Britishvolt was also going public with some major news.
The battery cell firm, which last week had plans approved for the UK’s biggest gigafactory, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Lotus to collaborate on the research and development of advanced new EV technology.
The partnership will focus on the co-development of an innovative new battery cell package to power the next generation of electric sports cars from Lotus.
The package is set to feature in a new sports car, powered by Britishvolt cells, of which a teaser sketch has now been released.
Matt Windle, managing director of Lotus Cars, said: ‘Lotus is delighted to be collaborating with Britishvolt to develop new battery cell technology to showcase the thrilling performance that a Lotus EV sports car can deliver.
‘These are the first exciting steps on the journey towards an all-new electric sports car from Lotus, and yet another step towards the transformation towards sustainable, renewable electricity stored in batteries.
‘Last year we committed Lotus to a pure electric future, and in the first month of this year we announce another significant step on that journey.
‘In the coming months we will be unveiling the Type 132, an all-new and all-electric Lotus SUV and we’ve confirmed three more EVs are on the way.’